Nothing but culture

3:15 – 5:15 pm | Aug 27th
Studio Theatre | Harbourfront Centre

Economy and technology can improve the standard of living momentarily, but only culture and art can build up national identity and confidence—a distinct phenomenon especially observed in an immigrant society. 

When immigrants leave their home country for a brand new land due to economic, political, religious, or other reasons, they usually bring their customs and rituals, religion, language, culture, and arts along with them. They also try to gain acceptance in their new country by blending in with local society, speaking the local language, adapting to native foods, and learning local arts and culture. They work hard to build a cultural identity that belongs to the immigrant. 

Dr. Tsai will attempt to compare the immigration process of early Chinese immigrants in Indonesia to recent Indonesian immigrants in Taiwan, exploring what role performance arts plays among these immigrants and how it is used to construct their cultural identities.

2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Nothing but culture banner-1
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About the Artist

2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Ted Tsung-Te Tsai

Tsung-Te Tsai


Tsung-Te Tsai completed his Ph.D. in 1998 at the University of Maryland in the United States and is a professor of the Graduate Institute of Ethnomusicology and Dean of the Sound and Image Arts College and the Academic Affairs Office, Tainan National University of the Arts, Taiwan. In 2017, Dr. Tsai was granted the title Kangjeng Aria Projonagoro by the Surakarta Palace because of his contribution to Indonesian cultural studies. He is currently a member of the Executive Board (2021-2023) of the Study Group of Performing Arts of Southeast Asia, the International Council for Traditional Music, UNESCO. 

Dr. Tsai is very active on the international academic stage. Having conducted field research in Indonesia, Iran, Uzbekistan, and China, he has published the books Diaspora, Identity and Syncretism: The Cultural Contexts and Performance Styles of Chinese Indonesian Performing Arts, Sound, Ritual, Medicine: Systems and Activities of Folk Healing in Java, Tradition and Modernity of Islamic Music Culture in Indonesia, Music Culture of the Islamic World, and Music and Dance of Silk Road. In 2018, Dr. Tsai published a documentary film As Foreign Land Becomes Home Land: The Chinese Indonesian Culture and Artists that Break Through the Ethnic Barriers, the first documentary film concerned with the development of the performing arts of Chinese Indonesians in Asia. 

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