Wu Nien-jen, a noted Taiwanese film director, said in Beijing Thursday that Taiwan should sit down to talk with China on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection to facilitate bilateral cultural exchanges.
Cultural officials also need to consider how Taiwan's and China's legal systems can be coordinated to protect the interests and rights of artists when difficulties or major issues arise, Wu said at a news conference at the National Grand Theater in Beijing.
Wu and Lee Yung-feng, art director of the Paper Windmill Theater, were visiting Beijing to promote the Taiwanese troupe's trademark children's play "Windmill Fantasia," which will be performed at the Beijing theater in July 20-22.
The following are excerpts from local media coverage of the two versatile artists and arts promoters' views on cross-Taiwan Strait cultural exchanges:
United Daily News:
Wu said Taiwan's Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai has outlined many proposals to boost cross-strait cultural exchanges since taking office early this year.
In his view, Lung just needs to create an open and liberal climate for artistic creation, and she should complete two missions related to cross-strait cultural exchanges.
First, she should push for cross-strait talks on IPR protection to safeguard artists' intellectual property rights and prevent disputes.
Second, a mechanism should be created to ensure that legal systems on both sides can be coordinated to protect rights of individual artists whenever major disputes or issues arise between them.
Wu said filmmakers from Taiwan and China began engagements in the 1980s, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation in filmmaking and artistic creation have become even more extensive today.
But Wu said distinctive differences still exist in their general creative environment.
"Taiwan imposes few restrictions on the subject matter covered in films, while Chinese filmmakers still face many taboos. For instance, extramarital affairs cannot be featured in films shown in China," Wu said, adding that he hopes China will gradually phase out such restrictions. (June 29, 2012).
Lee Yung-feng said children's plays in Taiwan have drawn from a wealth of stories in traditional Chinese, Japanese, American, European and Taiwanese indigenous cultures.
"Openness and diversity have helped enrich our children's drama creation to inspire our youngsters' imagination," Lee said.
By comparison, Lee said, children's plays in China mostly draw inspiration from traditional Russian theater, a trend that has made Chinese children's plays less colorful.
Lee said his troupe looks forward to increasing engagements with children's drama advocates in China and introducing his group's practice of performing in grassroots communities or remote townships for young children with financial support purely from the private sector.
Under its "Project 319," the Paper Windmill Theatre has performed in any district that could put up NT$350,000 (US$10,606) to cover the cost of performing and putting up a makeshift stage for each presentation. The troupe started the project in 2006 and completed its goal of performing in all of Taiwan's townships late last year.
Lee said he believes that a child's first inspiration through the arts can be a life-changing experience.
"Once planted, the seeds of the arts -- a drama or a musical experience -- can grow into a tree full of the fruits of opportunity," he said, adding that children in the countryside should are also entitled to enjoy the arts like their urban peers. (June 29, 2012).
(By Sofia Wu)