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2021 Comic-Con International: San Diego, to Be Held Online with 10 Taiwanese Comic Creations Building a ‘Future Island’
2021/07/16
America’s biggest comic convention, Comic-Con International: San Diego, will be held on July 23-25, 2021, as a free, online event, Comic-Con@Home, due to the pandemic. Participating in its third consecutive year, the virtual Taiwan Exhibit has taken “Future Island” as its theme and will present 10 original works of science fiction brimming with mystery and hope. It will also hold an online talk to discuss the original Taiwanese animation, Mayfly Island, to present the unique cultural charm and stories of Taiwan, and to uncover some of the secrets and perseverance behind the animation process. Stay tuned!

This year, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, the Chinese Animation and Comic Publishers Association (CCPA) has helped programmed a virtual Taiwan Exhibit which will present 10 brilliant, handpicked creations, including FIRST DIVORCE, THEN MONSTERS? (Aniyong), DE BUG (Chou Yen), SOUL (Chiyou), OPUS: THE DAY WE FOUND EARTH 1 (PN Chen), Pirate Town (Richard Metson), Mayfly Island (Evergreen Yeh), Mechanical Souls (Yu-Yu Hsu), Pigsy Express (Li-Wei Chiu), MU Empire (KCN) and Zigma (Oscar Tsai & 6 co-creators). The Exhibit signals a Taiwanese cyber-punk vision of the future and takes the audience on an escape from reality and the hardships of the pandemic, through hope and the unexpected future of the world to come. All 10 works are included in the limited edition 2021 Taiwan Exhibit Guide, and available to viewers in Taiwan and abroad to browse and download: https://reurl.cc/qgpOVy

Moreover, there will be an online talk on “Survival is the Adventure! Mayfly Island's Dream of Near-future Animation.” Dr. Wan-Chun Ma, winner of the Scientific and Technical Achievement Award at the Academy Awards, Klimt Lin, director of the Taiwanese animation Mayfly Island, and its screenwriter, Shang-Chiao Li, have all been invited to share on Mayfly Island’s story and worldview, ecological crisis and Austronesian culture. They will also discuss the power of Taiwanese animation, challenges faced during the animation process, how 2D and 3D technologies complement each other and how they can innovate animation content and special effects production. The exclusive animation sketches of Mayfly Island will also be disclosed during the talk. All are welcome to watch the online talk through the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles’ YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxEfHKoDsDUXsROj_QGTPzA. For more highlights and the latest updates from the Taiwan Exhibit, please visit: https://www.comic-con.org/
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“Divine Immersion: The Experiential Art of Nick Dong” Now Open at the USC Pacific Asia Museum
2021/07/14
The Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, partnering with the USC Pacific Asia Museum, presents “Divine Immersion: The Experiential Art of Nick Dong” from now until October 3, 2021, featuring six works by Taiwanese artist Nick Dong: Spacetime, Divine Moments, Heaven, Mendsmith Project, Im-mersion and Becoming Horizon. This exhibition has been selected as the most healing contemporary art dialogue in the post-pandemic era by the USC Pacific Asia Museum. All are welcome to visit and experience it. For more information, please visit https://pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu/exhibitions/current/

Nick Dong’s creations span the fields of art, spirituality, science, and group healing. With meditation combined with the transformation of art forms, he takes the audience through a healing journey of his designs in a sequential manner. From the beginning, the fantasy mechanics of the installation leads the audience to ascend to the heavenly realm and release their pain. Immediately afterward, the audience feels the fall to the human world, repairing the tangible and intangible cracks through metalwork. Then, the audience enters into an immersion in a sound installation that purifies the mind. At the end, when arriving at the shining and quiet waters, the audience regains the energy of life and faces the future with courage.

In order to promote the exhibition, a series of activities will be held during the exhibition period, such as artist talks, experiential workshops, meditation, music performances, my master creations, second free Sunday, etc. For registration information, please visit https://pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu/calendar/

Nick Dong graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Division of Creative Arts in the Tunghai University of Taiwan and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Metalworking and Jewelry Design from the University of Oregon. He currently lives in Oakland, California. He is a conceptual artist and engineer who combines metalworking, modern technology, and multimedia installations. His artworks use science and precision components, as well as sound, light, shadow, etc., to present supernatural visual effects and interactivity, providing audiences with a special immersive art experience. The power of art can only be fully appreciated by stepping into his meticulously created space.

