“That’s how you get there—just keep going and you’ll find the way.” On the day of our interview with Chu Chia-yi, he is quietly giving directions to the crew, but could just as easily be describing his career path. Chu’s youth has been an advantage. While everyone was still wondering how far he could go, Chu was heading up makeup special effects for the films The Tag-Along and The Mermaid, along with the TV series Wake Up 2. These have sent him on an uncommon journey for Taiwanese in his fie
A sedate and firmly grounded building stands at the intersection of Taipei’s Zhongshan South Road and Xinyi Road. In contrast, located opposite is Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which often overflows with the sound of boisterous visitors. The building in question, however, remains quiet and composed. In fact, inside are stored texts that have come down through the ages, and have been collected since the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912.
Remaining steadfast despite their history of hardship, the Hakkas are traditionally thought of as a people without a homeland of their own. Taiwan’s mother tongue revival movement of three decades ago sparked a growing sense of ethnic consciousness among Hakkas. Amid the swirling currents of democracy, they have striven to gain respect. Hakka studies first emerged as an academic discipline in Taiwan in 2003. In the 15 years since, the discipline has produced prodigious and varied fruits that h
Hou I-ting has long been concerned about the “politics of the body”—how images of the body are shaped and molded. Whether this molding occurs in mass culture, or in the history of art, or in the politics of women’s bodies, or in the ways that global production chains employ workers’ bodies, she asks questions about familiar images and then proceeds to reveal the “shaping mechanisms” involved.
Should traditional crafts, crystallizations of our ancestors’ wisdom and technical mastery, be expected to die out as times change? Are they so easily replaced by the fresh and newfangled?
Ko Hung-tu, an old painter who claims not to have much experience, works tirelessly with his brush to convey his appreciation of life. A leader in the design field, he has persevered in pursuing his childhood dream. His remarkably lifelike works record the most beautiful moments experienced by living beings.
Rocket engineer Gou Chongsin is so well known in Taiwan that the band Mayday wrote the song “Tough” about him. Taiwan’s dreams of space took flight in 2010 when his Advanced Rocket Research Center carried out Taiwanese academia’s first test launch of a hybrid-propellant rocket, the HTTP-1.
After leaving home at 19, Juan I-jong left his foot-prints across Taiwan as well in remote corners of the globe, but he rarely returned to his roots. In 2017, Yilan Museum of Art’s “On the Way Home: A Retrospective Exhibition of Juan I-jong’s Photography” inspired him to commence his journey home.
In 2015 the American golfer Nelly Korda garnered her first career win as a junior at the Yani Tseng Invitational, sponsored by the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation and the American Junior Golf Association. Three years later she participated in the LPGA Taiwan, earning her first career tour victory there. “Both my championship wins were connected to Swinging Skirts,” she noted. “I’ll forever remember this beautiful place Taiwan.”
The long-running US television series The Big Bang Theory focuses on a group of scientists at the California Institute of Technology, depicting how different the daily routine is for high-IQ geniuses as compared to ordinary people, and winning a global audience in the process. But Taiwan too has a place where brilliant people congregate, with countless anecdotes of eccentric geniuses. It is Taiwan’s leading academic research institution: the Academia Sinica.