label r shifted
Session C6
The Marginalization of Taiwan Art History? — A Cultural Politics Perspective on the Discourse of Visual Art in Taiwan
廖新田 Hsin-Tien Liao
Graduage School of Art Management and Culture Policy, National Taiwan Uniersity of Arts, Taiwan

The concept of “Taiwanese art” didn’t emerge early until after the WII in the 1950s when Taiwanese artists’ Japanese painting was criticized as “enslaved” compared with Chinese ink-wash painting, a.k.a. “national painting” (guohua國畫). This event is named “The Controversy of Orthodox Chinese/National Painting” (正統國畫論爭zhentong guohua lunzheng), that showcased the problematik of Taiwanese art under the contested arena of Japanese and Taiwanese arts. The term of “Taiwanese art” actually epitomizes the power struggle of cultural politics. How is Taiwanese art in the 21 century? Is it acceptable to the geopolitics of art in Taiwan because of the change of political environment, namely, democracy and localization? In my recent survey of art college curriculum (2013-2016), only 10% of Taiwanese art history courses were arranged for art students compared with 20% of Chinese art history courses and 22% of western art history courses respectively. And, a 300 questionnaire reveals that only 7% of respondent reflects learning Taiwanese art history more than Chinese and western art histories, which are unproportionally higher, 45% and 48% respectively. In a service of art learning program (藝術學門學術研習營課程總表) for university students by “Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Science of Technology” from 2013 until now, Taiwanese art history only occupies 1 out of 17 courses, while 8 course for western art history and 5 for Chinese art history. The three examples show that there is a starkly imbalanced condition of art history in Taiwan. Why and how?

This paper is going to exam and explore the possible phenomenon of marginalization of Taiwanese art history in Taiwan from the perspective of discursive formation: how the Chinese art history, western art history and Taiwanese art history co-exist and compete with each other in Taiwan? Is there “Taiwanization” in visual art history in Taiwan in terms of institutionalization – education, research and discourse? What is the paradigm of Taiwan art history? The so-called “sustainability” of art history in Taiwan cannot maintained or established without understanding the marginalization of Taiwan art history in Taiwan.

Key words: Taiwan art history, marginalization, cultural politics, paradigm, sustainability