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Taiwan Film Festival of Boston Goes Hybrid in October
2021/09/23
The Taiwan Film Festival of Boston (TFFB) will kick off on October 2, presenting nine films online and in theaters under this year’s special theme, “Bittersweet.” TFFC hopes that, given everyone’s own unique experiences in dealing with both the good times and bad times in life, the audience can relate to the protagonists in this year’s selection and fall in love with the unique taste of Taiwanese movies.

The festival will celebrate its 3rd edition with a 12-hour movie marathon on the very first day, screening 4 features and 2 shorts at AMC Boston Common 19. The opening film is André & His Olive Tree (初心), documenting the final few weeks before Taiwanese chef André Chiang closed his two Michelin star “Restaurant André” in Singapore, as well as his own emotional journey of self-reflection.
Other works include My Missing Valentine (消失的情人節), a romantic comedy tenderly solving the mystery of why the protagonist wakes up after Valentine's Day with no memory of the last 24 hours; Dear Tenant (親愛的房客), a family drama exploring the limits of unconditional love and the judgment and misunderstanding society still exhibits towards homosexuality; The Great Buddha+ (大佛普拉斯), a surreal satire sharply taking on issues of social class and injustice; as well as My Way (魚路) and Ms. Lin - The Retouching Lady (修片林小姐), two award-winning documentary shorts.

From October 3-5, the festival will play three different films online, including Heavy Craving (大餓), a heartwarming comedy drama about a woman compelled to lose weight in order to meet built-in societal expectations; Turning 18 (未來無恙), a coming-of-age documentary centered around two girls’ struggles from growing up in disadvantaged families; and See You White House (再會啦白宮), a documentary digging up the past of a mysterious building located in Taiwan’s Yunlin County, where the U.S. Navy conducted medical research more than 50 years ago.

TFFB will also arrange four Q&As with director Ho Chao-ti (賀照緹) of Turning 18, director Hsieh Pei-ju (謝沛如) of Heavy Craving, director Cheng Yu-Chieh (鄭有傑) of Dear Tenant, and director Josiah Ng (黃程瀚) of André & His Olive Tree, sharing their behind-the-scenes experiences from October 5-8. For more information, please visit TFFB’s official website: https://taiwanfilmfest.org.
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Open Call for “SPOTLIGHT TAIWAN” Project’s Applications until Oct. 29, 2021
2021/09/21
Taiwan's Ministry of Culture is pleased to announce the open call for proposals for its annual “Spotlight Taiwan” project, which is to promote international cultural exchanges and cultivate a greater interest and appreciation of Taiwan’s culture in the international community.

Arts, cultural, and educational institutions – including museums, performing arts centers, and universities – are welcome to apply. The Ministry may provide funding up to a maximum of US$40,000 per year for an approved project. Applications will close on Oct. 29, 2021.

The themes and forms of activities to be supported are as follows:
1. Courses, lectures, symposia, and workshops with research on Taiwan as their focus.
2. Art and culture activities with Taiwan’s culture as their theme.
3. Exchanges and collaborative efforts related to Taiwan’s cultural and creative industries or cultural policy development.

Institutions and organizations based in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, the U.S, as well as Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Canada can submit their proposals electronically to the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.

For more information, please visit https://www.moc.gov.tw/en/informationlist_211.html.

Contact Person in Taipei Cultural Center in New York: Ms. Chin Kanglan
Email: klchin@moc.gov.tw; Tel: (212)697-6188#6
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Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band Live Performance Film Premiere in U.S.: 《Jazz Changed, Jazz Changes, Jazz Changin’》
2021/09/13
The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is most delighted to present the Taiwanese Golden Melody Award (金曲獎) Band-- Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band (徐崇育 & Soy La Ley 古巴爵士樂團 ) with local partners, including New Orleans Jazz Museum, NOLA River Festival(LA), FirstWorks Festival, Providence, Rhode Island (RI).

The band’s newest program of 《Jazz Changed, Jazz Changes, Jazz Changin’》live performance film will be premiered at NOLA River Festival website on September 18th, 2021 at 9:00 PM EDT. Bassist and composer Vincent Hsu reflected on three questions while producing this live performance film with his ensemble, the Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band—“How has jazz changed the world?” “How is it changing the world?” “How has jazz itself changed? A devotee of Afro-Cuban music, Hsu made the film to showcase his original compositions, and to share a glimpse of everyday and traditional life in his native Taiwan. The performances were shot at scenic locations unique to the island nation. Hsu aims to show that jazz is alive and well beyond its birthplace, and as the title suggests, to show how this music is always evolving. Ultimately, the film is a tribute to this uniquely African-American art form, as well as an acknowledgement of the indelible impact it has left on people and societies around the world. Also featured are interview clips with prominent musicians and scholars, including Hsu's mentor, the legendary bassist Cecil McBee, historian Loren Schoenberg, drummer and educator Jerome Jennings, and poet and writer Naomi Extra.

