Taiwan’s Minister of Culture has announced a subsidy programme to support the island’s emerging artists.
On 7 May 2013, Taiwan’s Minister of Culture unveiled plans to provide financial grants to up and coming artists. Open to creators of all ages working across many disciplines, the scheme is part of the Ministry’s strategy to support Taiwanese arts despite restricted resources.
The new policy will come into effect later in 2013 and will see the Ministry of Culture (MOC) disburse a total of NTD13 million (USD442,000) annually. Individual grant recipients stand to receive up to NTD300,000 (USD10,201), which they can use to fund their first exhibition, performance, film screening, publication or similar public showcasing, according to the ministry. Institutions or groups eligible for funding can apply for a maximum of NTD1 million (USD34,044) each.
Supporting art at the grassroots
Speaking at a press conference called to introduce the policy, Minister of Culture Lung Yingtai said,
This initiative forms part of government efforts to support promising artists and creators by encouraging them to display their work. The first stage is very important and may well help a fledgling artist emerge in their own right.
Lung emphasised the importance of grassroots support for the arts, noting that giving an artist their first public exhibition opportunity is of equal importance as spending NTD100 million (USD3.4 million) a year on established names, reported the online desk of Focus Taiwan News Channel.
Wu Jing-jyi, a board member of Taiwan’s National Culture and Arts Foundation, told Taiwan Today that he believes the project would be instrumental in bringing more of Taiwan’s artists to international attention.
Taking Taiwan’s art to the world
Garnering international recognition was set out in the ministry’s agenda when Lung took up her mandate in 2012. According to the South China Morning Post, she vowed to set up an international exchange platform to promote cultural activities between 7,835 grassroots communities in Taiwan and the rest of the world in order to promote cultural dialogue and understanding.
The new Culture Ministry
The Ministry of Culture, which replaced the Council of Cultural Affairs in May 2012 in a large-scale governmental overhaul, is charged with supporting Taiwan’s artists through both policy-making and financial investment. A direct response to rising China, according to MOC’s website, the new-look Ministry is responsible for
- forming cultural policies.
- overseeing international cultural exchanges.
- developing local arts and the publishing, cultural and creative industries.
- protecting local cultural assets and copyrights.
- protecting and promoting Taiwan’s cultural assets at home and abroad.
Creating more resources
Although provided with a limited annual budget of NTD16 billion (USD545 million), a figure that is well below the NTD20 billion (USD676 million) that the South China Morning Post claim Lung had hoped to receive, the ministry has outlined plans for initiatives such as art funds and art villages across Taiwan. Speaking to the Huffington Post in September 2012, Lung said she was intent upon making the most of Taiwan’s arts policies, “studying many of the existing laws and regulations to see if there are ways to create more resources“.
- How Taiwan’s city government view street art: Beautification over vandalism? – April 2013 – Graffiti is now legal in Taiwan, but has it lost its edge?
- Singapore to return to Venice Biennale in 2015 – April 2013 – Singapore officials balance the books and return to the Biennale
- Stripping ‘Ophelia’ and more: 3 young Taiwanese new media artists in Hong Kong – April 2012 – the product of an age of burgeoning technological advancement
- Chin Chih Yang’s roving projection challenge Art Taipei audience: video and interview – September 2011 – Taiwan-born, US-based artist on his ‘art experience’ Broken Mind
- Tsong Pu discusses six artworks: Part I – Chasing lines across space – August 2010 – Pu looks back on a career spanning forty years and picks out six particular works, just for Art Radar
Subscribe to Art Radar for more on developments in the Taiwanese art scene