Writer, architect win Taiwan's Culture Award
Central News Agency
2014-02-27 11:19 PM
Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) The 33rd National Cultural Award of R.O.C. (Taiwan), the country's highest honor awarded to artists, was given to Pai Hsien-yung, a contemporary writer, and veteran architect Wang Da-hong, at an awards ceremony at the Taipei Zhongshan Hall Thursday. Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai said during the ceremony that the two award winners represent a type of value she hopes can be passed down to the next generation. Born in 1918, Wang is the only son of Wang Chong-hui, a man who had served as the first chief diplomat of the Republic of China, president of the Judicial Yuan and a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Lung noted. Wang is best known for designing the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, Lung added. He has been dubbed the "poet of architecture" because of the artistic and cultural appeal of his works. Pai was born in 1937 in Guilin, in southern China's Guangxi province, to Pai Chung-hsi, a general in the Kuomintang Army. The younger Pai spent his childhood in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, and later moved with his parents to Nanjing in Jiangsu Province, Hong Kong, and finally Taiwan. Lung said that the presentation of the award to Wang and Pai at the four-story historical building, the Taipei Zhongshan Hall -- a former Taipei City Hall during the Japanese occupation era before being transformed into a public meeting space after the defeat of Japan in 1945 -- marked the history of efforts by the two men's fathers to find a way out for the nation through diplomatic and military methods during the country's most turbulent era. This allowed the two to develop their talent in literature and architecture in the following peaceful period, Lung noted, adding that this also highlighted the meaning of the award. In recent years, Pai has devoted himself to promoting Kunqu Opera among young people. He said that since his work "Wandering in the Garden, Waking from a Dream" was first adapted into a stage play in 1982, he has seen a number of young people who participated in the production of the play developing into outstanding members in the art and cultural circles over the past 30 years. The 96-year-old Wang was not present at the ceremony; his son Wang Shou-cheng received the award on his behalf. Established in 1980, the National Cultural Award is designed to encourage the passing down of cultural models to future successors. To show appreciation to the artists who have made special contributions to enhancing the nation's cultures, each winner of the National Cultural Award receives a medallion as well as NT$1 million (US$33,256) in cash prize. (By Sabine Cheng and Evelyn Kao)
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