Taiwan’s quest for identity and international recognition has been the most important and fiercely contested issue for nearly half century, both nationally and internationally.
Imagining Taiwan is the first in-depth and comprehensive study, published in English, which critically explores the pivotal role played by the visual arts in Taiwan’s identity discourse. Drawing on 25 years of research, Sophie McIntyre analyses the ways in which identity narratives have been imagined, interpreted and transmitted, locally and globally, through the production, selection, display and reception of Taiwan art. This book focuses on the post-martial law era, a transformative period when democratisation gave rise to a heightened sense of Taiwanese consciousness, and a growing awareness of Taiwan’s place in the world. Artists, curators, art critics and scholars in Taiwan actively engaged in identity issues in unique, and often subversive ways. The author reveals how, with the turn of the new millennium, identity discourses in the visual arts shifted, from a Taiwan-centred narrative into a transnational vision embracing local, regional and global perspectives.
Imagining Taiwan brings together primary and archival sources, and nearly 200 images, many published for the first time. It is an essential reference for specialists and students in art, curatorship, museums, and Taiwan and China studies, and it will also appeal to those seeking a greater understanding of the wider region.