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Lyrical Urbanism: The Taipei Music Center to open at Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture
New York — An exhibition marking the successful completion of RUR Architecture’s Taipei Music Center (TMC), a new musical district within Taipei, is set to open at Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture on April 6, 2022. Designed by the project’s architects and featuring mural-sized photographs, architectural models, drawings, and audiovisual media, the exhibition explores the relationship of the complex’s architecture to the process of its design, current use, Taiwan’s music industry, and the nation’s cosmopolitan ambitions.

The exhibition was sparked by the invitation of Dean Nader Tehrani, who competed against RUR for the project over ten years ago. More than inaugurate the project for an American audience, the exhibition is designed to draw insightful relationships between its American architectural origins and adoption into Taiwanese culture, and to highlight the inevitable changes that took place during its long gestation and development.

The cosmopolitan and regional ambitions of the Taipei Music Center—to cultivate Taiwanese music for a global audience—necessitated an architecture that spoke equally to local and foreign cultures. Rejecting the placeless, generic, and techno-centric architectural styles that have plagued many post-industrial cities, we were also wary of their oftentimes monstrous hybridization with vernacular styles, a trend known as “critical regionalism.”

Against either approach, we sought to employ specific iconographic elements that spoke universally across cultures and were part of a larger social unconscious—mountainous terrain, ceramics, basket weaving, and clam shells—as communicated through the three object buildings of the Taipei Music Center. As all sentient being, including animals, crave sugar, fat, and salt, the project thereby appeals beyond specific cultural milieus toward innate, primordial appetites. Similarly, the Taipei Music Center seems both regionally specific yet globally relatable, appearing in concert with its immediate environment though appealing to global audiences and designed by foreign architects. The uncanny effects of certain symmetries and forms evoke universal feelings of attraction and unease, against the sugary utopianism of the last century.

The TMC was conceived as a ‘City of Pop Music’, a hybrid and multipurpose site dedicated to the performance, curation,production, and celebration of pop music in Asia. For more than half a century, Taiwan enjoys the leading position of popular Mandarin Songs in the Chinese speaking countries and the world because its democratic society favors openness, diversities and freedom to creativities. The Music Center is to continue that legacy and welcome everyone to enjoy “Music is Life, Living Music.” The center has three major buildings: The Concert Hall, the Cultural Cube, and the Creative Hub. A new elevated public ground bridges the north and south bases which are divided by Civic Boulevard, bringing the three buildings together in a coherent design. The building program also includes four livehouses, which allow for simultaneous performances and support new talent with intimate concerts. Since the Concert Hall’s grand opening back in August 2020, the TMC has hosted a variety of high-profile musical and cultural events, including the inaugural concert of Yo-Yo Ma’s Asian tour and the Golden Melody Awards. Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards is inclusive and is been considered as the Grammy Awards of popular Mandarin Songs. Following the emergence of the Concert Hall, the Cultural Cube also launched its permanent exhibition “Music, Island, Stories: Pop Music in Taiwan” last September, taking visitors on an immersive and interactive journey to learn about how Taiwan’s music industry has evolved over the decades. The Creative Hub, on the other hand, is scheduled to start operation later this year to act as an integrating cradle for new music talents and a cluster for music-themed lifestyles. The TMC project as a whole has gained immense popularity for advertisers and on social media, frequently playing backdrop for car commercials, emerging music groups, and Instagram models—an unanticipated consequence of the TMC’s architecture which will also be highlighted in the exhibition.

In advance of the exhibition opening, a lecture, panel discussion, and musical performance will be held in Cooper Union’s Great Hall at 6:30 pm on April 6, 2022. For details and register to attend the opening HERE

Lyrical Urbanism is made possible by Dean Nader Tehrani, the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, The Cooper Union, The Taipei Cultural Center in New York, The Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, The Taipei Music Center, and Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown.

Lyrical Urbanism: The Taipei Music Center
April 7-29, 2022
the Cooper Union, Foundation Building, Fl 3, Located at 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues
New York, NY 10003

About Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture DPC
Reiser+Umemoto, RUR Architecture is an internationally recognized architecture office and design atelier. Since its founding in 1986 by principals Jesse Reiser (FAIA, FAAR) and Nanako Umemoto, the firm has remained at the forefront of contemporary architectural design through its built and speculative projects, critical writings, workshops, lectures, teaching, and mentorship.

