The 23rd Taiwan-France Cultural Award was presented to French scholar Josiane Cauquelin, Taiwanese radio presenter Miao Yung-hua (繆詠華), and German opera director Lukas Hemleb on July 1 in Paris by Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Culture Hsiao Tsung-huang and Georges-Henri Soutou and Jean-Robert Pitte, two executives of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques under the Institut de France.
The award was set up in 1996 by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs, the predecessor of the Ministry of Culture. The Deputy Minister attended the July 1 ceremony in France on behalf of Minister Cheng Li-chiun.
Cauquelin, a French anthropologist, was awarded for her contributions to studies on the Taiwanese indigenous tribe of Puyuma. She began researching the Nanwang branch of the tribe in 1983 and has since produced many papers, videos, and audio documents on their culture, with her Nanwang Puyuma-English Dictionary (卑南語/英語字典) becoming the most important tool for learning the Puyuma language.
Moreover, she has donated all of the Puyuma artifacts that she gathered to the Musée de l'Homme in Paris. The collection is currently being housed and sorted by the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
Miao — who is proficient in English, French, and Mandarin Chinese — hosts a French-language program at Radio Taiwan International (RTI) that introduces the treasures of the National Palace Museum. She has also translated numerous literary works and movie subtitles between French and Mandarin, helping facilitate the exchange of cultures among Taiwan, France, and Europe.
The France-based director Hemleb was invited to direct the opera "Luo Shen Fu (洛神賦)," or "Tale of the Luo River Goddess," created by the Taiwan-based Han Tang Yuefu Ensemble (漢唐樂府), a well-known Nanguan music and dance troupe, in 2006. He also designed the stage and lighting for the opera.
Two years later, he was invited to direct another opera, "Mackay ― The Black Bearded Bible Man (福爾摩沙信簡―黑鬚馬偕)" that was produced by Taiwanese composer-conductor Gordon Chin (金希文), and design its stage and lighting. Hemleb is now adapting novelist Wu Ming-yi's (吳明益) "The Man with the Compound Eyes (複眼人)" into a modern opera that will hold its world premiere in Taiwan.
When expressing the Ministry's gratitude to the three awardees for their contributions to Taiwan's culture and arts, the Deputy Minister cited Minister Cheng's words, saying that the progress of history and culture is not carried by upon the back of one single individual taking one hundred steps, but by one hundred individuals taking one step forward together.
Attending dignitaries also included ROC Representative to France François Chih-chung Wu (吳志中); three Académie members; two members of the French National Assembly; François Laurent, director for international relations at the French Ministry of Culture; David Kibler, cultural counsellor of the French Office in Taipei (Bureau Français de Taïwan); and Taiwanese indigenous artist Sakuliu Pavavalung (撒古流・巴瓦瓦隆), the winner of Taiwan's 20th National Awards of Art.