Life in the Theatre

Life in the Theatre

Excellent Work of the 5th Cyber-Island Photography Contest
Photographer: Xin-Yi Cai
Date and place photos were taken: 2010; Changhua County

The beautiful treasure

A curtain separates the front and back stages. Here, it is modern time; there, an ongoing battle in a historical story. The performers are leaving their footprints in the temple square.






A life in drama

They created the contemporary Taiwanese opera culture. With everlasting passion, the troupes work hard to pass on the opera culture to future generations and promote it to the world.




A voice in song

The music in the Taiwanese opera reflects strong local flavor. It is created and nourished in Taiwan and thus contains distinctive features.




Oriental drama

In order to play a stage character perfectly, an actress applies makeup and wears costume accordingly. She also immerses herself wholeheartedly into the role.




Dance in every movement

The ever-changing design and arrangement of opera stage settings plus the actors’ impromptu acting blend into an exciting and touching performing art. The art is then handed down from generation to generation.




An ever-lasting form of art

The creative energy of the art suggests the strong vitality of Taiwanese people. The colorful stage with dazzling light and sound technology showcases endless creativity.







To choose a theme song for Taiwan, the “seven-character ditty” of the Taiwanese opera—“I am riding a white horse to break through three gates; changing to casual clothes to return to the Central Plains; …” would touch the hearts of Taiwanese people more so than the national anthem—“Three Principles of the People; The foundation of our party; …”

Indeed, the Taiwanese opera is the only opera originated in Taiwan. The history of the Taiwanese opera reflects the changes of Taiwanese society in the last century. It went through the miseries of the Japanese colonial period, the joy of the reclamation of Taiwan, and the declamation and abolishment of martial law. It then enters the complicated and democratic modern society.

The Taiwanese opera not only laughs and cries with the Taiwanese people, it also inherited the characteristics, including bold innovation, clever ingenuity, strong tolerance, and deep resilience, of Tangshan immigrants who came to Taiwan by boats. Due to such a “Taiwan spirit,” the opera can still hold a place in the theater field when other kinds of traditional operas such as Beiguan and Nanguan are declining and disappearing.

Through the efforts of performers from one generation to the next and the drive of Taiwan localization movement, the Taiwanese opera regained the momentum of development. All the people who live on this land have the right to inherit and cherish this cultural heritage and to carry it forward to the world stage.


To view Gold Prize of the 5th Cyber-Island Photography Contest, please go to The Funeral Orchestra.

Text and images are provided by Exhibition of Cyber Island, Taiwan