In 2010, the firm was awarded first prize for the Taipei Music Center and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal in Taiwan, both of which began construction in 2013. The Taipei Music Center was completed in 2021, and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal is expected to be completed in 2022. O-14, a 22-story exoskeletal office tower in Dubai, was completed in 2012 and has since received numerous international honors, including an AIA Design Award, the Concrete Industry Board’s 2009 Award of Merit, the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 2009 Diamond Award, and the 10 Year Award of Excellence by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

In 2006, Reiser+Umemoto published the Atlas of Novel Tectonics, widely recognized as an essential work of contemporary architectural theory. The firm’s first comprehensive monograph, Projects and Their Consequences, was published in 2019, tracing thirty years of innovative, multidisciplinary investigations of form, structure, technique, and planning.

Awards and honors include the Chrysler Award for Excellence in Design, the Academy Award in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Citation and John Hejduk Award from the Cooper Union, and the USA Booth Fellowship from United States Artists for Architecture & Design.

About Taipei Music Center
Taipei Music Center opened on September 2020. The first site in Taiwan created for and wholly dedicated to musics in Taiwan, the center contains a Concert Hall accommodating up to 5,000 people, a Cultural Hall presenting the history of popular music in Taiwan, and a Creative Hub which serve as an incubator for young musical talents. The construction is funded by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and executed by Taipei City Government. Kay Huang is appointed by the Mayor of Taipei City the chairperson of the board of the TMC.

Press Contact:
Susan Grant Lewin Associates
Kate Robertson

Taipei Cultural Center in New York
Yen-Chang Chou

The Taipei Music Center. Photograph courtesy Reiser+Umemoto, RUR Architecture, Yana Zhezhela & Alek Vatagin, photographers.

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Taiwan Comics Booth Returns to MoCCA Arts Festival

The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is pleased to invite two Taiwanese comic artists, Chien-Fan Liu (劉倩帆) and Ruei-Yi Fang (房瑞儀), to participate in the 2022 MoCCA Arts Festival, which will return to an in-person format. Their co-edited comic anthology “Bo_ing.comix” will be featured at this year’s Taiwan Comics Booth (no. C245). Comic lovers are welcome to check out the booth and meet the artists, who traveled from halfway around the world to participate!

The “Bo_ing.comix” project was born when these two young girls met each other at the 2018 Angoulême International Comics Festival. Since then, they have released an issue of “Bo_ing.comix” every 3-4 months. In each issue, they invite different Taiwanese artists to create a short story or narrative under a distinct theme. 

Liu said that “We aim to explore different kinds of comics and hope that this project can showcase a large range of narrative works from artists all over Taiwan. It is extremely interesting to see artists’ different perspectives of the same theme included. We have already published 4 editions and 1 special edition, Bo_ing comix SE, which was published in 2021.”

In discussing the project’s origins, Fang added that “‘Bo_ing’ comes from a Taiwanese dialect word meaning ‘busy.’ It also looks like the English word ‘boring’ but without the ‘r.’ We hope that this double meaning is what best describes ‘Bo_ing.comix’ to our readers: people are busy reading our comics, and they won’t be bored at all!”

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu and Fang selected ““An Island Decameron (島嶼十日談)” as this year’s exhibit theme. Liu explained that “In Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio, a group of people shelter in a secluded house to escape the Black Death. They tell stories to amuse themselves, just like what we do during the pandemic. Our artists gather together to tell stories in the form of comics.”  

Liu and Fang also noted their excitement over having the opportunity to bring their work to the United States for the first time. “We sincerely invite comic lovers in New York to our apartment, island, and shelter, where they can find the most healing stories in the world!” 

The MoCCA Arts Festival, organized by the Society of Illustrators, will take place on April 2 - 3, 2022, from 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM on Saturday and 11:00AM - 6:00PM on Sunday. It will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which is located at 125 W 18th St. In addition, the festival will feature panels by top artists and speakers focusing on current issues, which will take place at the SVA Flatiron Gallery, located at 133/141 West 21st Street. For more information, please visit the MoCCA Arts Festival’s website at

About Chien-Fan Liu (劉倩帆)
Chien-Fan Liu is a freelance illustrator and comic artist based in Taiwan. Her illustrations have appeared in The Anne Times, The Big Issue Taiwan, The Affairs, Fountain, and other magazines. Inspired by European contemporary comics and Japanese Gekiga, she likes to explore unique possibilities within the bounds of comic art. She won the second place prize for digital comics at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2018. In 2022, Liu published her book, Melting Dreams (融化夢想)in Japan.

