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Coronavirus Impacts on Taiwan's Cultural Life
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced March 25 an advisory against indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor events involving over 500. In response to the advice, there are many governmental and private art organizations taking decisive measures while maintaining their performance. In a journal, Focus Taiwan shows how they weather the effects of the virus, including the Ministry of Culture, the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei, the National Taichung Theater in central Taiwan and the National Kaohsiung Center of Arts (Weiwuying) in the southern city, Pagarlava's (布拉瑞揚) dance company, the Cloud Gate Theater, Paperwindmill, etc.. To see the full story here.

Cover photo is the Ministor of Culture, Cheng Li-Chiun helding meetings with artits. 

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Taiwanese Theatre Artists on Segal Talks - A Daily Live Online Conversations with Global Theatre Community

Taiwanese theater practitioners, Chou Tung-yen (VERY Theatre), Wu-Kang Chen (HORSE) and Kathy Hong (PANDA), are invited to a Live-streamed conversation with Dir. Frank Hentschker of Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (CUNY), to share their thoughts, feelings, and discoveries towards work and life during the pandemic on Wednesday April 8 at noon (EDT).

SEGAL TALKS, curated by Director Frank Hentschker, is a daily Live online conversation with global theatre artists, curators, researchers and academics about making art and making sense in the Time of Corona, and speak about challenges, sorrows, and hopes for the new Weltzustand— the State of the World, Monday through Friday at noon EDT on

The participatig artists are Taylor Mac & Kristin Martin (New York); Mok Chiu Yu (Hong Kong) + Hanchen Feng, Shuyi Liao (China); Thomas Ostermeier (Germany); Marco Martinelli & Ermanna Montanari, Teatro delle Albe (Italy); Toshiki Okada (Japan); Laila Soliman & Dalia Basiouny (Egypt) & Sahar Assaf (Lebanon); Kathy Hong, Tung-Yen & Wu-Kang Chen (Taiwan); Lucia Calamaro, Graziano Graziani, Valeria Orani (Italy); Meredith Monk (New York); Aristide Tarnagda (Burkina Faso).

SEGAL TALKS | An Update On The Situation For Theatre Artists In Taiwan

Wed., April 8, 2020. NOON



HowlRound Theatre Commons

Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

About the Artists

Kathy Hong is currently Chairperson of the Performing Arts Network Development Association , an association of arts managers in Taiwan, and an advisor to the Cloud Gate Dance Theater, ALIEN Art Centre and Vocal Asia Festival. She is an arts professional with extensive experience in theater and international collaboration. As an independent producer and marketing professional, she has been involved with art works in the fields of contemporary theater, dance, children's theater, and traditional / contemporary music. She was Executive Director of OISTAT – International Organization of Scenographers, Theater Architects and Technicians 2012-2015, and Marketing Communications Director of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts 2015-2019.

Chou Tung-Yen is the founder and director of Very Mainstream Studio & Very Theatre Company ( Centering around theatre and moving image, he makes interdisciplinary works of performance, installation, and music video. By blending digital imagery, physical movement and theatrical elements, he has created several award-winning performances including Emptied Memories and Teatime with me, myself and I. Alongside creating poetic theatre performances/ installations, he made several short films and feature documentaries which screened internationally, including Golden Horse Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and OutFest in LA.

Wu-Kang Chen, born and raised in Taiwan, started studying dance at the age of twelve and graduated from the Taiwan University of Arts. Wu-Kang joined Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, where he became a soloist the following year, and Peridance. Starting his long-term collaboration with choreographer Eliot Feld, he was invited to join Feld’s Diamond Project of New York City Ballet in 2006. In 2004, he co-founded HORSE Dance Theatre as Artistic Director with significant works including Velocity (2007), Bones (2008), 2 Men (2012) which toured in Asia, the US and Europe. Wu-Kang curated Dance X Sounds seasonal improvisation platform Primal Chaos in 2016.

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Tribeca Film Festival’s Immersive Program Will Debut Online with Taiwanese VR Film HOME in the Lineup
The Tribeca Film Festival has recently announced that it will move a partial selection of movies and programs from its 19th edition online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Taiwanese VR film HOME will be presented, along with other 14 VR films, in Tribeca Immersive: Cinema360 program via Oculus TV from April 17th to 25th, 2020. The public now can attend these high-profile premieres from their couch during quarantine.

HOME is Director Hsu Chih-Yen’s first VR film. By utilizing the language of VR, Hsu brings the audience back to his grandmother’s home to experience the lively atmosphere of the family reunion during a festive holiday, and the melancholy while the grandchildren part ways with their grandmother. Hsu said that after becoming a father, he has had deeper thoughts and feelings about birth, growth, aging and other changes in life for family members. Thanks to the opportunity to shoot the film, Hsu was able to reconnect with all the relatives. HOME is a heart-warming work, full of Director Hsu’s warm imagination.

Another Taiwanese VR film, GREAT HOAX: THE MOON LANDING, is also selected by the Tribeca Immersive: Virtual Arcade program. GREAT HOAX is Director John Hsu’s second VR work, as for his first one, YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS, was well-received by VR festivals across the world. In this comedy satire, the audience is going to be “the first Taiwanese astronaut landing on the moon” and to participate in a “fake landing program” initiated by the government. Hsu said he wants the audience to reflect on the widespread disinformation in modern society after they watch the film. GREAT HOAX: THE MOON LANDING was also selected by the 2019 Venice Gap-Financing Market and by 2020 Taiwan’s Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival.

In recent years, Taiwan has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for its cutting-age virtual reality and its achievement in VR production. CHALKROOM, produced by Taiwanese artist Huang Hsin-Chien and American composer Laurie Anderson, was the first Taiwanese VR work exhibited at the 2018 Tribeca Immersive. In 2019, MR. BUDDHA, directed by Taiwanese Director Lee Chung and co-produced by celebrated Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien through the “5X1” project, was screened as part of the TFF's lineup. This year marks the third consecutive year for Taiwan VR films to be featured in the event.

Photo Courtesy of Kaohsiung Film Archive

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