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Scholars gather to map out future of Taiwan's arts, culture

Taiwan's foothold in Chinese culture

Published on 16 October 2011

Author(s): CNA/Christie Chen

Type:  News Originally publsihed 2 Oct 2011

Scholars and artists stressed at a Sunday forum the importance of tradition, arts education and maintaining Taiwan's foothold in Chinese culture.

The forum to draft a blueprint for Taiwan's arts and cultural development in the next 20 years was one of 12 open forums hosted by the Council for Cultural Affairs and organized by Global Views Monthly magazine from June to October as part of the Republic of China centennial celebrations.

They are being held to foster dialogue among scholars, experts and the general public in 12 different fields, with the aim of painting a vision for Taiwan in 2030.

The 12 topics discussed include international affairs, cross-Taiwan Strait relations, politics, the economy, environmental protection, science and technology, media, tourism and recreation, society, culture and arts, entertainment and education.

Lin Ku-fang, director of the Graduate Institute of Art Studies at Fo Guang University, who predicted that global competition in the future will become competitions between different "cultural plates," or nations bonded by similar histories and cultures, expressed hope that Taiwan can become a center for the "Chinese cultural plate" by 2030.

Lee Hsiao-ping, director of GuoGuang Opera Company, said that compared with China, there are no gaps in Taiwan's arts and cultural development, which he said gives it an advantage over China. But he also questioned if Taiwan will be able to maintain this advantage by 2030.

He called on the government to give artists more space and time, and to refrain from quantifying their work, as he said the best creative ideas are those that have taken time to settle in. Lee also stressed the importance of looking to the past for creativity, saying that creative ideas that have their roots in tradition are more likely to go a long way than ones that do not.

Wang Jun-jieh, director of the Department of New Media Art at Taipei National University of the Arts, called for an education system that breaches the borders between technology and art so that Taiwanese students can be versed in both fields.

He noted that the fields of arts and technology have a long history in the West and said Taiwan should examine its own culture and history to come up with its own definition of the relationship between art and technology.

Speaking via video conferencing, Hung Hung, the pen-name of local stage director Yen Hung-ya, expressed hope that the government will establish a performance art information center, a national film culture center, and centers to facilitate art, culture and literary exchanges, saying that only with the support of the government can these centers achieve their purpose of educating the public.

Hung Hung said the government should not wait until 2030 to build these these centers but should start them now.

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