Art has always been considered a medium of self-expression and creativity. However, it is much more than just that. Art has become a tool for countries to project their image and gain soft power. Taiwan is a country that has great potential to use art as soft power, and it should value the artistic profession more in order to promote itself on the international stage.
Taiwan has a rich cultural heritage and a thriving contemporary art scene. The country has produced renowned artists such as Lee Mingwei and Tehching Hsieh. However, the government has not done enough to promote and support the artistic profession in Taiwan. Artists in Taiwan face several challenges, such as lack of funding, low salaries, and a lack of opportunities to exhibit their work.
Art can be a powerful tool for Taiwan to promote itself on the international stage. It can showcase Taiwan’s cultural diversity, creativity, and innovation. The country can use art to attract tourists and investors and create a positive image of Taiwan in the minds of people around the world. Art can also help Taiwan to build relationships with other countries and promote cultural exchange.
Artists in Taiwan should also be more proactive in promoting their work internationally. They should participate in international art events, collaborate with artists from other countries, and use social media to showcase their work to a global audience.
Last week, I had the privilege of introducing 54 Taiwanese middle schoolers to Belgium’s comic culture. At the end of the presentation, I asked the students to express their unique perception of Taiwan by drawing a simple comic or artwork that could entice foreigners to visit the country. Not surprisingly, the students’ art was dominated by depictions of food, with bubble tea being drawn 25 times, stinky tofu 12 times, and night markets 6 times. Other aspects that the students took pride in were the Formosan black bear, which appeared in 14 drawings, convenience stores, which appeared in 5, and the Taipei 101 skyscraper, which appeared in 4.
Belgium’s reputation as an artistic hub has been bolstered by comics and other forms of art. Taiwan has the potential to similarly stand out on the world stage by valuing and promoting its artistic professions.