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Legacy of senior Taiwan artists memorialized in books, films

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun hosted a press conference at the Ministry of Culture on Nov. 1 to promote the latest installment of biographies and documentary films on senior Taiwanese artists.

The Council for Cultural Affairs, predecessor of the Ministry of Culture, has been compiling the “Home Museum – Artist Biography (家庭美術館—美術家傳記叢書)” series since 1992 and filming the “Senior Artists in Taiwan (臺灣資深藝術家影音紀錄片)” documentaries since 2007 to memorialize their legacies. 

The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) took over the two projects in 2011 to continue documenting the lives and creations of Taiwan’s artists. With the support of the Ministry’s efforts in reconstructing the art history of contemporary Taiwan, the museum has completed ten more books and five more documentaries this year to help enhance public awareness of senior Taiwan artists.

The ten new biographical books will introduce artists Tsai Cao-ru (蔡草如), Huo Gang (霍剛), Liu Kuo-sung (劉國松), Lin Show-yu (林壽宇), Chen Huei-tung (陳輝東), Kinoshita Seigai (木下靜涯), Chen Ying-jie (陳英傑), Wu Hao (吳昊), Chuang Che (莊喆), and Lee Shi-chi (李錫奇).

With the life story of each artist as its core, “Artist Biography” introduces senior Taiwanese painters based on academic research, presenting the pioneers of contemporary fine arts through their respective life experiences, art journeys, and achievements as well as their influences on the development of Taiwanese fine arts.

The five new documentary films will introduce artists Cheng Shan-hsi (鄭善禧), Shaih Lifa (謝里法), Lin Xing-yue (林惺嶽), Yang Ying-feng (楊英風), and Chen Hsia-yu (陳夏雨).

Minister Cheng noted that a total of 111 books and 32 documentary films have been released and made available to the public, communities, and schools. By combining government funding and public resources to reconstruct the art history of Taiwan, the projects seek to expand upon the Taiwanese cultural identity.

The Executive Yuan’s Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program has provided the nation’s first-ever special budget for reconstructing Taiwanese art, literature, music, and architecture history. The Ministry will also help establish related resource centers in universities in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to enhance the documentation, research, and display of such history, stressed the Minister.

Director Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) of NTMoFA also expressed thanks to all the authors, directors, and artists who made the new books and films possible. The museum will continue to document more Taiwanese artists through these two projects, he added.

The conference was attended by Chief Secretary Chang Hui-chun (張惠君) of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Arts Development, Chairman Chen Yu-xiu (陳郁秀) of Taiwan Broadcasting System, and featured artists including Huo Gang, Liu Kuo-sung, Lee Shi-chi, Zhang Shan-xi, and Yang Ying-feng, as well as authors and directors of the publishing works this year.

To enhance effectiveness of the two projects, the museum will give the biography books and documentary films to schools, colleges, and universities as well as libraries and cultural institutions this year to build the aesthetic environment in everyday life.

The museum will also send the publications to the government’s offices overseas to promote Taiwan’s fine art development and provide resources for research. The five documentaries will also be broadcasted on the Chinese Television System and CTS Education and Culture this December. Additional film screening will also be held at schools.

The "Artist Biography" series can be purchased from here.


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The NTMoFA has completed ten more books and five more documentaries this year to help enhance public awareness of senior Taiwan artists.
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