Art and Entertainment

An orchestra from Taiwan will make its first Bay Area appearance

San Fransisco Chronicle
Date: November 2, 2018 
By: Joshua Kosman

Conductor Shao-Chia LüPhoto: Taiwan Philharmonic

The world of Western classical music is as vibrant and multifarious in Asia as anywhere else, but too often American audiences get to hear only a small sample of what that region has to offer. To take an obvious example, it means that an organization like the Taiwan Philharmonic is known here almost exclusively by reputation.

This week brings a small corrective to the situation, as the orchestra winds up a rare tour of the West Coast with a concert in Davies Symphony Hall on Monday, Nov. 5.

Music Director Shao-Chia Lü plans to lead a program that includes “Dancing Song” from “Three Aboriginal Songs for Orchestra” by the Taiwanese composer Gordon Chin, as well as works by Barber and Brahms. The young Taiwanese virtuoso Yu-Chien Tseng is the soloist in Barber’s Violin Concerto.

Taiwan Philharmonic: 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. $35-$200. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F. 415-392-4400.    [SOURCE]

Polymer art space launches final show to reflect the oppressing Taiwanese art industry  

Polymer art space’s Petri dish bred artistic creativity, cultivating intriguing works of art

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/11/02
By: Lyla Liu, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Polymer art studio will launch final show feature the difficulties artists face (image by Taiwan News Lyla)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Polymer art space will be closed due to the upcoming lease expiration in December. In order to commemorate the five-year establishment, Polymer will hold a performance titled “Stolen Field” this weekend (Nov. 3,4.), reflecting the difficult situation existing within Taiwan’s art industry.

Established in 2013, Polymer has been located in the Beitou district. The venue gathered creative minds from multiple disciplines. Its nature is expressed in galleries, museums, and schools, and served as the “Silicon Valley” of the art world.

Polymer is also like a Petri dish breeding the creativity of artists and cultivating dramatic new forms of art.

“At Polymer’s onset, artists invested almost 2 million in building up the locale while planning, furnishing, and recruiting resident artists. After a while, they finally settled in to create astounding art. Then, people started to have disagreements and disputes,” said the art director, Kuo I-Chen.    [FULL  STORY]

Turkish entertainer Karlova aka Ufong becomes sensation in Taiwan

Hurriyet Daily News
Date: October 30 2018 

Credit: Kardelen Koldaş

Turkey first heard about Uğur Rıfat Karlova, a Turkish entertainer living in Taiwan, when he won the “Best Host” award in 2012 at Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards, which is the Taiwanese equivalent to the Emmy Awards. He was the first foreigner to receive an award in that category.

Uğur Rıfat Karlova, 38, is a Turkish entertainer living in Taiwan. He is well-recognized among the Taiwanese by the name “Ufong.” But Turkey first heard about him when he won the “Best Host” award in 2012 at Taiwan’s Golden Bell Awards, which is the Taiwanese equivalent to the Emmy Awards.

Karlova was the first foreigner to receive an award in that category. He was in the spotlight once again when Tom Cruise signed Karlova’s head after an interview for MTV Taiwan. Since then, Karlova has had many other groundbreaking achievements. He became the first foreigner to receive Taiwanese citizenship for his contributions in arts and culture. However, his recent success has gone unnoticed. Eight months ago, Karlova published a Chinese book in which he gives the reader a tour of Turkey. With Karlova, we talked about his journey to fame, his new book and future plans.

After receiving a university degree in tourism, Karlova went back to Tekirdağ and started working at his father’s oil shop. In the winter of 2001, he began to ask himself, “what can I do to change my life?” He found the answer in learning a new language, but his next question was, which language?    [FULL  STORY]

The World’s Largest Performing Arts Center Opens in Taiwan

Check out the Mecanoo-designed National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts.

Date: October 20, 2018
By: Joanna Fu

Iwan Baan

The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, designed by Dutch firm Mecanoo Architects, has officially opened in Taiwan, setting the record for the world’s largest performing arts center with five state-of-the-art spaces under a single roof spanning 35 acres (140,000 square meters).

The expansive project, also dubbed “Weiwuying,” took 15 years to build and is Taiwan’s most significant cultural investment in a generation with an estimated cost of $221 million USD, according to the Smithsonian. The structure is set across a 116-acre (470,000-square-meter) subtropical park in the southern port city of Kaoksiung, which was formerly a military training base. The center features a 2,260-seat opera house, 2,000-seat concert hall, 470-seat recital hall and outdoor performance space capable of seating up to 20,000 people.

Take a look at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts above and share your thoughts in the comments below.

In other design news, New York’s Central Park Tower will be recognized as the tallest residential building in the world.    [FULL  STORY]

An Ode to Lo Ta-yu, a Taiwanese Cultural Icon & Mandopop Legend

Lo Ta-yu rose to superstardom in the 1980s and continues to influence Mandopop and Taiwanese music to this day.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/10/02
By Eric Scheihagen

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Whenever Taiwanese popular music of the 1980s, Taiwanese singer-songwriters or indeed the history of Mandopop in Taiwan in general is being discussed, one name that’s almost sure to come up is Lo Ta-yu (羅大佑), also known as Luo Dayou.

Often taking a critical look at society, his songs resonated with many from the 1980s to the 21st century. Though the political views he has expressed in recent years have upset some of his old fans in Taiwan, Lo Ta-yu remains very popular in China and is still viewed with nostalgia by many in Taiwan. His albums from the 1980s have been frequently cited by many later songwriters as a source of inspiration. Not only are his songs still heard on the radio, his influence is also heard in the songs of many talented Taiwanese artists of today.

