(Last updated: 21 Nov 2011)
Trends and opportunities
The visual arts market in Taiwan is thriving and in great abundance. It has been a mature market since the 1980s and Taiwanese art collectors are sophisticated and are keen to explore their vision to new areas. According to Sotheby’s, one-third of the transaction in Sotheby’s Hong Kong Sale of Asian Contemporary Art is contributed by Taiwanese art collectors. With globalisation, Taiwan art collectors have also extended their interests in collecting artworks from Europe, America and other Asian countries. The Taiwan art market was also the first Chinese art market established in the world, which is more transparent and influential in comparison with other growing markets.
There are over 100 contemporary art galleries, and 30 museums and spaces exhibiting contemporary art. Most museums are government operated and galleries are usually in the commercial business of art sales. The government provides extensive funding and support to the industry through the Council of Cultural Affairs and the National Culture and Arts Foundation. In addition to government exhibition space, corporations often integrate artworks in their buildings or provide exhibition space for artists, such as Fubon Group and Jung Tai Group.
In terms of emerging trends, there is an increasing awareness and interest in contemporary artworks, animation and media artworks by younger Taiwanese collectors given many of whom had been educated overseas and returned to Taiwan to take over family business.
Taiwanese collectors are the most well-established buyers in Asia with aesthetic tastes, as they travel extensively to visit museums, key international art fairs and events (ie. Art Basel, Venice Biennale) regularly. Since Australian visual arts is still relatively new to Taiwan, Australian galleries may consider participating in the following key art fairs in Taiwan to increase the profile in the market.
Art Galleries Association Taiwan organises the annual largest art exhibition in Taiwan – Art Taipei. It is also the most long-standing art fair in the Asia region and has become one of key art event with participants mainly from Asia and some from Europe and North America. Art Taipei 2012 will be held on 9–12 November 2012 at the Taipei World Trade Centre and is keen to have Australian galleries’ presence at the fair.
Young Art Taipei
Young Art Taipei is the first hotel contemporary art fair in Asia that focuses on young artists under the age of 45. The fair is organised by Taiwan Contemporary Art Link and aims to serve as a platform for contemporary art in Asia to create connections within the region. Young Art Taipei will be held 11–13 May 2012.
The visual arts market in Taiwan, as with the global art market, can be very competitive. The greatest competition in the market is from Asian and in particular Chinese artists. In addition to global interest in China’s explosive art market and Taiwanese buyers’ focus on well-known Chinese artists, Taiwanese buyers are increasingly searching for new and affordable artists from other countries. The artist with a sound, award winning record and exhibition history will be relatively easy to be introduced to the market.