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Taipei university opens Gao Xingjian Center, exhibition

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) opened the Gao Xingjian Center (高行健資料中心) in Taipei, and launched an exhibition and a book showcasing the works of the Nobel laureate.

The center, on the sixth floor of NTNU’s Main Library, boasts a collection of 593 manuscripts and other materials donated by Gao, who was in 2000 awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity,” the university said.

Once the items have been sorted and digitized, they are to be used for academic research, it said.

The university looks forward to the center becoming a powerhouse of research on the works of Gao in the Mandarin-speaking world, it said.

The center’s establishment coincides with the 10th anniversary of Gao’s appointment as a chair professor at the university, and demonstrates the friendship between Gao and the institution, it said.

The items donated by Gao, who also holds an honorary doctoral degree from NTNU, include early manuscripts, as well as various literature on his works, the university said.

They contain 58 Mandarin publications, 122 foreign-language publications, 53 videotapes, 15 DVDs, 64 posters, three musical scores, 12 prints and 49 magazines or booklets, it said.

Gao also donated 16 masks that were used as props in his film Requiem for Beauty (美的葬禮), the university added.

The materials arrived in Taiwan from Paris at the end of November last year, it said.

Gao’s new book Journey to Soul Mountain (靈山行) was published last month by the National Taiwan Normal University Press on the 30th anniversary of the release of his novel Soul Mountain (靈山).

Journey to Soul Mountain is a collection of 100 photographs that Gao took in China, as well as 40 paintings he created from 1979 to 2015, the university said.

The book features photographs that inspired him to write the novel, Gao, a Chinese-born French citizen, wrote in the preface.

The exhibition, also titled “Journey to Soul Mountain,” presents images from the new book, as well as 11 prints by Gao and an ink painting called The Thinker (沉思者) that Gao created in 2015 and donated to the university two years later, it said.

The exhibition is being held on the first floor of the library and runs through March 25, it said.

At a news conference yesterday to mark the center’s opening, NTNU president Wu Cheng-chih (吳正己) signed an agreement with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra for the orchestra to adapt Requiem for Beauty for stage, the university said.

Tue, Jan 26, 2021 from Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter