Taiwan is known as a hi-tech hub, with its industries of semiconductor, precision machinery, and communications having kept upgrading over the last decades, which imperceptibly and indirectly influences the lifestyles and cultural identity of Taiwanese.
With the interweaving of technology and culture, the technology art in Taiwan has undergone a process of continuous technological and cultural experiments, with shifts evidenced by the emerging of new media arts. The technology art in Taiwan features not only the artists’ depictions of their experiences of daily life, but also the usage of new media arts methods and the caring for contemporary social and cultural issues.
Taiwan has been a country of freedom, openness and diversification. With the arrival of the new millennium, it turns itself from a manufacturing-sector oriented “technology island” into a “culture and technology island,” which focuses on the arts and culture and the creation of added value. The public and private sectors invested resources in digital industries in a cultural perspective. Especially over the past 10 years, influenced by the concepts of innovation and avant-garde Taiwan has been through the process of retrospect and prospect, aiming to develop a glocalization perspective. Interdisciplinary and cross-boundary collaboration has been achieved through the scattering and blending of creative ideas across time, space, interfaces, and roles. With the application of new technologies, such as VR/AR/MR, sensory experiences based on algorithms and AI data have brought novel experiences for audiences in the multifaceted technology arts field.
In 2018, the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) was established as a pioneering cultural venue affiliated to the Ministry of Culture, with the collaboration of the Ministries of Science & Technology and Economic Affairs. It offers platforms for contemporary art, social innovation, and technology media to assemble the creative energy of the contemporary culture, and implements experiments and practices to build a social and cultural vision. C-LAB is an institution for the blending of and collaborations in technology, art, and society, following the national strategy and linking innovative experimental organizations in Taiwan and abroad.
Taiwan was named the CHRONIQUES Biennale guest of honor with C-LAB serving as curator. VR FILM LAB, located in Kaohsiung have also been invited. With the theme of Eternity, together with 12 outstanding new media artists, a team representative of Taiwan’s technology-based arts has been formed to present Taiwan’s rich culture and abundant technical know-how through exhibitions, performances, and film screenings, transforming Taiwan’s image as a “technology island” into a “culture and technology island” with its cultural soft power. The artworks of these artists will display in multiple venues, including Galerie Zola, Friche la Belle de Mai, 21 bis cours Mirabeau – espace culturel départemental, and Office de tourisme – Lieu 9, through which we attempt to make technological and cultural exchanges happen and actively push the boundaries of technology and new media arts.
As the world enters the post-pandemic era, Taiwan will continue to contribute its artistic, technological, and cultural energy, to initiate cultural innovation, and to keep moving forward!