In 2019, ACC New York and Taipei Offices launched the Taiwan Southeast Asia Program (TSAP) to engage ACC alumni from Taiwan and Southeast Asia to research and envision opportunities for culture exchange. Through its close cultural ties and geographical proximity to countries in Southeast Asia, Taiwan is well-positioned to serve as a bridge between the regions.
The debut year of TSAP focused on two fields: contemporary visual art and traditional music and theater. Participating grantees included ACC alumni Lê Thuận Uyên (ACC 2017), Isa Ho (ACC 2012, 2016), and Gang-A-Tsui Theater (ACC 2006, 2015).
After returning from her grant trip, Lin Ya-Lan from Gang-A-Tsui Theater shared that visiting and interviewing Vietnamese musicians and theater professionals was an unforgettable experience that enhanced her depth as a performer. Her experience reminded me of our beloved, deceased grantee Chou Yih-Chang (ACC 2006, 2015), who founded Gang-A-Tsui in 1993. He was a master of traditional theater and an advocate for continuous development through collaborating with different forms of performing arts around the world. Lê Thuận Uyên, a leading contemporary art curator in Vietnam, also shared her experience with our grantess, partners, and donors, noting both the challenges of censorship and promising future of Vietnamese art.
Although the second year of TSAP coincided with the pandemic, the program was able to continue with success virtually. Grants supported the exchange of individuals and organizations across Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan and in fields ranging from visual art to curation to theater. Alongside our traditional grantmaking, we also launched the Taiwan Alumni Pandemic Response Initiative, surveying the needs of the Taiwanese arts community and subsequently providing support to ten individuals and ten organizations.
As we look to the future, we are committed to our work providing opportunities for artists in Taiwan and beyond. I am excited to see how TSAP continues to develop into a successful platform for artists in Asia, with organic and innovative outcomes benefitting communities in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Last but not least, I would like to thank the ACC Taiwan Foundation Board and all our donors for their constant support.
Director, ACC Taiwan
This message is part of ACC's 2019-2020 Annual Report. To read more, visit: https://www.asianculturalcouncil.org/pdf/2019-2020-annual-report.pdf.