Revitalizing Formosa: The Promotion of Public Art in Taiwan
In modern Taiwan, public art has serenely become part of the scenery. Public art in Taiwan began to flourish after 1998 when the Council of Cultural Affairs launched the Public Art Establishment Measures, with the intention to permeate the influence of public art into various public construction projects and to increase the aesthetic appeals of city views. Largely paid for by taxpayers and selected through public appraisal, these art creations have generated plenty of interest and also nicely symbolize Taiwan's economic and political progress. They serve as a bridge between the general public and an emotionally constructed aesthetic domain. Public art has changed through the eras and reviewing government publications is an appropriate way of understanding public art in Taiwan.
This paper focuses on the promotion efforts of public art in the localities in Taiwan. Three key elements involved in the process are analyzed from the perspectives of artists and of participating residents. The relationship between public art and community space in respect to the autonomy of art is also examined. A comparative study is conducted for exploring each element in its own contexts. Based on the dimensions of “interactive communication”, “community involvement”, “formation process” and “environmental subjectivity”, the goal of this paper is to propose a framework and conceptual discourse for the social analysis of public art in Taiwan. However, it is a reminder for people in Taiwan that there are many things in natural environment with precious sentimental values that ought to be treasured in the process of development. After all, the fundamental purpose in integrating public art and public construction is to reflect the prospect of coexistence between human beings and nature.
Keywords: Public Art, Community Culture, Citizen Participation
Prof. Chih-Hsiang Ko
Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Commercial Design, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology