Founder and Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and Cloud Gate 2, Lin Hwai-min studied Chinese opera movement in his native Taiwan, modern dance in New York, and classical court dance in Japan and Korea. He founded the company in 1973.
An internationally renowned choreographer, Lin often draws from traditional Asian culture for inspiration to create works with innovative forms and contemporary relevance, which have prompted international critics to acclaim: A two-time winner of the National Award for Arts in Taiwan, Lin Hwai-min has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from five universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Among the international honors received by Lin are the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award, New York, the Joyce Award of Chicago, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the so called "Nobel Prize of Aisa," the "Best Choreographer" at Lyon Biennial Festival, and the "Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters" from the France Ministry of Culture. He was celebrated by the Time magazine as one of the "Asia's Heroes" in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Movimentos Dance Prize, Germany.
Lin Hwai-min has been the subject of full-length television documentaries in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and, most recently, in Discovery Channel's "Portraits Taiwan: Lin Hwai-min" and Opus Arte's "Floating on the Ground." Many of his choreographies have been made into DVD. Among them, Cursive II, Moon Water, Bamboo Dream, and Songs of the Wanderers were filmed and produced in Europe.
His dance works have been restaged by dance companies and universities in the U.S. and Europe. In 2004, his production Smoke was restaged, for the first time by a classical ballet company, by the Zurich Ballet. In 2006, at the invitation by Sylvie Guillem, he choreographed a solo piece, Sally, for her. Lin's opera direction credits include Rashomon in Austria and Tosca in Taiwan.
An acclaimed writer, Lin holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Writers' Workshop, University of Iowa. His novella Cicada is a best seller in Taiwan, and several of his short stories have been translated into English and published in the United States. His biographies Legend of Lin Hwai-min and Cloud Gate and Hwai-min as a Young Man are popular sellers in Chinese speaking community.
Devoted to the arts and education, Lin founded the Department of Dance at Taiwan's National Taipei University of the Arts in 1983 and served as its Chairman for five years. In 1993 and 1994, he was the founding dean of the university's graduate dance program. In 1999, he gave workshops in Cambodia assisting local dancers to organize teaching materials of Khmer classical dance for children.
Since year 2000, Lin has also been serving as the Artistic Director of "Novel Dance Series," introducing internationally renowned avant-garde groups and artists, one of the latest being Jerome Bel in June 2006, to dance lovers in Taiwan. In 2003, Lin donated his prize from the Executive Yuan Culture Award, the highest honor of its kind in Taiwan, as the seed money for the Wanderers' Fund, which supports local young artists to travel in Asia.