Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S. M. Lee (left) addresses dignitaries alongside Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, at the opening of the exhibition “The Light of the World—Contemporary Arts from Taiwan” July 3 at the country’s embassy to the Holy See. (MOFA)
An exhibition spotlighting the nation’s vibrant arts scene kicked off July 3 at Taiwan’s embassy to the Holy See as part of government efforts to bolster cultural exchanges with the diplomatic ally.
“The Light of the World—Contemporary Arts from Taiwan” features 26 artworks by 23 talents. These include pieces by sculptor Iyo Kacaw and artist Etan Pavavalung from the indigenous Amis and Paiwan tribes, respectively, as well as paintings by Chan Chien-yu, Ho Huey-chih and Tseng Ying-tung.
Running through April 30 next year, the show is organized by the embassy in collaboration with Art Bank, a Ministry of Culture program that procures works from Taiwan creators and leases them out to showcase the country’s arts environment.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S. M. Lee said the Catholic Church has played an important role in Taiwan society for over 150 years. This is underscored by the numerous missionaries who have dedicated their lives to boosting public well-being in the nation, he added.
According to Lee, this exhibition underscores Taiwan’s commitment to further deepening this strong partnership across the board, including in the fields of cultural promotion and the advancement of shared values like human rights and religious freedom.
Dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony included Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Lin Chi-ming, director of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in the central city of Taichung.
Taiwan and the Holy See have maintained robust relations since establishing official ties in 1942, with cooperation and exchanges spanning areas like culture, education and humanitarian work. Examples include hosting the World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea in October 2017 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, and signing a memorandum of understanding on combating money laundering, terrorism financing and associated offenses the same year.