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Center for Taiwain Studies Grand Opening

UC San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center


The School of Arts and Humanities is pleased to celebrate the opening of the UC San Diego Center for Taiwan Studies. Established with an endowment from longtime campus supporters Chiu-Shan Chen Ph.D. ’69 and Rufina Chen (陳秋山博士 跟 夫人 Rufina Chen), the center aims to connect local and international communities with diverse events and programming that expands the cultural understanding of Taiwan and Taiwanese Americans.



  • Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor
  • Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor
  • Amino C.Y. Chi, Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Los Angeles



Excerpts from “A Thousand Sounds Towards Dawn” by Kuei-Ju Lin
Performed by SANGPUY, Aiyun Huang, Michael Jones and Kosuke Matsuda



  • Cristina Della Coletta, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities
  • Ping-hui Liao, Founding Director, Center for Taiwan Studies
  • Nancy Guy, Co-Director, Center for Taiwan Studies


Formosa Generations Ensemble

“Waiting for the Spring Breeze” by Teng Yu-hsian and arranged by Lee Chee-Yi
“Dance from Lanyang” Taiwanese folk melody of the Lanyang region, arranged by Lee Chee-Yi


Center for Taiwan Studies Directors

Ping-hui Liao

Ping-hui Liao is an internationally recognized authority in Taiwan Studies, specializing in Taiwan cultural history (from the Japanese colonial period to the current era of globalization), East-West comparative literature, inter-arts studies (fiction, film, poetry, painting, and opera), popular culture, and critical theory (poststructuralism, postmodernism, postcolonialism).

His vision regarding his teaching agenda is an ambitious one of extensive collaboration with faculty across disciplines and fields throughout the UC system in order to develop new undergraduate and graduate courses on Taiwan literature, cinema, and modernity in East Asia.

In addition to receiving competitive fellowships and grants from agencies like the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Science Council of Taiwan as director general of humanities and social sciences, Professor Liao served as a visiting scholar or professor at such prestigious institutions as Princeton University (1991-1992), Harvard-Yenching Institute of Harvard University (1996-1997) and Columbia University (2001-2002). He joined UC San Diego in 2009 as the inaugural Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies.

He has won numerous awards such as the May Fourth Prize for the Best Literary Critic of the Year in 2004 and the Wu Yung-fu Prize for the Best Literary Critic of the Year in 2007. He has served as President of the Comparative Literature Association in Taiwan (1994-1996) as well as a committee member and editorial or advisory board member for many journals and scholarly associations in Taiwan and overseas.

From 1987 to 2007, Professor Liao taught at National Tsinghua University in Taiwan, promoted from the rank of Associate Professor to his most recent position as Distinguished Professor of Literary and Critical Studies.

Liao received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Department of Literature, UC San Diego in 1987, having studied under eminent scholars including Michel de Certeau.

Nancy Guy

Nancy Guy is an ethnomusicologist whose broad interests include the musics of Taiwan and China, varieties of opera (including European and Chinese forms), music and state politics, and the ecocritical study of music. Her first book, “Peking Opera and Politics in Taiwan“ (University of Illinois Press, 2005) won the ASCAP Béla Bartók Award for Excellence in Ethnomusicology. Her second book, “The Magic of Beverly Sills“(University of Illinois Press, 2015) was named a “Highly Recommended Academic Title” by Choice, the review magazine of the Association for College and Research Libraries.

Guy’s article, “Flowing down Taiwan’s Tamsui River: Towards an Ecomusicology of the Environmental Imagination,” (Ethnomusicology, 2009) is a foundational text in ecomusicology and was awarded the Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize. Her most recent book is an edited volume, “Resounding Taiwan: Musical Reverberations Across a Vibrant Island“ (Routledge, 2022).

“Resounding Taiwan” presents a window into the cultural lives of the residents of this multicultural, and politically contested island, and is the first English-language book to present a broad range of Taiwanese musical genres and contexts to an international readership.

In addition to two Fulbright grants, her research in Taiwan has been supported by grants from the Center for Chinese Studies at Taiwan’s National Central Library, the U.S. Department of Education, the R.O.C. Ministry of Education, and the UC San Diego Academic Senate’s Committee on Research. Other awards include fellowships from the American Musicological Society, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Taiwan-based Koo’s Foundation, and the Hsiao-De Foundation.

Guy is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies. Her past editorial board memberships include Ethnomusicology (the flagship journal in her field), and Music and Politics.

Guy is a Professor of Music at UC San Diego. She has been a visiting Professor in National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Musicology and National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Music. In fall 2023, she will travel to Taiwan with the support of a Taiwan Fellowship (sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and will be affiliated with the National Taipei University of Arts.

Guest artists

Excerpts from “A Thousand Sounds Towards Dawn” by Kuei-Ju Lin

Originally commissioned by the Taipei Performing Arts Center for its grand opening, this project combines indigenous songs composed and sung by SANGPUY of Taiwan’s Pinuyumayan tribe with contemporary percussion composed and arranged by Kuei-ju Lin to create a diverse and imaginative sound texture. The synthesis demonstrates the transcending power of music and the possibility of the coexistence of the ancient and the avant-garde.

