The Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (SACICT) and the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI) signed a memorandum of understanding on April 19 at the 2018 Taiwan Creative Expo in Taipei.
The two organizations have held several exhibitions and technical exchanges this year, and in March the NTCRI sent a group to take part in Crafts Bangkok 2018. This was then followed by the SACICT exhibiting colorful Thai ceramics, fabrics, bamboo art, and lacquerware at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park from April 18 through 22 as part of the creative expo.
SACICT was established with the support of the Thai royal family and has more than 60 branches across Thailand. The organization works to assist in the industrialization of traditional crafts and add value to rural arts and traditional ways of life.
SACICT is also committed to promoting the preservation and continuation of various traditional crafts in Thailand, as well as marketing them to both domestic and international markets. Their mission is much the same as that of the NTCRI, with each organization being the chief promoter of handicraft culture in its respective homeland.
The two are holding a joint exhibition at the ongoing 2018 Taiwan Creative Expo, in which SACICT Executive Director Amparwon Pichalai and NTCRI Director Hsu Keng-hsiu signed an MOU between the two organizations on April 19.
The ceremony was presided by Ministry of Culture Secretary-General Chen Chi-ming, and as a souvenir to commemorate the signing, the two parties also printed their signatures on an exquisite ceramic plate from NTCRI's own craft brand Yii.
Thailand has shown great interest in Taiwanese crafts – particularly in its use of natural materials. In May, a Thai delegation will visit the NTCRI's headquarters at Caotun, Nantou to exchange ideas with Taiwanese bamboo weavers.
The hope is to establish a bamboo arts development center and a joint exhibition platform in Thailand in anticipation of crafts exchanges to come and foster a stronger presence in international markets.
This will be a symbolic milestone in Thai-Taiwanese craft cooperation and forge a more profound connection between the two nations through the "people-oriented bilateral exchanges" framework of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy.