Taiwan Visual Art Archive (TVAA) aims to promote Taiwanese art and culture by compiling historical, primary materials of Taiwanese art, collect, research and organize oral histories and release publications, and utilize its online platform to co-learn and cultivate talents in field research and art criticism.
The conception of TVAA draws from the experience of several groups in various stages. In 2011, the online platform Arts Observer Field Archive (https://aofa.tw) was set up to elevate the developmental context of contemporary art in Tainan. Later that year, Ocular Studio was established with the objective of field research, collecting art historical materials, and planning contemporary exhibitions that cross-reference archives and artworks, editing and publishing a series of books.
In view of the trend of “archival turn,” TVAA was launched in April 2020, in the praxis of “research-publication-curation.” Unlike the collections of institutions, TVAA focuses on folk modern and contemporary artworks and its documents, including letters, diaries, drafts, transcripts, collecting and investigating archival materials, and conducting independent research related to the works. We hope to use archives as a method in providing Taiwanese art with a richer, global perspective and localized thinking through engaging in art criticism, research and curating.
Cheng Wen-Hsien graduated from the Department of Crafts and Design at National Taiwan Academy of Arts (now National Taiwan University of Arts), and received a Master of Arts in Art History and Criticism at Tainan National University of the Arts. Cheng established Ocular Studio and Arts Observer Field Archive (https://aofa.tw) respectively in May and November of 2011 as an archival database of Taiwanese art historical materials and co-sharing platform, by means of field research, archival display and independent publishing. Recent projects include: “Living Practices of Craft and Art” and “The 9 Year Publication Plan of Arts Observer Field Archive.”
In 2016, Cheng hosted the project “A Preliminary Study on Tainan Contemporary Art 1: ‘South Taiwan New Style Biennale,’” and adapted its findings into an exhibition in 2018, with an accompanying publication Moving Wind: Modern Art Style Exhibition of South Taiwan, 1986-1997, surveying the contextual development of contemporary art in Tainan.
Project Researcher at TVAA. Wu Shang-Yu received a Master of Arts in Art History, Criticism and Cultural Relics from National Tainan University of the Arts, with his graduate thesis focusing on theories of the Global South and strategies of modern and contemporary art museums. Wu has participated in the Art Archive Center in Taiwan’s “New Taipei City Collections Project” (2019), “South Plus: Constructing Historical Pluralism and local studies Project” (2018), among others. His writing has been published mainly in Artist Magazine, attending to non-Eurocentric/American-centric art practices and conducting interviews with international art institutions and biennale curators.
Project Researcher at TVAA. Shu-Pei Lee is currently pursuing his PhD at the Department of Fine Arts doctoral program at the National Taiwan Normal University. Lee is currently an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts at Tainan University of Technology (2009-present) and National Kaohsiung Normal University (2012-present). Lee specializes in modern and contemporary Western art history, Taiwan art history, and arts psychology research.
In recent years, Lee is committed to the localization of contemporary art observation and knowledge, presently implementing the “Technology and Arts Praxis Project.” Former observer of “ArTrend International Performance Art Festival” (2020), host of the Tainan “Absolute Space for the Arts: Walking Hamachō with An Expert” (2019), and curator of “Poems on Flying: Gangshan Military and Humanities Memory Exhibition” (2020).
Project Researcher at TVAA. Huang graduated from the Journalism and Communications Department of Shih Hsin School of Journalism (now Shih Hsin University). Working formerly as a journalist, Huang is currently a freelance arts worker dedicated to oral history, fieldwork and writing on Tainan culture and arts.
Committed to the preservation of local culture and development of art, Huang is presently implementing the “Technology and Arts Praxis Project.” She has participated in group exhibitions “Madou Sugar Industry Art Triennial – Tsung Yeh Sugar Industry Arts Museum” (2018), “Dongdu Opening Tian-Hsing – Tainan City North Border Cultural Heritage Special Exhibition” (2017), and “Migration and Regeneration – Collecting and Creating Disappearing Landscapes” (2017).
Chiang Po-Shih is a Taiwanese art historian and curator. Chiang founded Art Archive Center in Taiwan, initiated Taiwan Visual Art Archive, and established the National Visual Art Archives, serving as a member of the Ministry of Culture’s National Treasures and Important Cultural Heritage Committee, and collections of several public art museums in Taiwan.
Recent academic publications since 2020 include: Meridians of Region: Writing Art History and Curating Contemporary Culture in the Philippines and Taiwan (2021), co-written with Patrick D. Flores, Piecing Together / Installing New Art: The Context of Taiwan’s Participation in the São Paulo Biennale (1957-1973) (2020) and A New Path of Modern Art History: Chuang Shih-Ho’s Diary and Documents from 1943 (2020), and others.
Chiang has organized several recent major art history conferences and symposiums including: “The Renaissance of Culture Memory: Collected Papers of the Symposium on Reconstructing Art Histories in Contemporary Taiwan” at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, “Archival Turn: East Asian Contemporary Art and Taiwan (1960-1989)” at Taipei Fine Arts Museums, and “South of Asia: Aesthetic, Theory, Archives International Symposium,” among others.
Chiang has also published research on exhibition history since 2000, and from 2010 onward, he has focused on the reality of the avant-garde movement and left-wing politics. In recent years, his focus has shifted to re-evaluating Taiwan modernism and contemporaneity in the context of global art history.
Commissioned by art museums to create exhibitions informed by his academic research, Chiang has presented retrospectives on Kuo Po-chuan, Chuang Shih-Ho, and Juan I-Jong, as well as “Places of Being: Space and Materiality in Taiwan’s Avante Garde Art, 1980-2021” at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and “Lumière: The Enlightenment and Self-Awakening of Taiwanese Culture” at Museum of National Taipei University of Education.
2020.08.03 Set up workstation at Sanhe Street
2020.04.20 TVAA Established