The University of Malaya Department of Chinese Studies and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia have once again joined forces for the UM Spotlight Taiwan Project promoting Taiwanese art and culture. The first event this year was a talk about late poet Chou Meng-tieh (周夢蝶) held on May 5 at UM's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
The event began with a screening of "The Inspired Island: The Coming of Tulku," a documentary about Chou, followed by the main talk, "The Tale of the Humble Poet Chou Meng-tieh" given by publisher, writer, and cultural commentator Fu Yue'an (傅月庵). The lecture hall was packed with audience members hailing from all over Malaysia.
Chou passed away several years ago, but his poems remain much loved by Malaysian readers for how they exude a sophisticated loneliness. He has been called one of the most significant "cultural landmarks" of Taipei, and through "The Coming of Tulku" viewers can reflect on the poet, his life, and his works.
Fu and Chou were friends, giving Fu a particularly profound understanding of Chou. He gave an eloquent recounting of Chou's life to the eager audience, who then seized the opportunity to ask questions and engage in enthusiastic discussions.
This is the fourth year of the UM Spotlight Taiwan Project, with the theme for 2018 being "The Durability of Communication: Deepening and Sublimating Literature and Traditional Art."
Through a series of salons and events, the project aims to showcase the diversity and brilliance of Taiwanese literature and arts, giving Malaysian audiences a deeper understanding of Taiwan, her charms, and her literary influences.