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In Memory of the Navigator

Ms. Vivien Huai-chun KU
CEO, C.F. Koo Foundation
Former Vice Chairperson, Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion

Although I knew that this day would come, I still feel shocked. As a book says, “Death is so...FINAL.”

I spoke with him on the phone just a month ago. I clumsily asked him how he was, and he said that he was not doing so well as battling cancer was tough. I quickly changed the subject but, in my mind, I kept picturing him with his radiant, carefree, mischievous spirit. Even after hanging up the phone, I could not imagine him being eaten up with sickness.

Growing up in the same alley, I remember that Hsu had several siblings and his youngest sister was my age. The alley we lived in was quite long, his house at the end and mine at the entrance. Occasionally, he would pass by my doorstep, moving swiftly like the wind.

When Hsu had his first violin concert, my mom took me to see it. It was at the International House of Taipei. Hsu looked really handsome with big eyes and a high-bridged nose just like the rest of the Hsu family.

After I engaged in performing arts, he once asked me to partake in the Federation for Asian

Cultural Promotion as a volunteer. He was the most outspoken cultural figure I have encountered in international events, advocating passionately for Taiwan’s music community. I was moved by his sincere dedication several times.

I would like to share a few laughs and commemorate Hsu Po-Yun with an anecdote happening during an international conference.

It was a two-day conference held in Manila. He was the Chairperson. I already informed him that I could not go with him as I was too busy those days. However, he still insisted that I should go and I could not refuse. I decided to go on election day to show my support for the Taiwanese members, so I called to confirm whether the election was on the first or second day. He said it was on the second day before the conference ended, probably around noon.

On the first day of the conference, at noon, I rushed from my office to Taoyuan Airport, and then hopped into a taxi just after arriving at Manila Airport. I got to the venue entrance around the evening and was about to check in and rest, planning to support Hsu’s re-election the next morning. Suddenly, I saw a large crowd surrounding Hsu coming out of the hotel, extremely excited and noisy. Just as I stepped out of the car, Hsu rushed over, pushed me back into the car and beckoned two Koreans to get in too. He chatted with the driver for a few words and the car started, heading straight to a market. Everyone got out of the car and the three gentlemen, with Hsu at the lead, walked off to buy local specialties, chatting and laughing. I had to pay the cab fare, drag my small suitcase and follow from a distance.

If you think this was the climax of my trip, you underestimate Hsu! On the way to the market in the taxi, as soon as the two Koreans heard my name, they congratulated me, saying that they look forward to learning more from me. It turned out that the “wise” chairperson condensed the two-day conference into one day and the meeting was already OVER! What’s more, I, who had not even attended, was elected as vice chairperson! Seeing my stunned expression, the Koreans pointed at Hsu and burst into laughter.

The next day, as the conference had already come to an end, I rushed back to Manila Airport

around noon, returning to Taipei with an unexpected new title, and ran back into my bustling

office. When people heard my story, they all stared at me in astonishment.

Although I had not even gone to the conference or casted any votes, I inexplicably began my long-lasting “volunteer” position as vice chairperson / chairmanship with work duties on my

shoulders. Despite all this, I was grateful that Hsu initiated my experience in international


I firmly believe that he would want me to remember his sparkling eyes, his curious and

mischievous look and his hearty laugh. I decided to remember him just like that as well as his

heartfelt music.

As for his influence on Taiwan’s performing arts, it is evident to all, understood without the need for words.

Farewell to the handsome Hsu from the end of the alley. May you rest in peace!

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