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Minister proposes project on mapping out Taiwan's art history

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun visited Taichung City on April 8 to tour Taiwan’s largest art collection vault and discuss a proposed project on mapping out Taiwan’s art history.

Maintained by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the art vault occupying 11,187 square meters is by far the most well-established one among Taiwanese museums. Storage space are equipped with anti-vibration and bug-proof capabilities, and additional rooms are provided for study, restoration, photography, and film and audiovisual materials.

Apart from individual room control for temperature and humidity, radio-frequency identification (RFID) has also been built into the vault for tracking and managing both the archives and the staff members handling the collection. The security system is also capable of deploying inert gas to defuse fire hazards.

The Minister lauded the museum’s efforts in collecting art and related memorabilia by Taiwan’s representative artists since 1988, and promised to find additional funding to help improve the vault’s facilities. The vault, which took 12 years to complete, was inaugurated in 2015.

Minister Cheng also took a tour of a special exhibition examining the past and future of Hantoo Art Group (悍圖社), one of Taiwan’s oldest art collectives. She congratulated the group on its upcoming 20th anniversary, and explained that the Ministry of Culture is planning a project that will examine the role of such art collectives in Taiwan’s creative growth.

The proposed “Assembling Taiwan Art History (臺灣藝術史建構計畫)” project will research and map out the development and changes in the output of contemporary Taiwanese artists and ensembles. The findings will be presented not only through storage and exhibition of local artworks, but the collection of related manuscripts and artifacts.

The Minister noted that such research will broaden the scope of available materials on Taiwan’s art history and provide headway in studies on how art from Taiwan impacted the flow of global art history.


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The Minister (fifth left) is pictured with members of the Hantoo Art Group.
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