In late 1977, Lo got his first job as a songwriter, composing songs for the movie “Golden Days” (閃亮的日子) starring the popular singer Liu Wen-cheng (劉文正) and actress/singer Sylvia Chang (張艾嘉). Lo also wrote other songs for Sylvia Chang, who eventually became his lover.    [FULL  STORY]


Oscar foreign-language film race 2019: all the titles submitted so far

Screen Daily
Date: 15 September 2018
By:: Ben Dalton


Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards are not until Tuesday January 22, but the first submissions for best foreign-language film are now being announced.

Last year saw a record 92 submissions for the award, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of nine. This was cut to five nominees, with Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama A Fantastic Woman ultimately taking home the gold statue.

Screen’s interview with Mark Johnson, chair of the Academy’s foreign-language film committee, explains the shortlisting process from submission to voting.

Submitted films must be released theatrically in their respective countries between October 1 2017 and September 30 2018.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei Hosts Asia-Pacific Film Festival, Showcasing Asia’s Best New Movies

Taiwanese films scooped up two awards, including Best Director, and the event spotlighted Southeast Asian hits like ‘Bad Genius’ and ‘Respeto.’

The News Lens
Date: 2018/09/10
By: MuYi

Actress Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, who won Best Newcomer for her performance in the Thai film ‘Bad Genius.’ | Credit: CNA

The 58th Asia-Pacific Film Festival (APFF) awards ceremony took place on Sept. 1 in Taipei. Taiwan’s Chao Te-yin (趙德胤) took home Best Director for “The Road to Mandalay,” while Taiwanese film “The Tag-Along 2” won Best Sound Effects. The Australian biographical drama “Lion,” starring Dev Patel and Rooney Mara, won Best Picture.

However, Southeast Asia was the star of the night. Nine of the 16 awards were won by Southeast Asian movies. The Thai film “Bad Genius,” which reeled in two awards for Best Newcomer and Best Film Editing, and the Filipino hip-hop drama “Respeto” (Respect) drew considerable attention.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s 2018 Kinmen Tunnel Music Festival to be held in November

Cellist Chang Cheng-chieh and Yu opera diva Wan Hai-ling will be the leading performers at the festival Nov. 3-4

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/09/05
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

2018 Kinmen Tunnel Music Festival in Taiwan to be held Nov. 3-4 (Photo by CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Renowned Taiwanese cellist Chang Cheng-chieh (張正傑) announced that he will join Yu opera (豫劇) diva Wang Hai-Ling (王海玲) to perform at the 2018 Kinmen Tunnel Music Festival, dispelling fears the performance may be scrapped due to a wrist injury he sustained from a cycling incident.

Entering its 10th year, the music fest was first held at the Zhaishan Tunnel (翟山坑道) in 2009 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Guningtou (古寧頭戰役) in Kinmen, a group of islands governed by Taiwan.

The tunnel struck the cellist as a perfect “amplifier” during a trip to the tourist attraction, which was when he started floating the idea of holding a concert there to take advantage of the natural sound reinforcement system. The plan finally became a reality thanks to an opportunity presented to him by Kinmen National Park Administration Office to curate an outdoor event, reported CNA.

In a press conference announcing the concert on Sept. 3, Chang played Bach Cello Suite No. 5 Sarabande in a recital, a  composition which featured in his first performance at the Kinmen Tunnel Music Festival. He also played Taiwanese folk song “Such a life” (一隻鳥仔哮啾啾), joking that the song reflected his feelings the moment he got hurt falling off his bicycle when traveling in Vienna in July.    [FULL  STORY]

Artist who made famous work on trans man murder 20 years ago will represent Taiwan at Venice Biennale

Cheang Shu Lea, the 64-year-old artist who made the 2001 ‘sci-fi porn’ film I. K. U, will use the world’s biggest art show to revisit themes from her groundbreaking piece ‘Brandon’

South China Morning Post 
Date: 21 July, 2018
By: Enid Tsui

Cheang Shu Lea’s Brandon (1998-99) was a groundbreaking piece of early internet multimedia art that took a maverick approach to exploring the 1993 rape and murder of Brandon Teena, the young American transgender man who was the subject of the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry.

When the Guggenheim museum restored the work in April last year, it kept all of its period features such as its text-heavy, MS-DOS-style interfaces, visible frames, limited interactivity and first-generation morphing GIFs.

Venice Biennale using fake Chinese curse called ‘schoolyard racism’
The old-school look – an aberration in this age of slick web templates – enhances, not diminishes, the work’s transgressive appeal. Its rabbit hole of chance encounters, Gothic horror, 1990s BDSM imagery and that greatest symbol of personal freedom – the American road trip – is as irresistible now as it was when it was created.

But what would Brandon look like if Cheang had made it today, with issues of sexuality and the public invasion of private space more relevant than ever?

Celine Dion sings in Taipei for the first time ever

Celine Dion Taipei show goes on after typhoon exits stage

Taiwan News 
Date: 2018/07/12
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Worldwide superstar diva Celine Dion sang in

Celine Dion sings in Taipei. (By Central News Agency)

concert for the first time in Taipei last night (July 11), the first of three scheduled shows for the singer at the Taipei Arena and despite Typhoon Maria, which had just left the country hours before her performance, reported CNA.

Dion opened the show with “The Power of Love” and when on to sing more than 20 songs and changed into 6 different costumes over the course of one hour and fifty minutes. She ended the show with her famous song “My Heart Will Go On” from the blockbuster flm “Titanic.”     [FULL  STORY]