Established in 1971, the USC Pacific Asia Museum is one of the few major museums in the United States with a mission to collect art objects from the Asian and Pacific regions. The museum hosts exhibitions, community, and educational programs throughout the year. In 2013, the museum was integrated into the USC system, strengthening its academic research and educational functions in art and culture, and expanding its influence in Southern California.

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Taiwanese Artist Chou Tung-yen Invited to “The Next Stage” Webinar Series Episode 3
2021/06/17

The last 12 months have forced us to “stop, collaborate and listen” as we work toward a new normal. As the field embraces “green” touring, deeper community engagement, and artists as partners, how do we evolve the residency to maximize the impact and minimize the environmental toll? What do artists and communities need from each other? Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles partners with Western Arts Alliance (WAA) to present a webinar event titled as “Rethinking Residencies” which will be held at 5PM PDT on June 23rd, 2021. The Artistic Director of Very Theatre Chou Tung-Yen with performing arts professionals in the U.S. will be invited to explore the residency as a sustainable model for artist and community-centered presenting.

This event is the third webinar of the “The Next Stage” series. The panelists include Taiwanese artist Chou Tung-yen, Jaciel Neri (the founder of CAMP_iN), Reneltta Arluk (Director of Indigenous Arts at BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity), Rosie Herrera (Artistic Director of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater) and Erin Boberg Doughton (Artistic Director & Curator of Performance at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art). And the moderator Christopher K Morgan, the Director of the Dance Residency Program at Art Omi, has joined many residency programs as being a Native Hawaiian choreographer. This event will be held through Zoom while livestreaming on WAA’s YouTube channel and Facebook. All are welcome to join the webinar at Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89404118783?pwd=YWd4Rm5kc3UrYVNDZWl2anlUQ05KQT09.
For reviewing the last two webinars of “The Next Stage” series, please visit WAA’s website (https://www.westarts.org/), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/westernartsalliance) and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMk9BRsCSO9cAhUqkDx4R2w).

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“Focus on Taiwan” Launched at Frameline45
2021/06/12
Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the most widely recognized LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. Taiwan is the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. The two LGBTQ+ parties partnered for the first time in 2020, showcasing various Taiwanese LGBTQ creative film contents to the international audience. This year, with the support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles partners again with Frameline45 San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival to virtually present “Focus on Taiwan” through June 17-27, 2021. This program comprises 3 feature films, 1 shorts block entitled “Taiwan Shorts,” and a “Taiwan Focus” panel discussion. The shorts block and the panel are free for viewing. All films can be viewed On-Demand throughout the United States. All are welcome to watch online.

Among the feature lineup of “Focus on Taiwan,” the Golden Horse Awards winner “Dear Tenant” centers around the ties that bind a trio of a tenant, a landlord and her grandson. Directed by Yu-Chieh Cheng, it is a moving portrait of not only gay love, but also unconditional love and family relationship. It won the 2020 Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Film Score. Another feature film “As We Like It,” co-directed by Hung-i Chen and Muni Wei, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Boasting the first Taiwanese film with all-female cast, it depicts the love fairytales of four couples. It was selected for the Big Screen Competition of the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Directed by Arvin Chen, another feature film “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” clashes against traditional format of romance films with multiple storylines reflecting modern people’s confusion over love, marriage, and life. It was selected for the “Panorama” section in the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

Regarding the short films, “Unnamed” is about the young generation crying out in frustration in this era when sexuality and self-identity have become uncategorizable; “Taiwan Pride for the World” presents a pride parade in Taipei during the COVID-19 pandemic; “Hidden” is about a thirteen-year-old teenager who hides his sexuality and is getting lost while growing up; “Undercurrent” portrays men living in Taiwan under martial law, who strived to escape from government, society, and the affection buried in their hearts. Moreover, director Hui-yu Su’s new work “The Women’s Revenge” will be screened at “Dark Twisted Fantasies.” As the current iteration of Hui-yu Su’s “reshooting” series which revisits banned cinematic works during Taiwan’s period of martial law, this film reimagines those of female-driven exploitation in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Another highlight of “Focus on Taiwan” program is the Taiwan Focus panel that will be available at 5:30pm PDT on Jun 23, 2021, where it will be broadcast on Frameline’s Facebook and YouTube channels. This in-depth talk will invite filmmakers and industry professionals to share the various development of LGBTQ cinema in Taiwan, and its recent rise on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Founded in 1977 by media arts nonprofit Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival has become the longest-running and largest LGBTQ film festival in the United States. With an annual attendance of 60,000+, the festival is held every year for 11 days in late June that coincides with the annual San Francisco Pride parade. This year, Frameline45 is going big in compliance with the COVID-19 policies. It extends duration of the Festival from June 10 to 27 in both online and offline format. For more information, please visit https://www.frameline.org/festival.

