The Ministry of Culture held the awards ceremony of the 3rd National Cultural Heritage Preservation Award at Taipei’s Zhongshan Hall on Oct. 8. Over 100 guests of honor paid tribute to the winners of the top honor in cultural preservation work, including President Ma Ying-jeou, who graced the ceremony to present the awards in person.
President Ma Ying-jeou:
“We hope this ceremony and the presentation of such awards give the ladies and gentlemen who have been devoted to heritage preservation, or traditional opera promotion, the recognition they deserve. History is like a long river that cannot afford a gap. Only by passing down our heritage will the power of culture be seen.”
Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai:
“Of all the Culture Ministry’s awards, which is the most modest one that is closest to our roots and the nation’s collective memories? It’s in fact this award being presented today. I have to give special thanks to the panel of judges for recognizing this award’s merits. I also want to thank those who came to receive the awards today. On behalf of the nation’s citizens, I applaud your life-long commitment [to heritage preservation].”
The lifetime achievement award
96-year-old Peking opera diva Tai Chih-hsia is the winner of this year’s Special Jury Award for lifetime achievement. She is dubbed not only a walking encyclopedia on traditional Peking opera, but also a lifelong promoter of the craft since she began her career at 16.
Peking opera diva Tai Chih-hsia:
“I want to tell the organizers that I plan to live until 100 years old. Then I want to stage a performance again as a centennial and act in a Peking opera, which is what I’ve always enjoyed.”
Paying homage to preservationists
The other recipients this year are lacquer artist Wang Ching-shuang; the National Taiwan Museum for restoring the Taipei Camphor Factory; the Luzhou Lee Family Mansion; the Chen Dexing Ancestral Temple; Liao Wu-chih, president of the Taipei Boan Temple; Ho Ta-huang, chairman of the Xingang Fong Tian Temple in Chiayi County; and Tsang Cheng-hwa, an anthropology researcher at Academia Sinica committed to studying the history of underwater excavation in Taiwan.
As Taiwan celebrates the 30th year of its cultural heritage preservation, the Ministry of Culture hopes to continue supporting and rewarding those who have dedicated their lives to this line of work.