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Recipients of the Second Annual Kinmen Cultural Awards Announced

Recipients of the Second Annual Kinmen Cultural Awards Announced
Reporter: Wong Wei-Jhih/County Government

After the public nominated eleven candidates for the second annual Kinmen Cultural Awards held by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Kinmen County, the jury consisting of seven judges decided to give the awards to five contestants: Hong Tian-Ying, Jhang Zai-Sing, Jhuang Si-Shih, Wong Shuei-Cian, and Chen Chang-Cing (listed by age in descending order). Each will receive a badge of honor and a cash award of NT$100,000. The Cultural Affairs Bureau will invite County Magistrate Chen Fu-Hai to present the awards on May 4th.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau has established the Kinmen Cultural Awards in order to reward Kinmen residents over 70 years of age who have long contributed to the cultural development of the county. The Bureau plans to give out the awards every year in the future. Last year, the very first Kinmen Cultural Award was given to the master of prints Lee Shi-Chi, in recognition of the sixty years of his glorious art career, which has brought much prestige to both himself and his hometown Kinmen. For the Awards this year, the Bureau decided to open the contest to the public, allowing both nominations by others and self-nominations, as long as the candidates meet the requirements.
In the end, the Bureau received eleven applications in total. The Bureau invited former Deputy Minister of Culture Chen Yong-Fong, Professor at National Taiwan University and former President of YunTech Yang Yeong-Bin, President of Kinmen People’s Association Li Tai-Shan, former President of the Red Cross Society in Kinmen Wang Shuei-Jhang, Director of Kinmen Traditional Music Center Syu Ming-Fong, Chairman of Kinmen Cultural and Creative Industries Association Huang Jin-Lang, and Director-General of the Cultural Affairs Bureau Lyu Kun-He. After the seven judges cast their votes, five winners were selected. A brief biography of each winner (listed in order of age) is as follows:
- Hong Tian-Ying from Cingci is now 86 years old. He founded Lieyu Nanguan Music Club in 2003 and was elected as its chairman for the first six years. During his two terms, he organized more than twenty exchanges with musicians from Fujian, China, a significant contribution to the Cross-Strait cultural exchange. In order for the Club to develop well, he oversaw and directly contributed to the purchase of instruments and scores, in addition to actively seeking support from various quarters. In view of most members’ old age, Hong actively recruited new, younger members, hoping to build a sustainable future for the Club and ensure the preservation of this musical legacy. In totally, there were 22 new members this year. Hong is also currently serving as a consultant for the County Government.
- Jhang Zai-Sing from Houpu is now 85 years old. As a young man, he helped his father carve more than ten of the renowned “Wu Wang Zai Jyu” memorial stones, which went on to become the symbols of Kinmen. Jhang subsequently worked as a professional gravestone carver for over four decades, with a prolific output that amounts to over a thousand gravestones and memorials. He also serves the public by helping to preserve and conserve the stonework in temples such as Wan’an Temple, Mazu Temple, and Wude Temple. Besides his own work, Jhang has also worked hard to pass on his legacy to his five children—Jhang Guo-Ying, Jhang He-Syuan, Jhang Guo-Gen, Jhang Guo-Rong, and Jhang Guo-Jhen—who all have become accomplished artists themselves. The two joint exhibitions of stone sculptures by father and sons have received much acclaim from critics and the likes.
- Jhuang Si-Shih from Siputou is now 81 years old. A professional mason for over six decades, Jhuang specializes in bricklaying, veneer masonry, and the ridges of gabled roofs. Especially renowned for his exceptional skill in roof construction, he prides himself in his craftsmanship and his punctilious work in temples, ancestral shrines, and traditional houses alike. His work ethic is widely recognized and praised among the masons. Jhuang was named as one of the Living National Treasures by the Ministry of Culture in 2016. He has participated in the repair work of Minwang Temple, Zhenwei Residence in Beishan, the Tsais’ family shrine and the Protection Temple in Cyonglin, the Syues’ family shrine in Jhushan, the Military Headquarters, and several others.
