Following the announcement of the latest round of laureates in mid-June, the 2016 Tang Prize and a full week of events will commence this September 22. Dubbed “Tang Prize Week,” the event series will bring the 2016 laureates closer to Taiwan, and Taiwan closer to the laureates. Students and scholars will sit in as the recipients discuss their prize-worthy work at academic lectures and forums; and the youth of Taiwan will also have a chance to be inspired in a set of talks delivered at high schools throughout Taiwan. Showing the laureates the diverse culture of Taiwan, the Tang Prize Foundation has also arranged concerts, banquets, and exhibitions, which present Taiwan through its music, culture, food, and history.
The Glory of the Tang Prize exhibition garnered accolades and support from event goers in Taipei when it debuted in 2014. Returning for the new prize year, this very special exhibition will give visitors the chance to learn about the accomplishments of these laureates, and the work which won them the Tang Prize. Laureates have added to the character of the display by donating certain items signifying their life and work. This includes a 3D model of CRISPR/Cas9 from Feng Zhang and a 1906 edition of the four central texts of the Chinese tradition from William Theodore de Bary, which the laureate procured on his first trip to China in 1948.
Another returning element from 2014 is the exhibition held at the National Palace Museum. Curated especially for this year of the Tang Prize, “Viewing Nature in Chinese Art: A Special Exhibit of Select Artifacts” will look at sustainable development through a historical lens, specifically in the presentation of natural scenes in Chinese art and artefacts. Paintings include Three Friends of Winter, Viewing a Waterfall, Fishing in Seclusion by a Willow Bank, and Ox Lowing on a Willow Bank.
In addition to paintings, documents, and calligraphic pieces, the curators also chose one of China’s best known arts, that of ceramic ware, to display in the exhibition. One such piece is the Celadon warming bowl in the form of a lotus blossom, a fine example of Northern Song Ru ware, with its light blue glazing veined with fine orange cracks (called “crazing” in ceramic lingo).
Another cultural event is the Tang Prize Concert held on September 26, which will cover the dual theme of “tradition” and “innovation.” Solo pianists Rolf-Peter Wille and Chun-Chieh Yen will be performing an interesting take on tradition in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor. Then, the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus will perform Taiwanese composer Ma Shui-long’s The Invisible Temple, which uses elements of the folk songs of the Tsou and Bunun tribes, two the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. Capping off the night will be a medley of songs from composer Lee Che-yi, each piece of the medley having a particular significance to one of the laureates.
Also shown for the first time at the commencement press conference will be the commemorative EasyCard, designed with visuals from the 2016 Tang Prize. Jennifer Tsai, President and Artistic Director of Proad Identity, will explain to the press her process when designing the limited-edition item, which is meant to be both an image of the prize and a useful accessory.
Laureates of the prize are chosen for the impact and originality of their accomplishments. Tang Prize Week brings these impactful movements of the 21st century to the public in five days of information and entertainment. The week will kick off with a welcoming reception on September 22, followed by the main event, the award ceremony, on September 25.
Laureate Lectures will be held on September 24 in Taipei (register here: topic.cw.com.tw/event/2016tangprize/). Masters’ Forums will be held throughout Taiwan, with sessions at National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University, National Central University, Taipei Medical University, Kaohsiung Medical University, and National Chung Hsing University. Please visit the link below for registration details: topic.cw.com.tw/event/2016tangprize_master/