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.

Taiwan Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, who has unveiled a new policy to support up and coming artists in Taiwan.

Taiwanese Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, who has unveiled a new policy to support up and coming artists in Taiwan. Image courtesy Creative Commons.

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.

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, ‘Declaration Independence’, 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

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“.


Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, grants for artists, art in Taipei

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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