The Ministry of Culture honored four Taiwanese artists as "national living treasures" in recognition of their intangible cultural achievements and contributions to the arts on Jan. 10.
The ministry listed the awardees as Yu Li-hai (游禮海), Chuang Wu-nan (莊武男), Chiang Shi-mei (江賜美) and Cheng Rom-shing (鄭榮興), all of whom are recognized for the role they have played in preserving the nation's traditional performing arts and crafts.
Yu Li-hai's woodworking skills originate in the Daxi area of Taoyuan which is renowned for traditional wood-based crafts. He is also known for blending traditional Fujian woodworking style and Western carving in works that showcase a unique type of Taiwanese craftsmanship.
Meanwhile, Chuang Wu-nan has been engaged in painting temple objects for over 60 years and is one of last few traditional temple color painters. His works mostly can be seen in temples in northern Taiwan such as Longshan Temple in Taipei, Xingtian Temple, and Guandu Mazu Temple.
Chiang Shi-mei is a puppeteer who has performed glove puppetry in Taiwan for 70 years. The artist has accumulated a rich array of skills, including variations in narration and voice, and developed her signature style. She also founded the Jin Kwei Lo Puppetry Company.
Cheng is a skilled Hakka bayin (客家八音) master who learned the craft from his grandfather. He is also the founder of the Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe.
The national living treasure designation recognizes individuals and groups for their role in preserving the nation's cultural heritage. As of the end of 2021, 59 individuals and groups have received this coveted title.