“HOPE,” Egret Cultural & Educational Foundation 30th Anniv. Immersive performance & Exhibits

Egret Foundation Chairwoman Chia-Hui Lu ( Creator, Director, Curator )

 HOPE PEACE LOVE

Dr. Hsiu-Yi Lu , the Founder of the Egret Foundation, once said, “Historical culture is the foundation of a nation and its people.” Those of us who participate in creating history must start by understanding and researching Taiwan’s historical culture to explore new possibilities with greater wisdom and strength. Thus, the Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation was established in 1993 with the aim to “establish Taiwan’s historical interpretation, land identity, and subject culture.” Since its establishment, Honorary Chairwoman You-Chiou Tchen has upheld the foundation’s goals, transforming it from a single Chinese culture to a diverse culture of ethnic groups. Starting with “Original Hometown Fashion,” she promoted artistic masterpieces and Taiwanese culture; fostering “Diamond Taiwan” to promote the “Taiwan” brand on the international stage.

Reflecting on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia invasion of Ukraine, and the Israel-Hamas war, countless lives have been lost and cultural and historical sites have been destroyed. This makes us contemplate the preciousness of peace, love, and hope. 

On the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation, we present a new production and exhibition on “Hope.”  We hope for a quick end to wars and pandemics and we pray for global peaceful coexistence, safety, and health to all humanity.  Dr. Hsiu-Yi Lu’s actual Chinese calligraphy representing “Hope” were used in the production posters.

As the Creator, Director, and Curator, Ms. Lu produced and debuted “Hope” at Taiwan’s first 5G+4K fully immersive digital platform Ambi Space One. For the event, she also organized various publications on Taiwan’s themes, the Taiwan Brand series, commissioned creations, cultural journeys, charitable events, seminars, and past performances for exhibit. This production utilized AI computations to enhance the resolution of past works, turning HD into 4-8K, arranging mirror images, stretching and extending, designing images to traverse four walls and the floor. Through 360 spatial mapping, borderless stunning effects were achieved. The complexity of our immersion program is much greater than the typical one. We included a live piano performance along side dancers, creating a “performing art” that combines with the “immersive art”. Audience engagement also created theatrics, fun, and feedback, inviting the viewers to spread their wings of imagination and to immerse themselves in a surreal world full of stories! The artists interaction with the audience enables a random element that in itself creates a unique “performance art.”

The national flower of Ukraine, is the “Sunflower,” and this has  become a symbol of anti-war, unity, and hope. Through this inspiration, Chairwoman Chia-Hui Lu, created and composed “Sunflower,” and has dedicated the production to her father, Dr. Hsiu-Yi Lu, the Founder of Egret, who smiles brilliantly like a sunflower. Sunflower commemorates the hardship Dr. Lu endured in his fight for Taiwan’s democracy and to his deep love and passion in cultivating Taiwan’s culture.”

Sunflower is a surreal creation that utilizes motion capture and 3D modeling in the production process. It starts from a dream, exploring the balance between light and darkness in the universe, and embarks on a journey to seek truth through remnants of her father, which include his personals such as: published books, chops, as well as an avatar of him.

Taiwan has a unique ecological environment and an abundant of natural resources. After being ruled by the Netherlands, Spain, China, Japan, and other regimes, Taiwan has incorporated Eastern, Western, oceanic, and continental influences. Taiwan has also nurtured its own distinctive music and creations. During Taiwan’s Japanese colonial rule, Sayion was used to promote patriotism. Her heroism were told in both music and film. A half a century later, Egret created two theater productions on Syion. Using the latest 3D motion capture devices and high-altitude VR stereoscopic positioning, the productions encapsulated the imaginations of numerous creative creators, enabling highly acclaimed innovative performances. History and glory should not be forgotten; let us use music and art to retell the stories so that it may live on forever!

Instant interaction values “on-site response!” Performing arts value “uniqueness!” Various creations value “from scratch to existence!” And the key to cross-art is “keen cooperation” among all participants. Adhering to the spirit of scientific experimentation, “seeking newness in art and seeking art in the new,” we hope to break through and innovate as we continue to promote the beauty, sound, and creation of Taiwan to the world; allowing more people internationally to witness Taiwan!

As we move forward, we will adhere to the founding spirit to explore, discover, research, create, perform, promote, safeguard and expand upon our IPs, digitize and preserve our achievements of the past thirty years.  We will continue to seek new technologies for experimentation, to innovate, and to develop new works. We will look to traditional as well as new tools to promote our cause. We hope to lead with new perspectives and contribute the Taiwan brand to the world.

We are deeply grateful to all our partners who have accompanied us along our 30 year journey. Because of everyone’s selflessness, love for Taiwan, and friendship, the Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation is able to continue on its mission to promote Taiwan. Understanding what we stand for and from where we had come from, we invite all our partners to join hands to move forward, to keep an open mind to new opportunities, and to created an even brighter future together!

Immersive Program:

SUNFLOWER Immersive Piano Performance
(Premiered, created, composed, and directed by Chia-Hui Lu  / Co-directed by Oready Lab’s Wen-Chieh Chang)

“Pursuit of Divine Truth”
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa once said, “What she gives is not the indispensable food or medicine in life, but the indispensable love in life.” Due to a lack of compassion, people are indifferent to world affairs and neglect the impoverished. During her visit to Taiwan, Mother Teresa spread the “seeds of love,” urging people to nurture a heart filled with love, care, and giving. Deeply inspired by her visit , Ms. Lu created a new composition in the name of “hope and love” to commemorate the subtle and transformative love of her father. And with the hope that with love; wars and conflicts will find resolutions that will lead to world peace!

Goya Lan was commissioned to write the biography of Dr. Lu, called ”Fight for Progress.” The book chronicles the sacrifices and contributions made by Dr. Lu to advance Taiwan’s democracy. Deeply inspired by the book, her childhood memories, and dreams of her father, Chia-Hui Lu created the script and piano composition “Sunflower,” which she dedicates to him. To Ms. Lu, her late father’s spirit will live on, like the sun, will shine forever!

This composition consists of five sections, revolving in tonality, and akin to the Circle of 5 . The story seeks to find truth of the universe and explore good vs evil in its never ending journey through the Circle of Life.

BUTTERFLY ORCHID Immersive Piano Performance

“Trapped by Emotions, Transformed by Love”
Chia-Hui Lu dreamt it, then composed, designed and produced “Butterfly Orchid” with commissioned work of Engine Studios . “Butterfly Orchid” was performed at the Art Taipei opening ceremony and the piece is dedicated to Professor Yu-Chiou Tchen, who had devoted herself to love, family, country, dedication, and transformation. The dream involves a botanist rescuing a captured butterfly, which, in gratitude, transforms into a woman but fails to receive love. Ultimately, it morphs into a new species developed by the botanist and was hailed as the king of orchids. This multimedia piano fantasy, accompanied by 3D visuals, features the artwork of Paul Chiang and is transformed into stereoscopic animation through a recreations. Combining abstract classical music with contemporary visual art, it turns musical dreams into reality.

Butterfly Orchid has won many international awards and mentions which include: Los Angeles Film Awards Honorable Mention for Sound Design, Toronto Women Film Festival Best Female Composer, New York Film Awards Best Animation & Best Music Video & Best Song, Muse Design Awards Silver in Media & Music, DNA Paris Design Awards, IDA Design Awards Honorable Mention, London International Creative Competition Shortlist in Create (art), St. Louis International Film Festival 30th Official Selection, and Berlin Short Film Festival Official Selection.

OBSESSION Immersive Piano & Dance Performance

“An Illusional Dream”
In a dream, a man is drawn by mysterious piano music. He gets closer to the sound and is suddenly miniaturized to fall into the piano’s realm. Upon awakening, he finds himself under a waterfall near a rainbow bridge. He spots a the pianist there, but gets engulfed by a tidal wave of seawater. His journey is filled with surreal unexpected.

Obsession is the work of the Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation upon being awarded by the Ministry of Culture’s IP Lab to premier at the “Impression of Taiwan”, Art Taipei opening. Chia-Hui Lu is the playwright, composer, and creator.  With commissioned technological support from Po-Yu Wong’s iF+ team, the beautiful ancient landscape paintings of Houei-Kuen Chen were brought to life. The production combines art, dance, a new piano composition, and 4D Views circular volumetric capture. It vividly traverses Taiwan history, art, and natural beauty through the imagination and dream. It is truly an immersive multi-reality new media performing art and performance art!

Obsession has won many international awards and mentions which include: DNA Paris Design Awards, Muse Design Awards Gold in Interaction, New York Independent Cinema Awards Best Composer, New York International Film Awards Best Song & Grand Jury Awards, Oniros Film Awards Best Art Director, Vegas Shorts Awards Best Director & Best Composer, Chicago Indie Film Awards Best Composer, and Top Shorts Awards Honorable Mention for Score.

DEATH Piano, Dance, and Immersive Interactive Theater 

“Chasing the Mystery”
In the autumn of 1938, a 17-year-old aboriginal girl, Sayion, perished while escorting a Japanese government assigned personnel down a mountain, crossing a bridge in the midst of a storm. Sayion’s accident was portrayed as a patriotic sacrifice by the Japanese. This made her a heroine overnight and for the next half a century, songs, stories, paintings, and a movie was made about her. The late Chiao-Cuang Lin, who was the former general manager of Taishin Bank, was fascinated by Sayion, and later wrote a book about her. He tragically died in his obsessed passionate endeavor to track her footsteps in the same mountain trails where Saiyon had met her end. The story deeply moved us, thus becoming the theme of this new play. The mysteriousness of Sayion will lead the audience on a journey of exploration!

The production intertwines time and space. There is confusion, evasion, search, and pursuit. The oscillation between reality and illusion, weaving into a vortex-like flow that makes it difficult for people to detach from and impossible to withdraw completely. Produced by Artistic Director You-Chiou Then, in collaboration with Hsin-Chien Huang, Akibo, Chia-Hui Lu, Billy Chang, IF Plus, Eslite Performance Hall, among others.

“Death” is an interactive multimedia theater that had used motion capture in a previous production. It utilized 720-degree rotating/flying VR positioning and a 3D real-time dynamic capture system that senses high-altitude suspension. The tools enabled the dancers to break free from the stage space and frame, inviting the audience to open their minds. In this new production, motion capture devices were not used.

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