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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 conferences. 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!
The Firsts of New Aspect, the Foundation of Art and Culture
-- Bits and Pieces of Hsu Po-Yun’s Life in Arts Dr. Wu Jing-Jyi Endowed Chair in Creativity & Emeritus Professor, National Chengchi University In 1978, Hsu Po-Yun and Fan Man-Nong established New Aspect. The motivation was based on values rather than profits. However, even in the competitive society of Taiwan, their foresight in cultural innovation resulted in many firsts. New Aspect was the first activity center in Taiwan that primarily focuses on performing arts but also includes visual arts. Three years after its establishment, the Council for Cultural Affairs (predecessor of the Ministry of Culture) was formed. Five years later, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established, followed by the National Theatre & National Concert Hall preparatory office’s establishment after another two years. Then after 21 years, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs was founded. If New Aspect could have had a fixed government budget and a permanent performance venue, one can only wonder what the cultural activities and performing arts landscape in Taiwan could have become over the years. The government’s cultural institutions and venues would have taken a different form, and New Aspect would have had a much bigger impact. Nowadays, both central and local governments put huge effort into holding Taiwan International Festival of Arts and Taipei Fringe Festival. However, back in the 1980s, New Aspect had already started to organize large-scale International Arts Festivals, inviting numerous international performance groups and artists. Of course, the term “international” includes Taiwan. At that time, the indigenous warrior dance from Taiwan’s Orchid Island did not have much recognition on the main island. However, due to New Aspect’s pioneering move of inviting the Tao people to perform alongside international artists, it gradually gained recognition and appreciation from the public. Unexpectedly and surprisingly, at the backstage of the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Tao people and their joint performers, the Invatan dancers from Ballet Philippines, found that their languages are pretty similar! New Aspect was also the first to organize a small-scale Fringe Festival that encompassed both international and local artists and groups from over a hundred countries. Just like inviting the Tao people from Orchid Island to the International Arts Festival, they also brought international art performances to many cities and towns across Taiwan. In the 1980s, the global community had little knowledge about Taiwan’s performing arts. New Aspect was the first to introduce Taiwanese groups and their arts, featuring regeneration of traditional culture, onto the world stage. New Aspect also made performing abroad possible for local groups, resulting in Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s first international performance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Contemporary Legend Theatre’s performance at the Royal National Theatre in the United Kingdom as well as Lanlin Theatre Troupe’s first performance in the Philippines. During the time when interdisciplinary approaches were still not officially recognized, New Aspect started an art center embracing both performing arts and visual arts. Performance Workshop’s work That Night, We Speak Xiangsheng was initially planned to be held at that center. However, New Aspect saw its potential and moved the performance to the National Taiwan Arts Education Center, which can accommodate more audiences. The show quickly attracted widespread attention. The New Aspect Art Centre, besides hosting exhibitions of artworks and sculptures, also served as a platform to showcase the potential of smaller theater companies. In 2012, during the time Lee Tai-Hsiang served as the artist-in-residence at National Chengchi University, he held a press conference and, as the composer, enthusiastically announced the first made-in-Taiwan musical Chess King. This musical was produced with significant investment by New Aspect. The official name of New Aspect is the “International New Aspect Cultural and Educational Foundation,” which indeed lives up to its commitment to the global art community. It not only acts as a bridge between art and audiences but also facilitates the participation and even the creation of both domestic and international artists in performances. Before the government got aware of the importance, New Aspect had already become the first to promote Taiwanese groups and artists at performing arts expos in countries like France, Japan and at the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion, which was founded by Po-Yun and Lucrecia R. Kasilag, president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Over its 45-year history, New Aspect has undoubtedly come in first place in many areas; however, what we cherish is not only its pioneering role in the field of culture, but also its commitment to cultural innovation and influence on artistic activities. These commitments, innovations and influences reflect the bits and pieces of Hsu Po-Yun’s life as an artist. Hsu Po-Yun began his memoirs with these words, “Being able to work in the field of art throughout my life is fortunate.” However, his greatest passion was composing music, as it brought him more joy in life than any other art-related work. “HSU Po-Yun’s 60th Musical Anniversary” showcased Hsu’s works from 1962 to 2022. He seemed to have two regrets that needed to be reconciled in the concert. The first regret was realizing that he spent too little time on composing over the years. Fortunately, creativity is about quality, not quantity, so the concert of his life’s work could compensate for the limited composition output. The second regret was never composing for his wife, Fan Man-Nong- the “mother of flute in Taiwan”. It was not until this recent presentation that he took the opportunity to “painstakingly” compose Flute Capriccioso as a dedication to her. Throughout his life of seeking perfection, Po-Yun managed to transition his mindset and relax to finally complete a late but perfect piece for his wife. Sadly, Hsu Po-Yun did not get the chance to formally present the admirable works he created. “The most beautiful life is the imperfect one.” With such legend, he departed from his beloved Taiwan, art and loved ones. We cherish his memory and we offer our blessings. As the saying goes, “Value one’s and other’s beauty, the world will become one.” We eagerly anticipate that New Aspect, created by Hsu Po-Yun and Fan Man-Nong, will continue to thrive with art and Taiwan.
