Creative industries to Taiwan
Trends and opportunities
Creative industries in Taiwan are thriving as a result of increased government support and a growing interest in culture and the arts amongst the people. According to the 2013 Cultural and Creative Industry Annual Report, the industry consists of 15 sectors with a total of 58 686 creative industry companies and a combined turnover value of NTD$757.4 billion.
Taiwan is a democratic, free and diverse society. This openness reflects the development of creative industries and has resulted in a vibrant creative environment that is open to new ideas and influences internationally. Australia has a strong tourism industry and an increasing amount of young Taiwanese choosing to study or complete working holiday programmes. Australia enjoys a great reputation for education, quality of life and creativity in Taiwan.
The demand for performing arts in Taiwan comes mainly from venue programmers and festival organisers. Aside from the popularity of mainstream artists, reputable companies and event organisers are increasingly looking for new, international and unique performances to cater for an increasingly knowledgeable and internationalised audience. New and multidisciplinary works as alternative forms of performance art are beginning to develop an audience in Taiwan, as well as outdoor performances and innovative productions catering for children and family audiences. In addition, opportunities for Australian performing companies to co-produce with domestic Taiwanese companies and firms are expected to grow.
The Australian visual arts sector has niche opportunities in Taiwan, particular in contemporary video work, photography and painting. Taiwanese collectors are increasingly searching for international artists, with many young collectors keen to acquire new and affordable works both domestically and internationally.
In the publishing sector, translated literature continues to be popular in Taiwan, especially for translations of film novels. Children’s books, young adult fiction, lifestyle, health and food, motivation and psychology (self-help) also sell well. With increased trade and cross-strait business between Taiwan and China, a number of publishers and literary agencies have expanded their business networks. Those who wish to expand into the China market should first consider working with a Taiwanese local agent or publisher as a stepping.
With around 37 per cent of Taiwan’s population attending a live performing arts event annually, the rate of attendance is comparable to that of the United States. Music performances attract over 20 per cent of Taiwan’s population, while attendance figures for contemporary drama, traditional theatre and dance range from 11 to 16 per cent.
In addition, to cultivate an appetite for domestic culture and the arts amongst locals, the government has built five international standard performing arts venues, due to open by 2017 respectively.
- Taipei Performing Arts Center
- National Taichung Theatre
- Kaohsiung Wei-Wu-Yin Center for the Arts
- Taipei Pop Music Center
- Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center
The demand for international performances and operational training for these new venues is expected to grow in the coming years.
(Source: Journal of Cultural Economics, vol.37, no.2, May 2013)
The visual arts market is robust and Taiwanese collectors play a leading role in Asia in the acquisition of contemporary artwork. According to Sotheby’s, one-third of the total transactions in Sotheby’s Hong Kong can be attributed to Taiwanese private art collectors. Taiwan ranked fifth globally with a total of €9.7 million in transactions at contemporary art auctions. The extent of interest in art collecting in Taiwan extends beyond Asia, reaching Europe and North America.
The awareness and interest of Australian contemporary and indigenous art in Taiwan has increased steadily through a number of international exhibitions and galleries’ participation in key art fairs, highlighting the innovation and talent of Australian artists.
(Source: Contemporary Art Market, The Artprice Annual Report 2013(PDF))
The publishing industry is considered mature, open and competitive. Taiwan has over 10 000 publishing companies, publishing 42 305 new titles in 2012, representing an increase of five per cent from 40 456 in 2009. Taiwan is a major publishing rights market in Asia, especially for American and European best-selling books. It is estimated that translated books account for approximately 25 per cent of the market annually, with over 50 per cent accounted for by English-to-Chinese translated books.
There is a growing awareness in Taiwanese publishers of key Australian authors and bestselling titles and the demand for Australian published works has grown in the past few years, especially in the children and young adult categories. In 2012 Australia ranked ninth publishing rights-supplying country in Taiwan.
(Source: 2012 Taiwan Book Publishing Industry Survey, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan)
In addition to its own indigenous culture, Taiwan’s culture has historically been heavily influenced by Japanese and American culture in many ways. The key competitors for Australian performing arts companies in Taiwan are USA-based, British, French and Japanese companies.
Competition is fierce in the visual arts sector, where Asian (and in particular Chinese) artists are successful, due to greater cultural and linguistic similarly. In the publishing rights sector, Australia also faces strong competition from Japan, the USA, UK, France and Korea.
Marketing Your Products and Services
It is important to commit to a clear, long-term market strategy and to work closely with local agents in order to successfully enter the Taiwan market.
Austrade has offices in Taipei and Kaohsiung, where the majority of agents, promoters and presenters are located. Austrade’s offices have established strong and diverse networks with key industry players and on request, can help Australian companies enter the market by linking them with local agents and helping to raise the profile of Australian companies, products and services internationally.
Australian performing arts companies are well-regarded at major art festivals in Taiwan, the majority of which are government-funded and organised by commercial event companies through a tender process. It is recommended that interested companies work closely with Austrade in order to stay updated of any upcoming or potential tender opportunities.
Australian companies are encouraged to apply for funding from both Federal and State government arts agencies that facilitate and promote performing arts exporters in Taiwan. These grants are usually available for performing artists to travel to overseas markets and perform, helping to reduce the costs of travelling for both artists and organisers. In addition, Australian performing companies may seek other touring opportunities in adjoining markets when planning to visit Taiwan, which may further reduce travel costs and increase agents’ interest and capacity to present the work.
With regards to the visual arts sector, Australian galleries may consider participating at the various art fairs and international exhibitions in Taiwan to build connections with collectors and galleries. There are a number of large-scale well attended art fairs held annually around Taiwan, such as Art Taipei, Young Art Taipei and Art Kaohsiung.
For Australian publishers, it is recommended to work with a local Taiwanese agent and participate in the annual Taipei International Book Exhibition. One of the most important and largest book fairs in Asia, it offers the opportunity to develop and build on relationships with Taiwanese publishers and editors.
Links and Industry Contacts
Government, Business and Trade Resources
Ministry of Culture
Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industries
Taiwan International Festival of Arts
Taipei Arts Festival
Taipei Children Art Festival
Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival
Taipei International Choral Festival
Taichung Jazz Festival
National Theatre and Concert Hall
Taiwan Art Gallery Association
Young Art Taipei
Taipei International Book Exhibition
Taipei Book Fair Foundation
Australia Council for the Arts
Australia International Cultural Council
Australia China Council
Please note: this list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only.
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