About Focus on Taiwan
Film screenings: https://www.frameline.org/festival/film-guide-x7877?country=564 
“Taiwan Focus” panel: https://www.frameline.org/festival/film-guide/frameline-talk-taiwan-focus 

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Explore Performance in a Digital Age in “The Next Stage” Webinar Series Episode 2
2021/05/20

Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles partners with Western Arts Alliance (WAA) to present a series of webinars events titled as “The Next Stage” in 2021. Following the first webinar “Creation in Isolation - Adversity Meets Innovation,” the second event “Extending Our Reach - Performance in a Digital Age” will be held at 5PM PST on May 26th. The panelists LIN Ting-Chun (The Director of Programming and International Development at the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei), Ty Defoe (Interdisciplinary Artist), Janet Cowperthwaite (Manager of Kronos Quartet), and Seth Parker Woods (Cellist) are invited to talk with moderator Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (Musician & Composer) and to share how to explore the possibility of using technology in performances.

The pandemic accelerates the technology application in performing arts. Now the virtual programs are not simply to replay the recording of live show. Performing arts groups, artists and venues make use of technology to create new productions and viewing experiences. The National Theater & Concert Hall at Taipei launched the first 5G-themed stage show Kaleidoscope in 2020. By using Virtual Reality 360-degree video, multi-view selection and 5G core networks, this production allowed the performers to interact with the audience by technology devices beyond the limits of time and space. In 2020 Under the Radar Festival, Interdisciplinary Artist Ty Defoe worked with All My Relations Collective to present Revolving Sky. This work merges immersive performance with interactive multimedia to explore indigenous knowledge, science and climate crisis. The virtual program Testimony features Kronos Quartet performance in an empty concert hall paired with the clip by special guest famous singer Meklit. Cellist Seth Parker Woods is a new Artist-in-Residence with the Kaufman Music Center. Like Woods, the moderator Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti is a musician and composer who makes music incorporating with electronic elements.

This event will be held through Zoom while livestreaming on WAA’s YouTube channel and Facebook. All are welcome to join the webinar at:

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVyKMuYq6uE

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Rage by B.DANCE Presented Online at The University of Washington
2021/05/13
Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, partnering with the Taiwan Studies Program at the University of Washington (UW-TSP), will virtually present the production Rage by Taiwanese dance troupe B.DANCE from May 26 to May 30, 2021. It is the first time that Rage is presented in the US. At the same time, it is the first Taiwanese dance program featured by the UW-TSP. In addition to the online performance, there will be an interview with choreographer Po-Cheng Tsai at 7PM PST on May 26 (at 10AM on May 27 Taiwan Time) on YouTube channel of UW-TSP. Both programs are free for worldwide audiences. All are welcome to register online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflyUZPdokATsfQmLZPQB4HV0mnHCPYKrspRw41zITUSLeeVQ/viewform.

Rage was premiered at Taipei National University of the Arts in 2018. It was influenced and touched by some social events in Taiwan. Po-Cheng Tsai, Artistic Director & Taiwanese choreographer of B.DANCE, notices that Taiwan society becomes more unbalance and unstable. The title of the program was inspired by the Japanese film Rage. The Chinese character “怒” (rage) means the enslaved mind that drifts between doubt and trust. This production was invited by Fundación CorpArtes in Chile to present virtually in this April.

Founded in 2014 and led by Po-Cheng Tsai, B.DANCE is one of the emerging contemporary dance companies in Taiwan. Tsai develops a unique choreographic language and style that combines traditional Asian movements, martial arts and contemporary dance. His famous piece, Floating Flowers, has toured in Europe for several times. It was well reputed by The Festival Off of Avignon and has been awarded by numerous international choreography competitions. Tsai was awarded Choreographer of the Year 2018 by the German magazine Tanz. He also received the prize for choreographic revelation at the 57th French Palmarès du Prix du Syndicat professionnel de la critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse in 2020. In the same year, B.DANCE won the Special Prize of the Expert Jury in 11th edition of Teresa Pomodoro's International Award "Il Teatro Nudo", held by the Milan-based Spazio Teatro No'hma Teresa Pomodoro Theater.