"His legacy will live on in his music, his advocacies and the people and organizations he loved."
Mr. Martin Lopez Manila Governor and former Secretary-General, FACP I am saddened to read about the passing of Hsu Po-Yun! I have very fond memories of him starting with how we first met during the FACP conference in Shanghai. I was new to the organization and sitting alone over a meal. He approached me. We talked. He was pleasantly surprised that I was from the Philippines, the only one that year and the first in a while. It was not long before I started working closer and closer with him. In his ideas, interests and initiatives, I saw his genuine passion and concern for the organization. He will certainly be missed but his legacy will live on in his music, his advocacies and the people and organizations he loved. I send you, his family and his staff my sympathies and prayers! Sincerely, Martin
Remembering Hsu Po-Yun, the Great Dreamer: In Commemoration of His Departure and Contribution
Ms. Fan Sun-Lu Ombudsman, Control Yuan On June 12th this year, Mr. Hsu, in a wheelchair, arrived at the Control Yuan with Yu Fan-Ying, Joyce Chiou and Chien Wen-Pin. They came regarding the budget plan for the 2023 Kaohsiung Conference of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion (FACP), which he had founded 42 years ago. Coincidentally, that day was his birthday. We were delighted, singing “Happy Birthday” to him and capturing some precious photos. Little did we know that this would be our final meeting. I had known him for more than 27 years. Since I took my term as a legislator in early 1996, I have been hearing him discuss the government’s ignorance toward culture. He lamented for the meager budget, the lack of administration expertise, the disregard for professionalism, severe inadequacies and backwardness in performance venues, as well as insufficient international perspectives and talent nurturing. Indeed, each of these became focal points for reform. We often gathered for art-related events. As a luminary in the field of art and culture, Mr. Hsu’s enthusiasm always inspired everyone. He liked making friends, engaging in lively discussions and was an excellent storyteller. He held innumerable great dreams, awaiting each one to be realized. Throughout his journey, his determination, foresight and passion deeply influenced the transformation of Taiwan’s cultural and artistic landscape. He was not just a genius music creator but also a cultivator and pioneer in various fields of culture and art in Taiwan. He broadened Taiwan’s international perspective as well as allowed the global community to see the charm of Taiwan. In the 1960s, the young Po-Yun faced the poor environment of art and culture in Taiwan, but he continued to work until it became a field for artists and cultural workers in different domains to shine. Every stage, every moment, every crucial turn has Mr. Hsu’s involvement, presence and footprint. He poured every penny and effort into art and culture in Taiwan. No one has done more than he has. Now, his departure has left us deeply saddened. His contributions to culture and art will forever be remembered. There will never be another pure soul as Mr. Hsu...
Obsessed with Art, Lived for Art: A Tribute to Mr. Hsu Po-Yun
Mr. Ju Tzong-Ching Founder and Artistic Director, Ju Percussion Group Fifty years ago, I came from a rural area of central Taiwan to Taipei to study at the National Taiwan University of Arts. At that time, I was very shy and quiet, almost inconspicuous among my outstanding classmates. In my memory back then, Mr. Hsu Po-Yun was a vibrant and passionate senior with an artistic flair. I was fortunate to meet Mr. Hsu during a time when I was still uncertain about my career. He assisted and recommended me to learn from an American percussionist Michael Ranta. He, passionate about art and willing to share, did this only because he knew I loved percussion. That was how kind and generous he was. Later on, whenever New Aspect organized performances, Mr. Hsu would invite me to attend, introducing me to artists and performing groups from overseas. These led to my connections with The Ondekoza and Percussion Ensemble Okada from Japan. Moreover, when Mr. Hsu, along with a group of like-minded composers, organized concerts for new compositions, he always invited me to participate in their world premieres or recording sessions. This encouraged me to explore different possibilities in music and experience the creative potential of percussion in the contemporary world. For Mr. Hsu, all of these seemed natural, but for a young person like me, living in a poor and closed society while harboring dreams of music, his help was a tremendous encouragement and support. Never considering the cost, Mr. Hsu and New Aspect have done miraculous achievements in promoting arts. His efforts to expand international connections also made an indelible contribution that has greatly