Tune in on NOLA River Festival Facebook on September 18th, 2021 at 9:00PM EDT, for the live premiere!

Formed in 2010, Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band (徐崇育& Soy La Ley古巴爵士樂團)aims to infuse their Taiwanese roots to the practices of jazz and Afro-Cuban music style, leading audiences to experience the unpredictability of jazz improvisation through Afro-Cuban rhythms. Their debut album ‘In Our Blood’ was released in June 2018. It won the “Best Jazz Single of the Year” with Vincent Hsu’s composition “Dreamer's Blues” at the 2018 Golden Indie Music Awards, and was also honored with the Global Music Awards' Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2019.

Born and bred in Taiwan, award-winning bassist and founder/bandleader Vincent Tsung-Yu Hsu launched his musical career in New York City and was mentored by legendary musicians, including Victor Venegas, Andy González, Cecil McBee, and John A. Schaeffer. Hsu has been touring worldwide, including Madrid International Jazz Festival, Busan Jazz Festival, Taichung Jazz Festival, National Theater & Concert Hall Summer Jazz Festival, and Macau Jazz Festival, among others. Taking the combination of Latin music and jazz as a form of bilingualism, Hsu is an inheritor of the musical lineage that originates in New York’s Spanish Harlem. Three distinct cultures intersect and interweave to shape the sonic character of his band: the singular power of African polyrhythms come together with the fusion of Latin and jazz improvisation in a profusion of Taiwanese compositional elements that give rise to vivid storytelling. Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band have taken the dual vernaculars of Afro-Cuban music and jazz, and left their own musical mark through the creation of an original work that embraces the context of Taiwan’s own soundscape.
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Taiwanese artist, Wang Ya Hui participating the Mandala Lab, Rubin Museum of Art
2021/09/13
Taipei Cultural Center in New York is very pleased to announce that video and installation Taiwanese artist, Wang Yahui (王雅慧) will be participating the MandaLa Lab of the Rubin Museum of Art.

Inspired by powerful Buddhist principles, the Mandala Lab features five thought-provoking, playful experiences—including videos, scents, sculpture, and curated percussion instruments—that guide visitors along an inner journey focused on self-awareness and awareness of others. See, smell, touch, and breathe your way through the space, designed to inspire connection, empathy, and learning.

The Scent Library, where Wang Yahui’s piece of scent video will reside. Participant will encounter this simulated library and experience the scent created by the master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. A digital installation leads the participant through a series of questions, screens the artist’s video of their memory about the scent, and prompts guests to record their memories and emotions. By watching these videos and reading previous visitors’ memories associated with the same smell, guests will perceive how diverse—and sometimes radically different—our reactions can be to the same stimulus. Their feelings of association and attachment to a memory start to shift to a more empathetic awareness, the wisdom of discernment.

Wang Yahui’s works include videos, installations, and photographs. Her work has been shown internationally and she has held residencies at Location One (New York, 2006), Cité des Arts (Paris, 2007), and the Helsinki International Artist Programme (Helsinki, 2010). She has exhibited or screened her work in international film festivals and biennials, including the Taipei Biennial (2002), Shanghai Biennale (2006), International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008, and the Hors Pistes Film Festival at the Centre Pompidou (2008). For the 2010 Taipei Biennale (Taipei Fine Arts Museum), she designed a large-scale sculptural installation, entitled Artist Cinema—The Dark Side, as a venue for screening videos by other artists. She participated most recently in the exhibition Finding Time, held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taipei in 2020.

The Mandala Lab experiences have been created in consultation with cognitive scientists, Buddhist teachers, and contemplative humanities researchers, and feature contributions from a diverse group of contemporary multidisciplinary artists including video and installation artist Wang Yahui and other 13 artists.

“Our society is struggling right now,” says Jorrit Britschgi, the Rubin’s executive director. “We are navigating a pandemic, we are grappling with a climate crisis, and we are confronting longstanding inequities and deep divisions in our society. With the Mandala Lab, our hope is for the Rubin to be a Museum where art, ideas, research, and our emotions connect.”

