Tang Prize Week 2016 was officially announced today (September 2) at Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as the event series draws near. The day was also an opening for the Glory of the Tang Prize: Laureate and Diploma Exhibition, which retells the accomplishments of the laureates, and shows the medal and diploma the laureates will receive later this month.
“Like Nobel Week in Sweden is to the Nobel Prize, we hope that Tang Prize Week will become an international affair where guests can pay tribute to accomplishment and open up dialogue,” said Jenn-Chuan Chern, CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation. Included in the week are concerts, banquets, and exhibitions, which present Taiwan through its music, culture, food, and history. Another part of Tang Prize Week are its lectures and forums, all aimed at kindling such dialogues, as well as talks at Taiwan-area high schools, meant to give students perspective and guidance in their future academic endeavors.
Representing the Academia Sinica, the institution that administers the selection of Tang Prize Laureates, was academy president James C. Liao, who will also be participating in the week’s events. Liao described the prize as focusing on a wider worldview and outstanding contributions to society. It also aims to encourage the next generation of professionals in the four fields of the prize, who will go on to contribute in their own way to their societies.
The first event to welcome the laureates to Taiwan will be the Reception on September 22. The event will be held at the National Palace Museum, partly for its significance to Taiwan and Chinese culture, partly for the fact that it is also the location of the specially curated “Viewing Nature in Chinese Art: A Special Exhibit of Select Artifacts.” The exhibit was described by the museum director Jeng-Yi Lin today as a 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.
The Tang Prize Concert held on September 26, which will cover the dual theme of “tradition” and “innovation.” The concert’s conductor Chun-Chiang Chiu noted that two of the performers, namely Rolf-Peter Wille and Chun-Chieh Yen, embody the themes of the night, since they are teacher and student, and since the two will perform Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor, another innovative take on tradition. 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.
The newly designed commemorative EasyCard, created with visuals from the 2016 Tang Prize, was on show at the commencement press conference. Designer Jennifer Tsai, President and Artistic Director of Proad Identity, explained to the press her process when designing the limited-edition item, which functions both as an image of the prize and a useful accessory.
The week will kick off with a welcoming reception on September 22, followed by the main event, the award ceremony, on September 25. Lectures will be held on September 24 in Taipei (register here: topic.cw.com.tw/event/2016tangprize/). Forums will be held at universities throughout Taiwan. Please visit the link below for registration details: topic.cw.com.tw/event/2016tangprize_master/