Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening: An Anthropology of Residence in Taiwan

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These artists-in-residence would contribute to cultural awakening by offering ways of negotiating creatively with otherness, and this for the sake of a better social life and shared identity. Review quote Wei Hsiu Tung's Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening: An Anthropology of Residence in Taiwan offers insightful perspectives on Taiwan's democratization and globalization through the lens of the visual arts, specifically artists' engagement with society through artistic residences.

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Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening is both fascinating and well worth reading. Employing a vital cross-cultural perspective, comparing the artistic residence in Taiwan with that in Britain, Tung adds important perspectives to this global phenomenon. Interviews with painters, photographers, sculptors, and other artists who have created art not for museums or galleries but instead to "speak to mass audiences," add significantly to the depth and breadth of this study. Examining as well the concrete implications for artists-in-residence endeavors in Taiwan, especially as concerns how artists integrate the pulls of the local and the global, Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening represents an important contribution to Asian studies.


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Thornber, Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University This book examines the practice of artists-in-residence in Taiwan, via an engaging treatment of art and artists as seen from the perspective of the embodied eye of anthropology and through juxtaposition with Britain. The volume sheds new light on Taiwan since the lifting of martial law, exploring not only governmental support for art and artists but also processes of democracy and identity as they have unfolded in a cultural and aesthetic history that is both Asian and European, indigenous and Chinese, modern and post-modern.

The book is accessible and original, and should be essential reading for all those interested in Taiwanese culture and society since the transition to democracy. Particularly striking is the way the author weaves together identity and art as the unfinished, mutable, and invented productions of relational rather than egoistic complexes. While much has been said about relational and interventionist art in Western and trans-national contexts, this is the first major book-length study to address similar forms of artistic practice in Taiwan.

Tung's extended anthropological meditation on artistic residency is indispensable reading not only for those with a specific interest in contemporary Taiwanese art, but also anyone concerned with the wider implications of the relationship between culture and globalization.


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  7. The author emphasizes in particular the ongoing importance of cultural identity in these deeper introspections and debates. By invoking an anthropological approach, the emphasis is really on the experiential aspects of artistic production. The practice of residential communities is perhaps not unlike the seminal role that Jurgen Habermas attributed to salons in the structural transformation of the public sphere.

    For all these reasons, this monograph should be of interest to scholars not only in art but also cultural studies in general and critically minded students of all kinds working on contemporary Asia and elsewhere. His current writing focuses on dialogical aesthetics. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter.

    Tung, Wei Hsiu. Art for social change and cultural awakening : an anthropology of residence in Taiwan. Group, Inc.

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    Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening. An Anthropology of Residence in Taiwan

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