The museum originated from a private collection of Himalayan art which the funder, Donald and Shelley Rubin had been assembling since 1974. The Rubin Museum of Art offically opened on October 2, 2004 and is a museum dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and other regions within Eurasia, with a permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art. The New York Times commends it, “one of the biggest thinking small museums in Manhattan.”

Exhibition:
Title: Mandala Lab
Date:
Opening, October 1, 2021
Opening Night Celebration, October 1, 6:00 PM
Opening Weekend October 2, 3, Free Admission
Venue:
The Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th St. New York, NY 10011
www.RubinMuseum.org
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Taiwan's First English-Language Media Platform Goes Live
2021/08/31
Taiwan Plus (Taiwan+), the first English-language international streaming platform of Taiwan, was unveiled by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), Central News Agency Chairman Liu Ka-shiang (劉克襄), Taiwan+ Chief Executive Officer Joanne Tsai (蔡秋安), and H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis at the plaza in front of the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei on Aug. 30.

Golden Melody-award winning singer Sanpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw (桑布伊) opened the launch event with a music performance. Held with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the event was joined by several representatives including Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief-Representative Hiroyasu Izumi, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham Taiwan) President Andrew Wylegala and Senior Advisor to AmCham Taiwan Don Shapiro, and the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) Chairman H. Henry Chang and the ECCT Vice Chairman Giuseppe Izzo.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her pleasure to join the launch of Taiwan+ with a video message, saying "Taiwan+ is an exciting new initiative to tell Taiwan's story. Generations of Taiwanese fought to transform this country into a vibrant democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression."

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in a video congratulatory message wished the platform success. He stressed that Taiwan is a democratic and free country guided by the rule of law, and cares about universal values of human rights, freedom of speech and diversity, noting that this is why many countries are willing to make friends and do business with Taiwan.

Vice President Lai said he had actively promoted English as the city's second language during his term as Tainan mayor and hoped Taiwan will turn into a bilingual nation by the year 2030.

Taiwan+, a project commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to the Central News Agency, marks an important milestone in the country’s history of mass media, as it is an independent media organization that serves to voice Taiwan to the world, Minister Lee Yung-te said.

Joanne Tsai, a senior media professional with more than 25 years of experience in international media outlets, hopes to make this platform a form of expansion, connection, and infinite possibilities, just like how Taiwan incorporates ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity within a nation, and introduce Taiwan to the world through dynamic storytelling and news.

Targeting English-speaking audience, Taiwan+ offers the latest news about Taiwan and international affairs, as well as special reports covering a wide range of topics spanning culture, tech, nature, and lifestyle. In addition to its own programs, the platform also sources from Taiwan’s public and private media organizations to tell the vibrant stories of Taiwan.

The content of Taiwan+ can be played on the Taiwan Plus app or viewed on its official website and social media platforms, such as FacebookYouTubeTwitter, and Instagram.
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Chicago’s APUC Season 13 to Present Four Restored Wuxia Classics from Director King Hu
2021/08/29

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 13 will kick off on September 15 and run through October 12. From September 22 to September 28, Taipei Cultural Center in New York is pleased to collaborate with APUC to present masterful cinema by Director Kung Hu(胡金銓) with four restored wuxia classics: DRAGON INN(龍門客棧), A TOUCH OF ZEN(俠女), LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN(山中傳奇) and RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN(空山靈雨). All four films are available to stream online across the United States, with DRAGON INN also playing on the big screen at a drive-in theater on September 28.  

Praised as an “extravagantly talented visual stylist,” cinematic titan King Hu revolutionized the wuxia/swordplay film, introducing a refined sense of aesthetics, attention to mise-en-scène, and sense of mysticism to the genre that was borne out of his lifelong love for Peking opera. With its unique blend of thrilling action and dazzling stylistic expressiveness, Hu’s style influenced decades of subsequent Asian cinema, including Tsui Hark’s NEW DRAGON GATE INN and Ang Lee’s CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Janus Films, which holds the U.S. rights to DRAGON INN and A TOUCH OF ZEN, notes that “He [Hu] imbued his action with a compositional depth and maturity; focused intently on the physicality of his performers, rather than relying on special effects; used the camera as a balletic partner to the actors; sculpted his fight scenes keenly through editing rather than letting them play out in single takes; cast women in stronger, more central roles than the studio had before; and conveyed a palpable sense of Buddhist precepts.”

