The 5th Public Arts Awards ceremony was held in Taipei on Sept. 22 to recognize Taiwan's public arts achievements. Winners were met with encouragement from Culture Deputy Minister Dr. Pierre Tzu-pao Yang (楊子葆) and artists Yuma Taru (尤瑪．達陸) and Chen Chien-pei (陳建北).
This year, the Excellence award went to artist Yen Ming-huang (顏名宏) for his work "Hill of Feather Light - 12 Kinds of Dependence of Light (羽光之丘－關於光的12種依靠),” a public installation that is deftly merged with the natural environment to form an artistic landscape in Chiayi's National Chung Cheng University.
The Artistic Creation awards went to Jun T. Lai (賴純純) for her public art "Green Splendid (綠晶典)” installed at the Taichung-based National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Huang Hsin-chien's (黃心健) interactive public installation "The Moment We Meet (相遇時刻)” within the Taipei 101 metro station; and Israeli artist David Gerstein's free-standing sculptures in Hsinchu.
The Environment Integration awards went to "Suspended Mirrors (懸照)” created by Artfield (禾磊藝術) for the Judges Academy in Taipei and Lu Cheng-tao's (呂政道) public installation at Liujia Elementary School in Tainan. Both embodied the integration of environment and art.
The Public Participation awards went to Touhu Elementary School for its "Red Earth Park (紅土地樂園)”; Mingsheng Community for the public art project "Summer．2014 (夏天．2014)”; and Liudui Hakka Cultural Park for the public artwork of "Immigrate, Settle, Cultivate, Study (移墾耕讀).”
The Jury Special award went to the Southern Taiwan Innovation & Research Park for "Square Matrix (方陣),” a collaborative public installation project by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Noiz Architects (別音設計有限公司), artist Keisuke Toyoda (豐田啟介), and Lin Kuo-lung (林國隆), director of Shui-Li Snakekiln Ceramics.
The Education Promotion awards went to the New Taipei City Cultural Affairs Bureau for its public art education and promotion program; Ci-Xin Waldorf High School for its public installation created by Chen Meng-lin (陳孟靈); and the Municipal Nuannuan Elementary School for its public art "Tango Show (暖暖花舞).”
Deputy Minister Yang noted that following the Culture and Arts Reward Act in 1992, public art in Taiwan began to gradually develop. He also shared his experience of working in France, where public art has become a way for the public to connect with memories of their homeland.
The participating works reflect how artists have tried to connect community culture, history, and landscape with local residents and their memories. In the future, public art should grow even more approachable and provoke the public to think about the meaning of each public art piece in relations to local culture, added Yang.
The Ministry of Culture also noted that the Public Arts Awards has encouraged more citizen participation in creating public art and hence fostered the development of such art in Taiwan.
Next year, in a move to boost equal access to culture, the Public Arts Awards will combine policies on art experience and education to enhance public understanding of public art.
Pictures and information of this year's finalists can be found here.