When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." — John 8:12
Art Bank Taiwan has partnered up with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See to curate a special light-themed art show spotlighting the passion and love that the Taiwanese people have for life and this world. Aptly titled "The Light of the World," the 21-artist exhibition runs from July 3, 2019 through April 30, 2020 at the Vatican.
From a physics perspective, light is a visible electromagnetic wave. From a religious perspective, light symbolizes salvation, beauty, and happiness in the Christian faith. Just as physical light can be seen by all, religious enlightenment seeks to advance universal values and truths.
For "The Light of the World" exhibition, Art Bank Taiwan has gathered 23 pieces of exciting artworks by 21 contemporary Taiwanese artists in its collection, whereas the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts is also loaning art by seasoned artists Chan Chien-yu (詹前裕) and Ho Huey-chih (賀惠芝). Painter Tseng Ying-tung (曾英棟) has entrusted one of his personal art pieces to the Vatican show as well.
Encompassing sculptures and paintings as well as new media installations, these artworks will be displayed at none other than the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See. As part of a pioneering pan-ministerial collaboration, the Ministry of Culture offers funding and autonomy to Art Bank Taiwan in purchasing and loaning Taiwan-made art, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides space and exposure via its overseas offices and embassies.
This joint pursuit of cultural diplomacy began in October 2017, and Taiwanese artworks have since traveled to the historic Twin Oaks estate in Washington, DC; Taipei Cultural Center in New York; and Taipei Representative Office in Singapore, among others.
Catholic priests came to Taiwan onboard Spanish fleets in 1626, marking the official beginning of Catholic missionary work and welfare services on the isle. In the four centuries that followed, Taiwan encountered the forces of the Ming and Qing dynasties, imperial Japan, and World War II. Yet even in the most tumultuous of times, the Catholic Church and Christian missionaries never left nor abandoned Taiwan and her people, serving through practical initiatives such as charity, medical services, and education.
Artistic and cultural creations are a form of documentation and communication, for artists observe with their eyes and feel with their hearts. They have recorded many stories of light and kindness, of faith, of transition between cultures, and of love towards all living beings. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See to learn more about the diversity of Taiwan’s contemporary art scene and the rich and vibrant foundation upon which Taiwanese society is built.
Group tours for 15 members or up can be arranged by contacting the embassy two weeks in advance via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.taiwanembassy.org/va_en and artbank.ntmofa.gov.tw/en.
Recent Taiwan-Holy See cultural exchanges include Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun's 2017 trip to the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, and an ongoing program for training restoration talent with the Vatican Museums.
THE L I G H T OF THE WORLD
NIU Jun-Qiang, Iyo Kacaw, Etan Pavavalung, TU Pei-Shih, LIN Yang-Ling, LIN Chun-Ju, Meika Walis, SUN Pei-Mao, HSU Can-Lin, CHEN Min-Tse, Jessica TAO, TSENG Mei-Chen, TSENG Ying-Tung, HO Huey-Chih, HUANG Po-Hsun, YANG Yi-Syuan, CHAN Chien-Yu, LIU Yun-Yi, LIU Yu-Fang, JEN Fu-Cheng, Gina CHIAO, HSIAO Ya-Hsin, SU Tzu-Han
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See; Taiwan Art Bank, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Matthew S.M. LEE, LIN Chi-Ming
Begoña H. L. TSAI, Kevin UY