DRAGON INN was a blockbuster, setting box-office records in Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines in 1967, and the film proved to have a broad and lasting impact. Hu’s next directorial effort could not hit screens until 1971, after three years of filming. A TOUCH OF ZEN took the Technical Grand Prize award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975, propelling Hu onto the world stage, and its bamboo forest duel became a classic scene and an indelible contribution to cinema.

LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN and RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN underwent the development, pre-production, photography, post-production and even distribution process simultaneously. LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN was described as one of King Hu’s most visually ravishing works, and it swept six major awards, including Best Director, at the 16th edition of Golden Horse Awards, while RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN became a virtuoso showcase for Hu’s typically luxurious mise-en-scène and elegant action choreography.

After more than 30 years, Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (previously known as Taiwan Film Archive and Taiwan Film Institute) commenced restoration of King Hu’s classic titles. In 2014 and 2015, the scrupulous digital restorations of DRAGON INN and A TOUCH OF ZEN were selected for Cannes Classics. In 2016, LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN was restored and subsequently selected for Venice Classics. In 2018, RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN was selected for the first edition of Classici fuori Mostra, organized by the Venice Biennale.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 13 is bringing 30 films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and China to Chicagoland and beyond. Sophia Wong Boccio, festival director of Asian Pop-Up Cinema, stated that “Keeping up with our eclectic programming, I truly believe that we have another season with a diverse mix of films for people to choose and enjoy. Also, the festival is going hybrid for good. Showing films physically in a cinema or at a drive-in for people to meet and watch films on the big screen will always be the heart of the festival!”

Wednesday, September 22 - Tuesday, September 28
Martial Arts Restored Classics
This program is supported by Taipei Cultural Center in New York and co-presented by Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute.

DRAGON INN (King Hu, 1967)
https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/dragon-inn
**An encore screening will take place at ChiTown Drive-in (2343 S. Throop) at sunset (8:00 - 8:30PM) on September 28.

A TOUCH OF ZEN (King Hu, 1971)
https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/zen

RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN (King Hu, 1979)
https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/raining

LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN (King Hu, 1979)
https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/legen


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A New Book Coming in September--FARAWAY, by Taiwanese Writer Lo Yi-Chin and Translated by Jeremy Tiang
2021/08/27
The Taipei Cultural Center is pleased to announce the launch of a new book, FARAWAY, as one of the books in the series, Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan, published by the Columbia University Press in New York.

“Thematically rich and intriguing.” — Kirkus Reviews,*Starred Review*

“Lo Yi-Chin is the most remarkable and creative writer Taiwan has produced in recent decades, and what's more, he is the most inventive writer in the entire Chinese-speaking world. — David Der-wei Wang, author of Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China

*About the Book
In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin’s (駱以軍) Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. Lo’s father had fled decades ago, abandoning his first family to start a new life in Taiwan. After travel between the two countries becomes politically possible, he returns to visit the son he left behind, only to suffer a stroke. The middle-aged protagonist ventures to China, where he embarks on a protracted struggle with the byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, his wife is about to give birth to their second child. Isolated in a foreign country, Lo mulls over his life, dwelling on his difficult relationship with his father and how becoming a father himself has changed him.

Faraway is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us. Lo’s depiction of family dynamics and fraught politics contains a keen sense of irony and sensitivity to everyday absurdity. He offers a deft portrayal of the rift between China and Taiwan through an intimate view of a father-son relationship that bridges this divide. One of the most celebrated writers in Taiwan, Lo has been greatly influential throughout the Chinese-speaking world, but his work has not previously been translated into English. Jeremy Tiang’s translation captures Lo’s distinctive voice, mordant wit, and nuanced portrayal of Taiwanese culture.

*About the Author
Lo Yi-Chin is an acclaimed Taiwanese writer, the recipient of numerous honors including the Hong Lou Meng Award and Taiwan Literary Award. His novels include Kuang Chaoren, Daughter, Western Xia Hotel, Surname of the Moon, and The Third Dancer.

*About the Translator
Jeremy Tiang has translated works by writers including Yeng Pway Ngon, Su Wei-Chen, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Li Er. He is the author of the short story collection It Never Rains on National Day (2015) and the novel State of Emergency (2017).

The official link to the book:
https://cup.columbia.edu/book/faraway/9780231193955


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