1. While in New York, TSENG Ray (ACC 2019) Started a Petition and Online Fundraising for Students Who Were Forced to Move Out of Their Residence 

Without expecting New York State to declare a state of emergency, TSENG, Ray embarked on her grant trip and arrived in New York City on March 1st, 2020 (ACC Office had confirmed with her willingness to travel beforehand). Even though ACC took immediate action and offer her the option of going back to Taiwan, Ray decided to stay until early May, under the concern of contracting the virus on the plane and potentially passing the virus to family members during self-quarantine at home. 

In response to Ray's decision, both New York and Taipei Office were committed to assist Ray, including arranging new housing after her residence, International House, announced a staff member had been confirmed with Covid-19. 
 
The situation at International House has surfaced questions of the legal rights of its residents to remain in their apartments, so Ray started a petition to help those students who were forced to move out after contacting local human rights lawyers. Furthermore, Ray also started an online fundraising, “Emergency Fund for Distressed I-House Residents".

 

 

2. A Strong Comeback Production of Gang-a Tsui Theater (ACC 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2019) Was Canceled Last Minute 

Leading Actress WEI, Mei-Hu (ACC 2009) - Left;  LIN, Ya-Lan (ACC 2006 & 2007) - Right

Founded in 1993, Gang-a Tsui Theater (meaning, "mouth of the harbor") takes the role of both administering the Nanguan Heritage Program, and promoting the modernization of traditional Nanguan and Liyuan theater, endeavoring to endow the traditional arts with contemporary spirits. After performing at Juilliard School in the United States, Kioi Hall in Japan, and Opéra Bastille in France, Gang-a Tsui finally won international recognition. 

Nevertheless, when the Founding Director, CHOU, Yih-Chang, passed away during his ACC grant trip in Indonesia in 2016, Gang-a Tsui took a long pause. Even though official regroup took place in 2018, the revival performance of Zhubun Elopes with the Ghost did not happen until April 2020. Then came Covid-19 that put all the new projects in 2020 on pause again.

More about ACC's relation with Gang-a Tsui and Zhubun Elopes with the Ghost:
As ACC Taiwan's longtime grantee (2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, and 2019), Gang-a Tsui focused on training individual performers and international exchange, which often evolved into remarkable productions and lifelong friendships. The Indonesian court dance and contemporary dance workshops from 2007 to 2009, for instance, were not only limited to artistic exchange between Taiwan and Indonesia, but was also followed by a presentation in the United States. Besides sponsoring Gang-a Tsui's endeavors in Southeast Asia, ACC further granted the opportunity to extend its reach to Japanese Butoh from 2004 to 2006, hosted by Tomoe Shizune & Hakutobo. Such an encounter turned into a collaborative production, Zhubun Elopes with the Ghost, a performance that combined Nanguan, Liyuan play, and Japanese Butoh dance. It is a love story between a scholar Zhubun and a ghost of Wang's adoptive daughter, Yilijin, who adores Zhubun for his honesty.

Stage Director KOH, Choon-Eiow (ACC 2018)

Japanese Butoh Dancer Yoko Ashikawa 

Leading Actress CHENG, Yin-Chen (ACC 2015)

 

 

3. Leading Director/ Actor of Traditional Chinese Theater WU, Xing-Kuo (ACC 2005 & 2007) Goes Online 

Part I: Peking Opera Meets Korean Changgeuk—Farewell My ConcubineWent Online for Free

WU, Xing-Kuo, an internationally acclaimed Taiwanese director and actor as well as the artistic director of Contemporary Legend Theater, revived the Peking opera Farewell My Concubine as a Korean Changguek. It was performed at the National Theater of Korea last year, and was temporarily on streaming for free end of March to combat Covid-19 (unfortunately, it is now removed).

Key scene from Farewell My Concubine

 

Part II: Performances Postponed, but Learning Never Stops 
 
As a director, actor and teacher, WU does not let Covid-19 get in his way. Despite numerous performances being postponed, WU continues to train his actors and rehearse with Chinese Kunqu opera performer, ZHANG Jun, online regularly to stay prepared. WU turns the crisis around by building an efficient online system that could be useful and cost-effective for future rehearsals. 

WU rehearsed with renown Chinese Kunqu opera xiaosheng (male lead role), Zhang Jun, via video chat.

 

 

4. CHEN, Howard (ACC 2001): Three Years of Preparation Could be in Vain

CHEN's current solo exhibition, Meandering Towards the Clouds, is facing problem of little to no attendance at Ting Keng Gallery in Taipei. 

CHEN, Howard's solo exhibition, Meandering Towards the Clouds, originally scheduled from Feb.15th to Mar. 22nd is now extended to May; however, the low attendance rate and temporary shutdown of the gallery make it really difficult for CHEN, who devoted the past three years to this exhibition. Despite the hardships, CHEN is grateful for the support from ACC and Group 33, the donor group of Taiwan, even though gallery visit was canceled over Covid-19 health concern. 
CHEN uses "mosquito nailneedle gun produced exclusively in Taiwan to create his work.

Below are some interesting facts about CHEN's works from his recent TV interview: 

  1. Started out using thumbtacks in his early works, CHEN has switched to "mosquito nail" in the past ten years and created the "mosquito nail shan shui" series, which replaces ink as the traditional medium. 
  1. Because of creating his works under the loud noise of the needle gun, CHEN suffers minor hearing loss. 
  2. Despite the fact that his works require intensive labor, CHEN insists on creating without the help of assistants. 
  3. CHEN began his mosquito nail shan shui series by emulating paintings from the master; however, he has begun to create subjects of his own. 

The geometric composition of CHEN's early work is really different from his current shan shui style. 

 

 

5. WU, Chi-Tsung (ACC 2013) and FONG, Chung-Ray (ACC 1971) Participated in the Inaugural Edition of Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms 

Art Basel launched the first iteration of online viewing rooms in March after cancelling Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 amid Covid-19. 

Represented by Galerie du Monde from Hong Kong, both WU, Chi-Tsung and FONG, Chung-Ray explore the artistic dialogue between the East and the West in the postwar era, and the growing acuteness of cross-cultural exchange.

Cyano-Collage 77 (2020) by WU, Chi-Tsung 

 
Embracing the aesthetics of both traditional Chinese shan shui and Tondo (circular work of art), which were popular in Italy during the 15th century, WU once again broadened the possibilities of the Cyano-Collage series by rendering the composition in round with the East-West nexus. 

2014-11 (2014) by FONG, Chung-Ray

In the past six decades, FONG's styles have changed over the years, including abstraction of the modern style in the 60s, ink on xuan paper, combined written characters and abstract composition, and collage after 1989. 
After winning Rockefeller III Foundation Fellowship (former ACC Fellowship) in the early 70s, he immigrated to the United States and settled down in San Francisco until now. 

 

 

6. TSENG, Chien-Ying (ACC 2017) Brings His Studio to Us 

 

 

As a contemporary ink painter with a background in Chinese ink and gouache painting, TSENG explores ways to reinvent the traditional medium by attempting to express the different states of human mind in modern society. 
 
In order to bring his studio to ACC donors and friends amid Covid-19, TSENG filmed a video (please see pictures from the video below) of his studio located in Taipei. He introduced his new collection of ceramics sculptures that were not yet seen publicly, in which one can see traces of the influence from his grant trip to the Buddhist grottoes on Silk Road. TSENG announced this new collection will be exhibited at the end of this year if Covid-19 is under control.