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Taiwanese artist honored with U.S. Medal of Arts for promoting cultural diplomacy

  • Date:2023-09-18
Wang Su-ling

Taiwanese artist Wang Su-ling (王淑鈴) was awarded the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts on Sept. 13 in the White House, becoming the first from Taiwan to receive the recognition.


Wang, along with four other international artists including Tony Abeyta, Sheila Hicks, Robert Pruitt, and Hank Willis Thomas, received the medal from U.S. First Lady Jill Biden at the 2023 International Medal of Arts Ceremony for growing cultural diplomacy through their respective arts.


Born and raised in Taichung, Wang is known for large-scale, abstract paintings that incorporate Eastern and Western cultures. She received a bachelor’s degree from London’s Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in 1997 and then obtained a master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1999.


Her works have been featured and collected by famous museums and galleries worldwide. In 2019, she became the first Taiwanese artist to win the Artist x Artist Gala honoree at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.


“The Singing River 2 (吟唱的河流2),” one of Wang’s largest oil paintings, is a work commissioned by the Art in Embassies program. Taking inspiration from the landscapes in Taiwan she saw in childhood, the work reflects the cross-cultural dialogue between the art history of the East and West.


The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which displayed the artwork in 2016, said on a Facebook post that it is honored to add the painting into its collection. 


The Medal of Arts is established in 2012 by the U.S. State Department as part of the Art in Embassies program to recognize artists who have aided in promoting cultural diplomacy efforts across the globe.


Each year, the program selects artists who make art diplomacy possible at U.S. embassies around the world, encourages discussion and expression, and highlights the communal experience of people from countries, cultures, and backgrounds worldwide.