The National Center for Traditional Arts invited over 100 traditional theater artists and artisans, including several who hold the "living national treasure" title, to attend a yearend party on Dec. 8. With heartwarming greetings and splendid live entertainment, the get-together, which has been held annually since 2009, expresses gratitude for their contributions to Taiwan's heritage and cultural legacy.
In her opening speech, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun stated: "Senior folk artists are important cultural assets of Taiwan." Apart from government support and encouragement, the development and continuity of traditional arts in Taiwan mainly rely on the efforts of senior artists, as they promote traditional theater arts among the general public by giving performances while diligently and unselfishly educating and cultivating young talents. Their unbroken inheritance of experience and skills greatly contribute to the innovative creativity of traditional arts, the Minister added.
To pass on the torch of traditional arts, expand job opportunities, and overcome the current difficult environment for traditional theater artists, the Ministry of Culture will double its budget for the promotion of traditional arts starting 2019.
Moreover, new performance opportunities for various forms of theater productions will be explored nationwide through specific strategies that target different generations of theater artists. These programs will be carried out by the Yilan Park, Gaoxiong Park, and the Taipei-based Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center of the National Center for Traditional Arts.
The yearend party was attended by Wu Su-xia (吳素霞), a famous nanguan musician and educator of traditional music; Wang Jin-ying (王金櫻), artistic director of the HoLo Taiwanese Opera Troupe (河洛歌子戲); Chen Hsi-huang (陳錫煌), a veritable master of Taiwanese puppetry; Hung Ming-hsiu (洪明秀) and Hung Ming-hsueh (洪明雪), two sister practitioners of Taiwanese opera; and Liao Chiung-chih (廖瓊枝), Taiwan's top kudan, or female performer of tragic roles, among others.
Nanguan musician Wang Jin-ying (center).
Taiwanese opera artist Wang Jin-ying (left) and puppet master Chen Hsi-huang.
Taiwanese opera artists Hung Ming-hsiu (left) and Hung Ming-hsueh.
Taiwan's top kudan Liao Chiung-chih (right).
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (center) and Chen Chi-ming, director of the National Center for Traditional Arts.
The get-together is held annually.