Kuei-Ju Lin

Born in Taipei, Kuei-ju Lin is a Taiwanese composer who enjoys working with acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, sound installations and interdisciplinary collaborations in both theater and dance. She has collaborated extensively with Taiwan’s theatre and dance groups.

Her music has been performed in concerts and festivals in Taiwan and internationally, including Festival d’Avignon Off (France), Busan International Performing Arts Festival (Korea), OzAsia Festival (Australia), as well as in Japan, Poland, Canada and across the United States.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Composition from the Taipei National University of the Arts and a Ph.D. in Composition from UC San Diego. She is currently an associate professor at Shih-Chien University, and the core artist of the M.O.V.E. Theater Group, Taiwan.


SANGPUY comes from an ancient Pinuyumayan indigenous tribe, Katratripulr, in Taiwan’s Pacific southeast coast, where the mountain meets the ocean.

In Katratipulr, SANGPUY has learned traditional tribal music, language, culture and traditions. Currently only about one thousand people can speak the Katratipulr tribal language fluently. He is the recipient of three Best Vocalist Awards (Indigenous Language) and two Best Album Awards from Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards.

Aiyun Huang

Aiyun Huang enjoys a musical life as soloist, chamber musician, researcher, teacher and producer. Since winning the 2002 First Prize and Audience Prize of the Geneva International Music Competition, Huang has been a sought after international artist.

She has commissioned and premiered over two hundred works in her three decades as a soloist and chamber musician. The Globe and Mail critic Robert Everett-Green describes Huang’s playing as “engrossing to hear and to watch” and her choice of repertoire as capable of “renovating our habits of listening.”

Her past highlights include performances at the Victoria Hall in Geneva, Weill Recital Hall in New York, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s Green Umbrella Series, LACMA Concert Series, Holland Festival, Agora Festival in Paris, Banff Arts Festival, 7éme Biennale d’Art Contemporaine de Lyon, Vancouver New Music Festival, CBC Radio, La Jolla Summerfest, Scotia Festival, Cool Drummings, Montreal New Music Festival, Centro Nacional Di Las Artes in Mexico City, Cervantino Festival, and National Concert Hall and Theater in Taipei. Her recent highlights include performances with St. Lawrence String Quartet, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. 

Aiyun grew up in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and holds a DMA degree from UC San Diego. She is the Head of Percussion at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and she serves as the Artistic Director for soundSCAPE Festival in Blonay, Switzerland.

Michael Jones

Michael Jones (he/they) is a percussionist, improviser and conductor based in San Diego. His work focuses on new works by emerging composers as well as the canonical repertoire of the 20th century avant-garde. They can be heard on the New World, Cold Blue, New Focus and Wandelweiser Editions labels. They regularly perform as a member of the percussion group red fish blue fish and the William Winant Percussion Group.

Kosuke Matsuda

Kosuke Matsuda is originally from Nagasaki, Japan, where he began his music career as a percussionist. He currently lives in San Diego as a doctoral student at UC San Diego. He has collaborated and performed with renowned artists and groups such as Steven Schick, Roger Reynolds, Rand Steiger, Svet Stoyanov, Kunihiko Komori, Lancaster Symphonic Orchestra, and New World Symphony Orchestra. Matsuda is an active red fish blue fish member and director of LAMP (Lighting Art Music Projection) Production director.

Formosa Generations Ensemble

“Waiting for the Spring Breeze” by Teng Yu-hsian and arranged by Lee Chee-Yi
“Dance from Lanyang” Taiwanese folk melody of the Lanyang region, arranged by Lee Chee-Yi

Formosa Generations Ensemble

Formosa Generations Family Chamber Music is a non-profit organization, founded in 2018 by music-loving Taiwanese families living in San Diego, California. We were brought together by our common passion for music and for sharing Taiwan’s culture with the next generation. Our group includes experienced musicians alongside our next generation youth musicians, some of whom are as young as 7 years old. We deeply believe in the power of music to inspire and comfort.

Formosa Generations Family Chamber Music has participated in numerous events, including performing for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Taiwanese American Community Center of San Diego, sharing poignant Taiwanese tunes at a book talk event in UC San Diego Center for Taiwan Studies in 2022, and performing excerpts from Maestro Tyzen Hsiao’s masterpiece “1947 Overture” in the 228 story and panel discussion in 2023. The group has also performed holiday programs at senior living communities, supported fundraising carnivals for an orphanage, and performed outdoor community concerts to bring joy and human connection to our pandemic-weary neighbors. In addition, we have a year-long commitment to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.    

Keenly aware of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage, we strive to utilize music as a channel to pass on Taiwan’s culture to our next generation and to those around us. In addition to performing with our children popular music and timeless classical pieces, we are committed to incorporating traditional Taiwanese folk tunes and exciting new works from talented young Taiwanese composers into our repertoire and to share these with our new hometown. May these seeds of music and culture from the beautiful island of Formosa bloom into gorgeous flowers in their new home country.

$5 Million Gift to Establish New Center for Taiwan Studies

Longtime campus supporters Chiu-Shan Chen Ph.D. ’69 and Rufina Chen have committed $5 million to the University of California San Diego, one of the largest individual gifts to the School of Arts and Humanities.

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