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is the largest university in the Northwest. Taiwan Studies Program within the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, established in 2017, is dedicated to promote the research about Taiwan society and culture. In order to strengthen this program, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UW in December 2021 to launch “Taiwan Studies MOFA Endowment” and “Taiwan Arts and Culture program.” With this cooperation project, the UW will become a leading center for Taiwan studies and cultural exchanges in the coming years.

For further information of this on-line program, please visit https://jsis.washington.edu/taiwan/2021/05/05/may-26-30-rage-by-b-dance/.
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Taiwanese Artists Invited to WOMEN我們: From Her to Here Exhibition in Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco
2021/05/08
WOMEN我們: From Her to Here is an art exhibition and series of public programs curated by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco (CCC). In collaboration with Taiwan’s non-profit art project “Coexist Exhibition,” Taiwanese artists Yao Hong, Huang Mengwen, and Chen Han-sheng are invited to participate in the exhibition. The main theme of the exhibition is to explore the subjectivity and sense of belonging in the queer and feminist communities, and to feature video and film works, mixed media installations, photography and paintings by a diverse LGBTQ+ and women artists and art collectives from the Bay Area, Taiwan, Hong Kong and beyond, with a focus on Asian perspectives. It is open for free by appointment from now until August 28, 2021. For more information, please visit https://www.cccsf.us/women-from-her-to-here.

This is the third iteration of Women我們 (a Mandarin homophone meaning for both ‘WOMEN’ and ‘We’), a platform for exploring feminism, gender diversity and sexual equality, bringing together the artworks and archives of queer and feminist artists. This year focuses on the importance of cultivating safe physical and psychological space as a way to preserve queer and feminist creativity and cultural growth, and to present the unique but overlooked presence of Asian queers’ cultural identities.

Yao Hong’s mixed media installation Erotic Wallpaper uses extremely contradictory totems to create a visual hallucinatory effect in response to the oppressive speed of contemporary social messages, rolling together Taiwan’s and her gender anxiety to create a sense of unpredictable and weird painting. Huang Mengwen’s photographs and video work Suits and Corsages is an ongoing series that focuses on the women who wore suits in Taiwan in the 1950s and represented a wonderful chapter with hidden regrets with their elegance and repression. Chen Han-Sheng’s new mixed media installation When I was a Child documents the school bullying incident in Taiwan, in which Yeh Yung-chi was bullied for his “feminine” tendencies, and his death led to the enactment of the Gender Equality Education Act in Taiwan.

In addition to the exhibition, Chen Han-Sheng and two other Taiwanese artists, Liu Xing-You and Yu Liang-Kai, will attend an online dialogue with the Chinese Culture Center on the issues of art and equality. The virtual program will be held at 6pm on June 4 PDT, 2021. Please register online in advance (registration website will be available soon.)

The Chinese Culture Center is part of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization established in 1965. The Center has evolved from a civic activist to a promoter of local arts and culture, focusing on multifaceted social issues, breaking down spatial constraints, and presenting the concept of multiculturalism.

Founded in 2014, Coexist Exhibition focuses on gender issues in contemporary art. Through curation, international exchanges, and space/unit match, Coexist Exhibition holds at least one physical exhibition every year. It brings artists concerned with gender and marriage equality, as well as authors and works willing to be discussed in the context of LGBTQI. Its aim is to achieve the politics of difference and gender identity.
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Taiwan Program Debuts at CAAMFest 2021
2021/05/07
As the U.S. is gradually recovering from the pandemic, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles partners with CAAMFest for the first time to launch online “Direct to Taiwan” from May 13th to 23rd, 2021. This program, supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, will present two Taiwanese feature films and two short films followed by post-screening Q&As. One feature film is “Taipei Suicide Story” that was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and swept top awards at the Slamdance Film Festival; the other is “Radio! Ready Oh!”, a comedy that centers on the bizarre situation faced by a radio station. And the two short films include the LGBTQ comedy “Swingin’” and “Kuroshio Current” that depicts the mindset of a Taiwanese man living in America. Except for “Taipei Suicide Story” that will be geo-blocked to the U.S. only, the other three films are able to be viewed worldwide. All are welcome to watch online.