Follow the artist on Instagram @cfan.liu.

About Ruei-Yi Fang (A.K.A. Elainee, 房瑞儀/藍尼

Currently based in Taiwan, Ruei-Yi Fang works as both an occupational therapist and comic artist as a result of her interdisciplinary background. She has been focusing on how visual narratives act as a conduit for self-dialogue and perhaps even eventual self-healing. Fang received a sponsorship to complete an artist-in-residence in Angouleme in late 2017, where she was strongly inspired by European comics and became more determined to create her own workHer first commercial book, OT Diary (OT相談室), was released in 2020.

Follow the artist on Instagram @elaineefang.


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Seven Taiwanese Films to be Presented at 2022 Asian Pop-Up Cinema; Kai Ko (柯震東) Wins APUC Bright Star Award
2022 Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 14 will take place through April 10 in Chicago, Illinois. Seven films from Taiwan, including Increasing Echo (修行), You Have to Kill Me (我是自願讓他殺了我), Treat or Trick (詭扯), Grit (鱷魚), Jang-Gae: The Foreigner (醬狗), No Man is an Island (没有人該成為孤島), and Waiting for My Cup of Tea (一杯熱奶茶的等待), will be featured online and in-person at the Chicago Asian Pop-Up Cinema from April 4-10.

These movies also feature some of the best actors and actresses in Taiwan. Increasing Echo’s Chen Shiang-Chyi (陳湘琪) was nominated for Best Leading Actress at the 58th Golden Horse Awards (金馬獎), and Treat or Trick’s Liu Guan-Ting (劉冠廷) took home the award for Best Supporting Actor and the film also received six additional nominations. Moreover, one of the nominees for Best New Performer, Devin Pan (潘綱大), had a supporting role in Waiting for My Cup of Tea. In addition, Kai Ko, who was the leading actor in Grit, won the award for Best New Performer in 2011 and received two nominations for Best Actor in the 2016 and 2021 Golden Horse Awards. Kai Ko also received the 2022 APUC Bright Star Award, which is meant to honor outstanding Asian performers, for his transformative performance. Waiting for My Cup of Tea has been selected as the closing night movie for APUC season fourteen.

The full APUC lineup is representative of Taiwanese creators’ success in all genres of filmmaking, including mystery, romance, comedy, drama, realism, and documentary.

You Have to Kill Me, directed by Chan Chun-Hao (詹淳皓), is adapted from the best-seller of the same title by Taiwanese novelist Fong Shih (逢時). The fictional detective plot starts with an unusual scenario: the murderer is arrested at the beginning instead of the end of the story.

Waiting for My Cup of Tea was created, written, and directed by Phoebe Jan Fu-Hua (詹馥華). The romantic best-seller tells a story of love and friendship between strangers. Simon Lian (連晨翔), the leading actor, was particularly impressed by Devin Pan’s acting. “His performance was so astonishing and enticing that it evoked vivid emotions, even as he was delivering the lines," according to Lian in a news release for the film in November 2021.

Treat or Trick, directed by Hsu Fu-Hsiang (許富祥), is a comedy horror film. The movie is based on a Korean film titled “To Catch a Virgin Ghost (我們全村都不是人),” which came out in 2004. Along with a Golden Horse Award, it also won the grand jury prize for feature films at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Awards (富川國際奇幻影展).

Chih-Wei Chang (張智瑋) directed Jang-Gae: The Foreigner, which was inspired by his own life experience. The drama discloses the identity dilemma of Taiwanese Koreans. “They look Chinese but they’re not Chinese, they have Taiwan passports but they’re not Taiwanese, they were born in South Korea but they’re not Korean,” as Chang stated in an interview with a local newspaper.

Increasing Echo, directed by Chienn Hsiang (錢翔), portrays the run-of-the-mill life of a middle-aged woman who is in a struggling relationship with her husband. She deals with ex-mistresses to keep her marriage alive, yet her husband has completely given up on making any kind of effort. It’s “a great film, a triumph of realism and cinematic precision, and one that fans of (European) art-house will definitely have a blast with,” as Panos Kotzathanas concluded in his review for Asian Movie Pulse.

