Legacy Series X: Ko Chi-liang
Godfather of Taiwan’s traditional arts preservation
Ko Chi-liang was an influential figure in Taiwan’s modern development of culture. He had dedicated his life to building a foundation for preserving traditional cultural heritage and lobbied the government to devote more resources to traditional art forms. His perseverance and success have led to the formation of the following national institutions and groups:
GuoGuang Opera Company
In the 1990s, the Ministry of National Defense decided to disband three of its military theater groups – Lu Guang (陸光), Hai Guang (海光), and Da Peng (大鵬). Ko was tasked with not only reforming the three branches into one group, but also with the challenge of establishing a school for training subsequent theater talents.
In the end, Ko succeeded admirably, and the talented performers from three military branches came together to become “Pride of the Nation” – the literal translation of “GuoGuang (國光)” – and new generations of traditional artists are incubated by the National Guo Guang Academy of Arts, better known today as the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (TCPA) ... (read more)
National Center for Traditional Arts
From 1998 and onwards, Ko devoted himself to the establishment of a national agency that would serve as the principal authority on the governance of traditional arts in Taiwan, and the National Center for Traditional Arts (NCFTA) was subsequently founded in 2002.
Ko himself served as director of the center’s preparatory office from 1998 to 2002, and then head of the center from 2002 to 2005, and then from 2009 to 2011. Under his leadership, the center broaden its scope of responsibilities to research and explore the possibilities of Taiwan’s intangible heritage, including traditional theater, music, crafts, dance, and folk artistry ... (read more)
Ko passed away on Feb. 7, 2017 from complications arising from cancer recurrence. More information on the lifelong advocate and enthusiast of traditional theater and arts can be found here.