The Chinese Cultural Renaissance was launched in Taiwan in opposition to the Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China. From 1966, the Kuomintang government launched a series of cultural campaigns to transform Taiwan from a postcolonial region of Japan into a “headquarters for the anti-communist renaissance”. Music and dance were believed to be crucial to the success of the Movement, and several cultural forms were introduced or reinvented. One government program was the nationwide “Music Installation Project,” which was founded on the belief that “proper” music can transform society. Using interviews, recordings and official documents, this paper will examine the formulation of ceremonial music for state and communal rituals — specifically the reconstructed Confucian ceremony and “wedding ceremony,” — to contextualize how the KMT adopted certain music and rites, and trace the impact on contemporary Taiwan.
About the Speaker
TSAI Tsan-huang is a Senior Lecturer at Australian National University. Having studied ethnomusicology (M.Mus) at Sheffield and anthropology (M.Phil and D.Phil) at Oxford, he taught three years at Nanhua University in Taiwan and six years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong before joined the Australian Centre on China in the World as a Post-doctorial Research Fellow in 2013. His research covers a wide range of disciplines, including ethnomusicology, organology, anthropology, and Chinese/Taiwanese studies. He is the author of an upcoming monograph From the Scholarly Chamber to the World Stage, two edited books Captured Memories of a Fading Musical Past: The Chinese Instrument Collection at the Music Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Yuan-Liou Publishing Co, 2010) and Listening to China’s Cultural Revolution: Music, Politics, and Cultural Continuities co-edited with Paul Clark and Laikwan Pang (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), and more than twenty articles published in both Chinese and English languages examining the Chinese seven-stringed zither, Buddhist music, music and politics of Taiwan, and theoretical/methodological issues of organology. His scholarly awards include an Affiliated Fellowship (International Institute for Asian Studies), an Endeavour Fellowship (Australian Government), a Visiting Fellowship (ANU’s Humanities Research Centre), a PhD Fellowship (Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation), and the Gribbon Award (American Musical Instrumental Society).
After the Seminar
All attendees are invited to join us in the CIW Tea House for informal discussion with the guest speaker after the seminar. With the consent of speakers, seminars are recorded and made publicly available through the Seminar Series’ website to build an archive of research on the Sinophone world.