Tang Prize Laureates Given Regal Welcome at National Palace Museum

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As the sky turned dark and the lights were turned on inside the National Palace Museum on September 15, deep purples and reds cast the museum in a dream-like grandeur. It was no ordinary museum day, it was the commencement day of Tang Prize Week.
The first of six main events, the Tang Prize Reception welcomed the five inaugural Tang Prize laureates to Taiwan and officially began Tang Prize Week. Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway), James P. Allison (USA), Tasuku Honjo (Japan), Yu Ying-Shih (USA), and Albie Sachs (South Africa) entered the regally-lit halls of the museum to enjoy a small course of dim sum, conversation, and a personal guided tour through the museum’s collection.
Premier Jiang, who met with the laureates and gave one of a handful of opening speeches, praised Dr. Yin for making his contribution to society through an academic prize, one that encourages change through multiple viewpoints and world views. After a round of speeches from Premier Jiang, Taipei Mayor Hau, National Palace Museum Director Fung, and Tang Prize Founder Dr. Yin, the audience was treated to performances by the aboriginal drummer Lopsang Shezap and the classic xylophonist Wu Pei-ching, who captivated the crowd with their lively performances.

When the music subsided, the laureates were then treated to a guided walk through the museum collection, including the specially curated “Exhibit of Select Painting and Calligraphy.” Laureates and guests made sure to stop at such pinnacles of art as A Palace Concert and the Jadeite Cabbage. Mesmerized by the beauty and significance of each piece, Professor Yu looked back and forth between the glass cases, eager to see more; while Mrs. Honjo gazed appreciating at A Palace Concert, caught by the depiction of music, drink, and life in the royal court of the Tang. As life sometimes mirrors art, pipa and erhu players greeted the museum goers with period music as they browsed the national palace collection—it was truly a “palace concert.”