- Wong Shuei-Cian from Dingbao is now 80 years old. He started learning woodworking at the age of 23 and since then has continued on in the craft for over half a century. He is particularly skilled at measuring, proportioning the blueprint, and making various measurement tools as well as various mortise-and-tenon units. Nearly five decades of woodworking have given him a wealth of experience in traditional temple building, making him a rare intangible cultural heritage in the conservation of Kinmen’s temple culture. He regularly helps repair the family shrines in Kinmen. His works can be found everywhere in Kinmen, such as the Lis’ family shrine in Nanshan, Hong’s family shrine in Houfong Harbor, the Lins’ family shrine in Lyucuo, the Wongs’ family shrine in Dingbao, the Syus’ family shrine in Houpu, and the Jhengs’ family shrine in Sibian. He was named one of the Living National Treasures (as a keeper of the woodworking craft) by the Ministry of Culture in 2016.
- Chen Chang-Cing from Bishan is now 71 years old. After Chen was forced to drop out of school in seventh grade due to his family’s financial circumstances, he took his studies into his own hands and eventually embarked on a literary career that lasted for over four decades. He devoted the majority of his career to the writing of Peripheral Literature and has developed a unique personal style noted for his sincerity, compassion for the society, and dedication to Taiwanese literature. In terms of both quality and quantity, he has made a major contribution to Kinmen with his works. In 1973, he founded the quarterly Kinmen Literature with his friends and took on the role of its chairman and publisher. He worked tirelessly to discover and foster new talents. He has also managed the Changchun Bookstore for over two decades now while serving as the chairman of Kinmen Caifong Cultural Association. His works include novels, novellas, and collections of prose that add up to 33 volumes in total: To the Girl in Foreign Lands, Fireflies, Farewells to Hainan Island, The Lost Spring, The Autumn Lotus, A Shared Windowed View of Winds and Rain, Seeing West Lake Again, The Midnight Di Player, The Flower of Spring, The Woman who Blossomed in Winter, The Red Cotton Tree Blossomed and then Withered Again, Sia Mingjhu, Love in the Times of War, Sunset in Mashan, Time Has Left Us, Little Beauty, Siousiou: Daughter of the Lis’, A Hard Life, The Remains of the Sunset, Conquering Another Mountain in Literature, Perseverance in a Time of Despondency, Dotted Sea Snails, The Prodigal Son, Chueige, Never Leave it Blank, The General and the Rice, Little Chili, Father’s Will, The Kinmen Tea Room that Underwent Times of War, the Kinmen Tea Room (which won the Taiwanese Documentary Award given by Academia Historica), and Collection of Chen Chang-Chin’s Works (from 1996 to 2005, 10 volumes in total).
According to Director-General of the Cultural Affairs Bureau Lyu Kun-He, the five awardees were selected not only for their achievements and long-term dedication to the culture as individuals but also, more importantly, for their contribution to the preservation of the local culture and its legacy. This factor of consideration that led the judges to reach a consensus soon after some discussion, for the whole point of the Cultural Awards is to give recognition to those who have long contributed to the development of the culture in Kinmen, so that the public will recognize and respect their efforts, and hopefully some will be encouraged to follow their examples.
Lyu Kun-He also stated that there are a lot of valuable talents in Kinmen. Those who were not selected this time have also made significant contributions to the culture. Due to the limited number of awards, it’s regrettable but inevitable that more deserve to be recognized than awards can be given. Next year the same award celebration will be held again, and the Cultural Affairs Bureau welcomes all to nominate or participate. The Bureau will ensure a just, transparent selection, and the selected nominees will timely receive due recognition and awards. The second annual Kinmen Cultural Awards Ceremony will be held in public on May 4th.

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  • Date:2017-11-30