Taiwan Art & Civilisation
256 Pages

Taiwan Art & Civilisation



Taiwan's specific situation in Asia is the source of its thorn past. Situated in the South East of China, Taiwan was at the crossroads of many maritime routes and squeezed between its neighbors, China and Japan. After centuries of foreign occupation, Taiwan has a unique history. Taiwan, Art and Civilization sheds light on Taiwan's beautiful scenery as well as its colorful history in the form of a true initiatory trip. Through magnificent illustrations, Taiwan reveals its secret beauty, its fauna and flora intertwined with its unique architecture. Home of the traditional and the modern, the gorgeous island is also the home of a very dynamic artistic scene. One thus fully grasps why the Portuguese named her Ilha Formosa, beautiful island.


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Published 08 May 2012
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EAN13 9781780429878
License: All rights reserved
Language English
Document size 6 MB

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Taiwan Art and Civilisation
Designed by: Baseline Co Ltd 127129A Nguyen Hue rd Fiditourist 3 Floor District 1 Ho Chi MinhCity Vietnam
Project manager: Dr. HsiuHuei Wang
© Confidential Concepts, for the present edition, USA © For the present edition, Parkstone Press International, New York, USA © All pictures from the Taiwan National Cultural Association © English translation by Taiwan National Cultural Association All rights reserved worldwide
Published by Parkstone Press International An imprint of Confidential Concepts
Taiwan National Cultural Association 15 Chungking South Rd. Section2, Taipei 100, Taiwan Secretary General: Ms YuChiou Tchen
ISBN: 9781780429878
No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lie with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where it is the case we would appreciate notification.
Taiwan Art and Civilisation
An Invitation: Knowing and Appreciating Taiwan’s Beauty
More than Thirty Thousand Years of History
II A Natural Miracle
III Architectural Style and Culture in Transition
IV Flourishing Performing Arts and Traditional Life
V Vigorous Visual Arts
Index of Artists
List of Illustrations
Photographical Credits
Sky Lanterns
AnInvitation Knowing and Appreciating Taiwan’s Beauty
By Tchen Yuchiou Secretary General, National Cultural Association n the last forty years, studying and working have given me the chance to make kiInd of country it is. But when they hear me describe or introduce Taiwan, they often say innumerable trips abroad. Among the foreigners I have met, many have been to or heard of my country Taiwan, while some do not even know where Taiwan is, or what something like: “Is that so!” or “Oh, spectacular, I didn’t know that!” Yes, Taiwan is indeed a place full of surprises, a mesmerizing island. This island nation, occupying only 36 000 square kilometers, once implemented martial law for 38 years, the longest period of martial law in the world. During this period, due to its people’s hardworking nature, Taiwan became one of the world’s largest textile producing nations in the 1970s, and one of the leading computer products manufacturer in the 1990s. Entering the twentyfirst century, Taiwan, with its population of 23 million,
An Invitation
is the sixteenth world economy in terms of GDP and third in its foreign currency reserves. Its competitiveness stands at number 13 among 125 countries, according to the “20062007 Report on Global Competitiveness” of the World Economic Forum. The second impressive thing about Taiwan is its natural environment and culture. Taiwan’s geographical location is special, helping create a diverse natural scenery and ecology. Not only are plants from many different climatic zones represented; their habitat and species diversity are also uncommon. On this land, there are aborigines who share a common ancestry with the Austronesians, but who have developed their own culture that is uniquely Taiwanese. In recent centuries, however, as a result of historical factors such as immigration and colonization, there developed a phenomenon where Chinese Han culture, Western culture, and Japanese culture blended together.
Taiwan Art and Civilisation
Thus we see that Taiwan has long been multicultural, its different cultures coexisting symbiotically. The world not only witnesses different species existing here, but also different ethnic groups coexisting together, different cultures agitating, gradually forming the face of modern Taiwan, spurring this tiny island’s creativity and arts to truly amazing accomplishments. Especially since entering into the democratic era beginning in the 1990s, full progress and impressive achievements have been made in the visual and performing arts. The diverse geography and assorted ethnic cultures have enabled the Taiwanese to bravely face difficulties and challenges, with unwavering stamina, in spite of repeated assaults, and a gentle, goodnatured fellowfeeling. This capacity for life is also on constant display in the annual festivities and ceremonies. To the Taiwanese and the world, Taiwan possesses two famous and conspicuous landmarks: Yushan, the tallest mountain peak in East Asia, and the Taipei 101 skyscraper,