The Arts

Ying Tai Lung

As a columnist and an author of bestselling non-fiction books, Ying Tai Lung is a public intellectual known for being critical of governments


Ying Tai Lung’s 1985 collection of sociopolitical essays, The Wild Fire, was influential to the democratization of Taiwan, but it also compelled her to move to Europe to escape death threats. She spent 13 years there, with her work appearing in both German and Mainland Chinese newspapers. In 1999, she returned to Taiwan upon being appointed the first director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taipei, where she created policies promoting the arts. In 2012, she was once again asked to join the government, this time to help create the Ministry of Culture. She has said of these pivots, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Lung became a public servant to lay the foundations of these inaugural offices, and with the latter position, to take on the challenge of transforming the former Ministry of Propaganda into a ministry serving the cultural sector of a democracy.

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Ying Tai Lung’s latest book, Under Dawu Mountain (2020), is a foray into young adult fiction with philosophical themes, and a detailed account of the flora and fauna found on the mountain.   

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