Grit, directed by Chen Ta-Pu (陳大璞), is a romantic drama about a young gangster who re-enters society by working at a city councilor’s office after being released from prison. This lighthearted tale is about a reformed gangster attracted to an innocent landowner whose property is in danger of being expropriated.
Taiwan, an island nation of about 24 million people, has been extraordinarily successful in containing COVID-19. During the pandemic, No Man is an Island, directed by Jay Chen (陳鈺杰), documented the origin of the first “quarantine hotel” in Taiwan and its guests: the first batch of inbound travelers undergoing compulsory isolation for fourteen days. The film provides intimate insights into their difficult journey and their emotions while trying to conquer their fears.

2022 APUC season 14 Taiwanese cinema screening schedule:

🎥In-person screening at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois Street)
Increasing Echo|April 9|1:30 pm
Treat or Trick|April 9|4:30 pm
Grit|April 10 |1:30 pm
Waiting for My Cup of Tea|April 10|4:30 pm

🎥Online streaming at
Jang-Gae: The Foreigner|April 4-10
No Man is an Island|April 4-10
You Have to Kill Me|April 4-10

For more information, please visit:

Photographs courtesy of Asian Pop-Up Cinema

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Fulbright-Taiwan Ministry of Culture, Arts Professionals Grants Announcement of 1st-cohort Grantee List
Fulbright-Taiwan Ministry of Culture, Arts Professionals Grants, sponsored by Taiwan Ministry of Culture and U.S. Department of State, released the 1st-cohort official grantee list for Academic Year 2022, which was just approved by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The selected grantees are Dr. Hui-Ling Chen, Associate Curator of National Museum of Natural Science, Mr. Chih-Heng Chuang, Council member of Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT) and Artistic Director of Silver Lining Production and Aye Theatre, and Ms. Shan-Shan Huang, Director of JUT Art Museum. Their research topics cover the fields of museum volunteer, theater technology, and the public relationship of art museum.

Ministry of Culture cooperated with the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan), the office administering Fulbright programs in Taiwan since 2018, to select arts professionals participating in Fulbright exchange programs in the U.S. From Academic Year 2019 to 2021, seven grantees were selected. Considering that the cultivation of behind-the-scenes professionals and the relevant continuing education lack public attention and support in Taiwan, this program was upgraded to a hyphenated grant in 2021. And the support fields were extended from administration to technical support, curatorial and critical practices, to optimize the art/culture industry ecology in Taiwan. Grantee’s benefits include airfare, baggage allowance, stipend for living and research in the U.S. for 3 months, which are provided by the Ministry of Culture.

After upgraded, the 1st cohort of 3 grantees will travel to the U.S. in the Academic Year 2022. Dr. Hui-Ling Chen, Associate Curator of National Museum of Natural Science plans to visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to do the project “Young volunteer training and theater event management of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis”. Mr. Chih-Heng Chuang, Council member of Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT) and Artistic Director of Silver Lining Production and Aye Theatre schedules to be hosted by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) to conduct his project “How theatrical technicians in the United States handle challenges in pandemic times, as well as the their plans for the future”. Ms. Shan-Shan Huang, Director of JUT Art Museum proposes to conduct her research “The relationship between art museums and the public after the pandemic” in the museum in New York.

The awarded grantees, who were selected before the Program was upgraded, are also well recognized in different professional fields, including Mr. Liang-Pin Tsao, Founder and Director of Lightbox Photo Library, Ms. Hsu-Ping Wang, Independent Producer, Ms. Feng-Chih Tsou, Manager of National Performing Arts Center- National Theater & Concert Hall, Dr. Li-Hsiang Huang, CEO and Curator of Jieying Cultural & Creative Group, Mr. I-Wei Tsai, Director of Puppetry Art Center of Taipei, and Ms. Yu-Hsien Chen, Project Leader of Save Media Art (SMA) of Taiwan Digital Art Foundation.

Fulbright Program, founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, is a global flagship international education and culture exchange platform. The Fulbright Program in Taiwan is administrated by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan), which has financed over 1,700 Taiwan grantees to the U.S. and more than 2,100 U.S. grantees to Taiwan.

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