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 andwill 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 andfluidity 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.