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Prof. Chen Kai-Huang becomes TNUA president

What’s New
Poster:Secretariat OfficePost date:2017-08-11
No. of visits:19

Prof. Chen Kai-Huang took office as TNUA’s new president on August 1. Prof. Chen holds a master’s degree in Plastic Art from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA). He is known for his mixed-media plastic art, installation art, conceptual art, and contemporary art theory and thinking. He joined TNUA’s faculty in 1992, and has since headed the Department of Fine Arts, the Graduate Institute of Trans-disciplinary Arts, the School of Fine Arts, and the Office of Student Affairs.

Prof. Chen, who has shown long-term interest in the changing cultural subjectivity and in art’s social participation in his study of politico-historical issues about identity, is a foremost advocate of a Taiwanese aesthetic. So far he has completed more than 100 art projects under his grand scheme, called “Measurement of Inter-Cultures,” whose major focus is on the common concerns and collective imagination about cultural geography, land and identity.      

As TNUA marks its 35th anniversary, Prof. Chen will lead the university towards its goals: reorienting the higher arts education; introducing friendly management of the campus; enlisting the help of alumni; building a platform for expanding resources; running an advanced education system for art professionals; and turning TNUA into a world-class arts institution.

Prof. Chen went on to say that the professional capabilities of staging performances, curating exhibitions and conducting research are the core of learning for arts universities. TNUA was founded in response to the beliefs of a particular era and local cultural development, not only aiming to bridge the gap between arts education and the trends of arts, but also attempting to create an environment to let artists focus on creating art and give students multifarious education. “My ideal arts university is one that embraces maximum differences, and its president’s mission is to create such an environment for art creation and education,” stressed Prof. Chen. He stressed that TNUA gathers together numerous talented artists, and its responsibility is to preserve the tradition and make advancements, continuing to deepen the links and interactions between different areas, maintaining an open discourse for art production, and making TNUA a truly ideal venue for pursuing the ideals and praxis of art.

Prof. Chen noted that with its outstanding alumni TNUA can attract more talented students; and with support from an efficient administrative team its faculty can focus on teaching and art creation. He said these four elements are inseparable. Each member of the team is highly autonomous, making decisions of his or her own. They have to be well aware of their tasks so that they can achieve the overall goals, allowing the four bodies of the university – the alumni, students, staffers and teachers – to engage one another in interactions and dialogues, and to enhance communication and understanding. At the same time, with respect for and understanding of the core values and characteristics of different disciplines of art, TNUA will build a flexible administrative team using the concept of a “flat” structure, allowing the management of the university to better serve the needs of the development of a dedicated arts university. 

TNUA will also seek to enlist resources from society and team up with outside enterprises to create a platform for cultural and art startups. It will integrate its own and outside resources, building a cross-boundary think tank and arts university alliance in order to facilitate resources sharing. It will also seek to raise the visibility of its students and teachers in society, allowing society to know the value of forward-looking art instead of drowning in the worldly standards.  

“Freedom” and “differences” are the core values of art, and art and culture are the most valuable assets of TNUA. Prof. Chen expects all at TNUA to jointly create such a campus of art, and embrace a world-view that places emphasis on art’s social responsibility, extending the praxis of art by TNUA’s students and teachers and taking a great stride towards making TNUA a world-class arts university.

A few hundred guests of honor from the government, academia and industries witnessed Prof. Chen’s inauguration as TNUA’s new president at a ceremony held at the Concert Hall on August 1. 

Among them were former TNUA President Prof. Ju, Tzong-Ching, who is now chairman of the National Performing Arts Center, and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je. Prof. Ju noted that the TNUA presidency is a prestigious position. Although it carries great responsibility, it is a sweet burden, he said. As a leader of Taiwan’s higher education for the arts, TNUA has produced numerous artists that shine on the international stage, he said. He expressed the hope that all walks of society can continue support TNUA, investing more resources in the university.

Mr. Ko disclosed that when he was running for the Taipei mayoral post, it was Prof. Chen who devised his campaign platform: “Changes to Taiwan start with the capital city, and changes to the capital city starts with culture.” He noted that Prof. Chen is not only an excellent artist, but also the leader of an art program of the city and the author of the city’s cultural policy white paper. Mr. Ko said he hopes TNUA can become a major source of talent for supporting Taipei City’s art and cultural policies in the future, forming an important cultural axis stretching from TNUA at Kuandu to the city government in downtown Taipei. He said he believes such collaboration can change the direction of Taiwan’s history.   

Caption: Minister of Education Pan Wen-Chung (left)  presents a certificate of employment to TNUA's new president, Prof. Chen Kai-Huang (right).

Last modification time:2017-08-30 AM 10:32

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