The first batch of artworks purchased under the Ministry of Culture’s Art Bank program will be on display at the Presidential Office from Dec. 17 through May 17, 2014.
The Art Bank is one of the flagship programs launched since the inauguration of the Ministry of Culture in 2012. By purchasing and leasing works of art, it transforms public spaces into art galleries, allowing people to see quality works of art and enabling children to grow up in an artistic environment. The Art Bank is not simply about leasing and exhibiting works of art, it is also a primary market for the art industry. Through an evaluation mechanism, the Art Bank Program supports the artwork transportation and exhibition installation industries, thus contributing to the establishment of a sustainable cultural and creative sector.
An opening ceremony for the Art Bank exhibition took place on Dec. 17, with President Ma Ying-jeou presenting certificates of appreciation to the nine enterprises from central Taiwan that helped to sponsor the Art Bank.
The Art Bank policy has not only brought art to public spaces, it has also boosted the art industry, said President Ma. The Presidential Office supports the program by leasing works of art from the Art Bank, and Ma expressed hope that more entrepreneurs, businesses and government agencies would join forces in support of the program.
Thirteen works of art by 11 artists, from paintings and photographs to multi-media creations, including works by Yuan Kuang-ming (袁廣鳴) and Chi Hui-min (季惠民), have been selected for display at the Presidential Office. The President thanked the enterprises for their donations of NT$2 million (US$66,370) each. The Art Bank donors include Globe Union, Chiui Group, Wen Hua Asset Management, Wei-Feng Culture and Art Foundation, Ching Jen Construction and Development Ltd., Fu Yu Construction, and In Young Hotel.
The Art Bank’s works of art have enlivened the atmosphere at the Presidential Office and introduced rich and diverse Taiwanese art to local and foreign visitors, said President Ma. Citing France as an example, he said that all French diplomatic offices abroad are art venues. Australia also has managed an Art Bank for three decades, with the government laying the foundation in the first ten years to gradually establish a lease system. Now the Australian Art Bank is self-sufficient and operates without government funding.
Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai also voiced her heart-felt gratitude to the art community for its full support of the program, and expressed hope that more local artists would be discovered by the international guests visiting the Presidential Office. She thanked the nine enterprises for throwing their weight behind the Art Bank as well.
The Art Bank aims to stimulate art consumption so that more works of art will be seen by the public. The works available for leasing range from graphic paintings, photography, video art, and sculptures to multi-media creations. Public or private organizations and groups interested in leasing works of art can contact the Ministry or the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. The Art Bank’s second phase of open artwork selection is now accepting applications. For more information, please visit the program website at http://artbank.ntmofa.gov.tw/Default.aspx.