Xia Jingshan’s art and charity celebrated at Cherry Blossom Festival

The Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation hosted a salon in the scenic surroundings of New Taipei City’s Shiding district, in the company of many VIP guests.

The idyllic mountain retreat of Wuji Tianming Temple (无极天明宫) was the venue on March 16 for a culturally exciting event that celebrated the life, work and charitable endeavors of the renowned painter and calligrapher Xia Jingshan (夏荊山).

Major original works by the artist were on show, some not seen in Taiwan before, including the masterpiece, Dragon King Worships Avalokiteśvara. There was also a classical music recital, explications of Jingshan’s paintings, and the seasonal beauty of the cherry blossom season to admire.

Though the 96-year-old artist who lives in California was unable to attend due to a recent illness, prominent businessmen and politicians such as Legislator (and former Legislative Yuan speaker) Wang Jin-pyng attended the “2019 Cherry Blossom Festival – Ode to Spring: Xia Jing Shan Calligraphy and Painting Art Connoisseurship Salon.” The appearance of former legislative speaker Wang drew considerable media attention, as he had recently announced his bid for the Kuomintang nomination for president.

Also present were AmCham Taipei President William Foreman, Honorary Director of Taiwan Public Welfare Research Institute Wu Xiting, Wuji Tianming Temple Director Cai Qionghui, Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation Chairperson Susie Shiah, and President of Meifu Real Estate Hou Yuantang.

Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation CEO Chao Chung-chieh  said this was the first time the dreamlike, eight-meter long painting Dragon King Worships Avalokiteśvara had been displayed in Taiwan. Chao said that since the Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation was launched at the beginning of 2014, it had been committed to education, academic research and cultivating talent.

William Foreman, pointed out that AmCham and Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation share the same floor in an office building on Minsheng East Road in Taipei. “I feel so fortunate to have Xia Jingshan as a neighbor because every day when I pass by the Foundation’s gallery, I stop to admire the beautiful art,” he said. “The paintings inspire me and put me in a calm, contemplative mood that helps me throughout the day.”

Susie Shiah, who is Xia Jingshan’s daughter, said the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and art salon was a way of ensuring that her father’s legacy continues.

Xia was born in China’s Shandong province and was from a young age inspired by Buddhism. He moved to Taiwan and in the 1970s studied in the United States. He helped repair Longxing Temple in Shandong and his works of art went into space with the Shenzhou VII spaceship. His Buddhist paintings and calligraphy are famed and have been shown at many of the world’s leading galleries and museums.

The event was co-organized by Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation, The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Tianming Temple, Taipei Medical Alliance, Taiwan Philanthropic Study Institution, Xia Jingshan Academy of Nanjing University, Wei Chuan Corporation and the International Management Program of Prague College.

Takeways from the APCAC Business Summit

AmCham Taipei President William Foreman recently attended a two-day business summit in Hong Kong organized by the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC).  The group represents AmChams across the region.

The summit is an annual event that attracts CEOs, diplomats, government officials and other key influencers. This year’s theme was: “The Future of U.S. Trade and Investment in Asia.”

Over the course of two days, the program was packed with keynote speeches and numerous panel discussions. Here are just a few key takeaways:

  • Don’t believe the headlines. The U.S. is not in retreat in the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. companies are still trading and investing here more than any other country.
  • American companies are still the key standard setters that promote openness, transparency, fair markets and growth driven by the private sector.
  • We’re not seeing the end of globalization. We’re just seeing it evolve.
  • China is catching up fast. It’s investment has quadrupled over the past five years. China has an advantage because it has a plan, a long-term vision. The U.S. needs one.
  • Developed nations are struggling to find a way to compete with China’s model of state-driven capitalism. Often, openness is a handicap when going up against China Inc.
  • Eventually, there will be some kind of U.S.-China trade deal. When that happens, the focus in the relationship will shift to the next big theme: technology.
  • Many of the headlines (and tweets) coming out of Washington are discouraging. But now it’s more important than ever to get engaged with AmCham to change the conversation. If you don’t, you’ll be even more disappointed.

Next year’s APCAC summit will be in Singapore. And, it will definitely be a must-attend event for the Chamber!