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2023 "Ocean Festival" – National Children's Ocean Painting Competition Award Ceremony by the National Academy of Marine Research
Unit:Marine Industry and Engineering Research Center

The National Academy of Marine Research has held the National Children’s Ocean Painting Competition for four consecutive years. Through the themed painting guidance, children are encouraged to draw their connection to the sea, experience, or imagination. The academy received over two thousand submissions this year (2023). On April 22nd, a panel of judges selected a total of 84 award-winning paintings.
Taiwan is surrounded by the sea on all sides, and the lives of Taiwanese people are closely linked with the ocean. Due to Taiwan’s unique geographic location and the impact of immigration and foreign maritime cultures, Taiwanese people have had more opportunities to absorb various cultural celebrations and have integrated these influences to develop a unique island culture and a rich variety of traditional marine activities and celebrations across Taiwan. The National Academy of Marine Research organized this competition with the theme of "Ocean Festival," encouraging elementary school students to paint their understanding and imagination of traditional marine activities or celebrations.
The award ceremony of this painting competition was held today (21st) at the Courtyard Lounge in Building A of the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park. Kuan Bi-ling, Chairperson of the Ocean Affairs Council, and Dr. Chen Jiahn-horng, President of the National Academy of Marine Research, presented the awards. Chairperson Kuan started the ceremony with two stories, mentioning her lack of talent in painting and expressing her admiration for the award-winning children as great artists. She also shared some insights about the marine life cycle which provides over 50% of the Earth's oxygen, highlighting the importance of protecting the ocean. Chairperson Kuan hopes that all the children attending the ceremony will become heroes who protect the ocean in the future. The award ceremony was followed by a group photo taken with props on display, making the ceremony more lively and fun.
During the award ceremony, Liao Zi-hu from Yunlin County's Yunlin Elementary School, the gold-prize winner in the lower grades category, shared his work "Fun Journey with the Manatee". His concept was to casually enjoy the sea breeze and interesting intertidal activities on a bullock cart and to depict the scene of manatees collecting oysters. Wu Meng-jie from Taoyuan City's Linsen Elementary School, the gold-prize winner in the middle grades category, introduced her work "Tug-of-War with the Ocean", showcasing the 200-year-old fishing method in Yilan with Taiwanese beach seine. Guo Dai-ling from Changhua County's ChiaoHsin Elementary School, the gold-prize winner in the higher grades category, expressed the traditional Hakka beach seine-pulling activity from multiple perspectives. During the sharing process, Chairperson Kuan also took the opportunity to educate the children on the recent tragic event where a rare leatherback turtle died due to intestinal damage caused by two fishing lines found in its stomach, promoting the importance of responsible and proper discards of fishing nets. Additionally, parents of the award-winning students shared interesting experiences about collecting oysters with manatees in Changhua, inviting other participants to experience it firsthand when they have the chance.
From the works of elementary school students nationwide, there are many wonderful presentations of traditional marine activities or celebrations. Many of the works are uniquely delightful, even without winning an award. The children documented local maritime activity features and their fondness for marine activities. This demonstrates that through daily life and personal experiences, children have gained a profound understanding of the rich and diverse traditional marine activities and celebrations developed in different places.
After the ceremony, award-winning students and their parents were invited to the Donglong Temple in Donggang, Pingtung, for a professional guided tour of Taiwan's king-boat-burning culture. They headed to Dapeng Bay shortly after for a yacht tour to appreciate the scenery of Oyster Shell Island and the inner sea, experiencing different aspects of the ocean.
All paintings in the competition have been uploaded online, and everyone is welcome to view the paintings on the official event website. Looking forward to next year, the National Academy of Marine Research will continue to hold the National Children's Ocean Painting Competition. The academy hopes to guide elementary school students to understand maritime culture and knowledge through themed guidance. Details of follow-up activities will be announced on the academy’s official website.

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  • Update: 2023-07-21
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National Academy of Marine Research