benefited everyone. Since I founded Ju Percussion Group in 1986, Mr. Hsu and I have had numerous collaborations in the professional field. Early on in the 1980s, I briefly assisted New Aspect with the promotion of tours in central Taiwan. Later, I took the role of executive director for organizing events in an international organization called Asian Composers League. During 1994 to 1997, Mr. Hsu served as the 11th president of the league, while I worked as the secretary-general, jointly building a bridge for composers and musicians. Then, as composer and musician, Mr. Hsu collaborated with Ju Percussion Group, which showed our strong friendship. In 2017, Ju Percussion Group launched a three-year project to commission compositions from senior, middle-aged and new-generation composers. When I invited senior composers, I mentioned that the performed pieces could be either old or new works. Mr. Hsu valued and cherished this collaboration and ultimately delivered a brand-new percussion piece titled “Point ‧ Line ‧ Dimension ‧ Cubicin.” The work premiered at the concert “Our Percussion Music” in 2017 TIFA, Taiwan International Festival of Arts, which held great significance. In 2022, New Aspect held “HSU Po-Yun’s 60th Musical Anniversary.” Ju Percussion Group was honored to be one of the performers. Mr. Hsu’s physical condition was not so good at that time; however, he still came to see the rehearsals despite the challenging situation. Seeing his focused and dedicated attitude and his pursuit of perfection, I once again felt Mr. Hsu’s love and affection for music. It can be said that Mr. Hsu’s visionary thinking, keen insight and foresight undoubtedly led to Taiwan’s blooming and thriving culture and art environment. Returning to the creative aspect, I believe that Mr. Hsu is perhaps best described as an “avant-garde and creative composer.” At this moment, with many memories flooding back, I am filled with sorrow and nostalgia. Mr. Hsu, your passion for art and the spirit of living for art will forever move people’s hearts.
"His wisdom, resilience, and dedication will forever inspire us."
Mr. Masami Shigeta Chairman of the Board and CEO, Aspen Incorporated Tokyo Governor and Chairperson 2014-2019, FACP I, together with the FACP members, are deeply saddened by the news of Mr. Hsu Po-Yun’s passing. He fought cancer with dignity, as I am shocked to know that he was battling the disease silently. As a member of FACP, we’ve known Mr. Hsu as one of the founders of this great organization. Dra. Kasilag (Manila), Mr. Hsu (Taipei), Mr. Yokoyama (Tokyo), Mr. Seong-Tae Kim (Seoul) and Mr. Apratty (representative from UNESCO) established this organization with a mission of building networks and cultural ties among Asian countries. Mr. Hsu did a great contribution to FACP for uniting members among South East Asian cities like Taipei, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Seoul and much more. He is actually the one who convinced me to join the organization and right after his term (2009-2013), I began my term as the Chairman of this one-of-a-kind society. I have served from 2014-2019 and during those years, Mr. Hsu and I had some arguments and misunderstandings along the way. But those arguments did not stop us from being friends. We shared good memories together from drinking after welcome parties to small chats in between conference sessions. We appreciate all the time and effort he dedicated to this community. We will definitely miss his presence during the conference. I did not expect that he will leave us soon, as I’m always looking forward to his insights for younger generations during conference sessions. It’s comforting to know that he was there for us until the very end. His wisdom, resilience, and dedication will forever inspire us. His passing is a tremendous loss, but his legacy will continue among us, motivating us to pursue greater goals.
"He was a unique person and will certainly be remembered for all his efforts and enthusiasm"
Mr. William Barkhymer Artistic and Music Director, New York Harlem Productions American Liaison and Honorary Auditor 2023-2025, FACP I'm very sorry to learn of the passing of Hsu Po-Yun. I had been looking forward to seeing him again at the conference in Kaohsiung this November. He was a unique person and will certainly be remembered for all his efforts and enthusiasm over the years in founding and leading FACP. We might not have always agreed on everything, but meeting up after the evening conference sessions he was always very personable and fun to be with. I seem to especially remember an evening after a governors meeting session near Kaga or Kanazawa, Japan, when he took a couple of us with him to a nearby bar and hosted us to a enjoyable time bonding with him. Please have my sincere condolences and pass them along to his family as well. Best wishes, Bill
"'We have to respect tradition,' his words couldn’t be more valid today than ever,..."