Directed by KEFF, “Taipei Suicide Story” is about a receptionist (played by Tender Huang) at a suicide hotel who forms a fleeting friendship with a guest (played by Yuhua Sung) who can’t decide whether to live or die. It was in the official Cinéfondation selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. It also won 3 awards at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival, including the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for narrative features, and the Acting Award for the lead actor Tender Huang. The story of “Radio! Ready Oh!”, directed by Zipeng Hong, is about a crazy battle arisen by a radio station facing bankruptcy, where a young interviewee lands a position by mistake and encounters a series of quirky events. The only person who can save this miserable situation is locked in the storage room. In such a crazy mess with a gathering of scheming DJs, a radio station rescue plan is about to start.

“Kuroshio Current”, directed by Kun-Yu Lai, reveals a story about a 30-year-old Taiwanese man who works in the U.S. While he searches for the amulet his mother gave him before her death, he embarks on a surreal journey where he faces the struggles and conflict feelings about his family and hometown. Directed by Shang-Sing Guo, “Swingin’” is an LGBTQ comedy about an 11-year-old boy bullied in school because of having gay dads. It is the first dramedy/music film of its kind since Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019.

As the largest Asian American film festival in the U.S., CAAMFest is an 11-day innovative feast of films, music, food, and digital media. Entering its 39th year, CAAMFest will continue to be an anchor event celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, showcasing over 100 films with a schedule of over 50 events. For more information about Direct to Taiwan, please visit https://caamfest.com/2021/programs/direct-to-taiwan/.
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Director Tsai Ming-liang and Taiwanese Queer Writer Chi Ta-wei Invited to UCLA
2021/05/04
With the support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles partners with UCLA’s Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) to launch “Taiwan in Dialogue” lecture/dialogue series, which features eight online events from February to November. Leading practitioners from a variety of Taiwan’s creative areas, including film, literature, theater, and art, will be invited to deliberate on the contemporary Taiwan culture. Following the two acclaimed events in February and April, two more events will be held consecutively in May. The guest speaker, Chi Ta-wei, is a Taiwanese queer writer and will unveil the queer literature in Taiwan through the landmark queer speculative fiction, The Membranes, in the 3rd event.  Tsai Ming-liang, one of the greatest cinematic masters of the era, will be invited to the 4th event to share his classic works and artistic beliefs with the audience.

Published in 1995, The Membranes reveals the technological domination and regimes of capital, while exploring the diversity and fluidity of gender and sexuality. Its English version translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich will be published this year. Therefore, the 3rd event will bring together the writer and the translator to reflect upon The Membranes at 6pm PDT on May 6, followed by a dialogue with Michael Berry, Director of UCLA Center for Chinese Studies.

Chi Ta-wei is a renowned writer and scholar from Taiwan. His scholarly work focuses on LGBT studies, disability studies, and Sinophone literary history. He is an associate professor of Taiwanese literature at the National Chengchi University of Taiwan. Ari Larissa Heinrich is a professor of Chinese literature and media at the Australian National University, and the translator of the Taiwanese lesbian writer Qiu Miaojin’s novel, Last Words from Montmartre.

The 4th event in succession features the internationally renowned director Tsai Ming-liang, who will reflect on his career and major works with Michael Berry at 7pm PDT on May 19. Director Tsai has created the most enduring masterpieces during the past thirty years, from Vive L’Amour (1994) to The Hole (1998) and from Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003) to Days (2020). He has been awarded numerous top prizes for his work at the Venice International Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival. Known for Slow-Cinema, he is adept at depicting true emotion through long fixed shots and minimalist dialogues. Director Tsai stands out from the cinematic world for his works that are usually pensive and moody, characteristic of modern loneliness and urban alienation.

The two above-mentioned events will be held through Zoom while livestreaming on CCS’s YouTube channel and Facebook. All are welcome to register online:
The 3rd event “The Membranes and Queer Literature in Taiwan Featuring Chi Ta-wei and Ari Larissa Heinrich”: https://ucla.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aMA3Q746TxuKBqou_dooKA.
The 4th event “An Evening Conversation with Tsai Ming-liang”: https://ucla.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f4-JDurgQh-ZiQnAVbikVw.

For further information about “Taiwan in Dialogue” lecture/dialogue series, please follow CCS’s website www.international.ucla.edu/ccs/home, Facebook www.facebook.com/uclaccs, and YouTube www.youtube.com/user/UCLAccs/featured.


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