Mr. Johannes Mueller Director, msm-productions (Singapore) Pte Ltd Singapore Governor and Treasurer 2023-2025, FACP it is with great sadness that I hear of Mr Hsu‘s passing, and I wish to send my sincere condolences to you, the whole team at New Aspect, but especially to his widow Mrs Fan. „We have to respect tradition“ His words couldn’t be more valid today than ever, and will keep echoing in our ears for years to come. We were all hoping to see Mr Hsu again at our upcoming conference in Kaohsiung and listen to his speech. We will miss him very much, and will carry forth his spirit by dedicating our work to cultural life in all its numerous forms of expression. best regards, Johannes Treasurer FACP 2023-2025
"His legacy as co-founder of FACP [...] will leave behind for all members to adhere."
Ms. Atchara Tejapaibul Director and Secretary General, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation Bangkok Governor, FACP It is with deepest regret to learn about the passing away of Mr. Hsu Po Yun, whom I had the experience of organizing many FACP conferences, from governors meeting to the many Annual FACP conferences. His legacy as co-founder of FACP together with Madam Kasilag will leave behind for all members to adhere to the objective of the organization to foster the cultural and artistic relationship among the members and to continue the cooperative spirit among the FACP members for the many years to come. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hsu’s family, and May he Rest In Peace. Yours sincerely Atchara Tejapaibul
Salute to the Helmsman of Asian Culture and Art, Mr. Hsu Po-Yun
Ms. Joyce Chiou Chairperson, Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion General and Artistic Director, National Taichung Theater Passionate and willful, that is how many people remember Mr. Hsu. As I can remember, the three most memorable interactions I had with Mr. Hsu happened at the first sitar concert of Ravi Shankar in Taiwan in 1979, the first tour of the Cross-Strait Peace Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and the election of the chairperson of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotion (FACP) in 2022. I must admit that it was challenging to work with him at first due to his strong personality; however, they all turned out to be valuable experiences and learnings in my life. Throughout the process, we experienced upsets, conflicts, and ultimately resulted in wonderful resolutions. It was typical for Mr. Hsu to willfully come up with ideas and convince me with his immense passion and love for art, ethnicity and Taiwan. Sometimes, I did want to argue but his commitment always left me speechless. Looking back, I could see how much he trusted me in handling those situations. When organizing the tour for the Cross-Strait Peace Symphony Orchestra and participating in the broad meeting of FACP, I often had to be Mr. Hsu’s peacemaker. Whenever he engaged in an intense discussion in the meetings, I had to defuse the tension after he left the tables. However, no matter how chaotic it got, once the event was over, he could always gather up everyone to enjoy a great feast - we all knew that he was fighting for greater goods instead of personal gain. After every event, we thought no one would like to join Mr. Hsu’s next project, but we were wrong, Mr. Hsu could always start something new and persuade people to join him. Once again, huge gratitude for Mr. Hsu’s trust. I took up the last task he entrusted and reinvigorate the brand of FACP, ensuring that the 45-year history continues to be the engine for promoting Asian culture and arts. In memory of Mr. Hsu,“Pitch for New Aspects” will become a platform to nurture young Asian art creators rooted in tradition while bringing in new perspectives.
Art is the bridge to the unspeakable.
Ms. Michaela Schaubach and Mr. Michael Springer with family and team Owners of MS6 Travel and Music Art is the bridge to the unspeakable. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Mr. Hsu Po-Yun has been and will forever remain our bridge between the West and the East. He reached out and formed a connection between Western classical music and Asian music on the cruises we organised and enjoyed together. Bringing together people and cultures through music, he enriched our lives. By generously sharing his passion, he created deep and sincere friendships. As his Austrian friends and partners we are deeply humbled by and remain grateful for the partnership we have shared over the past decades. Mr. Hsu will by honoured in our upcoming tours and travel projects. He will also be forever remembered for his humour, his kindness, his wisdom and his openness. May he find peace and serenity, surrounded by all the wonderful musicians and composers that lead the way. From the bottom of our hearts resonates a sincere gratitude for the connections we still share and the friendships we built! Dankeschön! You will be dearly missed.
Unyielding Spirit: The Fearless Pioneer of Art
Ms. Hsiu-Wei Lin Producer and Administrative Director, Contemporary Legend Theatre There was nothing that could hinder Mr. Hsu from his goals. Throughout his life, his thoughts were dedicated to culture and arts. Despite the challenging path ahead, He navigated towards the boundless world with strong will. Without Mr. Hsu Po-Yun building bridges for Taiwan to the world, it would be impossible to see the thriving art and culture community in Taiwan during the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s’ and even into the new century. One person’s romance could indeed bring a new wave to Taiwan’s theaters. However, Mr. Hsu never highlighted his contributions. To him, the flourishing scenery was as natural as it could be. All of these stemmed from his innate, genuine passion and love. He was a true artist, deeply in love with, dedicated to and unconditionally devoted to arts. With his great vision and unwavering commitment, he was the pioneer of arts. In his era, none could match him.