Australian Office

Joint Press Release on Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year Arts Exchange Partnership





1 June 2022


The Australian Office Taipei and Taiwan’s National Culture and Arts Foundation (NCAF) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) initiating an Arts Exchange Partnership in this, the Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year.

The MOU will establish a mechanism to support cooperation in a range of areas, such as visual and performing arts, literature, culture, policy, and professional development. It will encourage cooperation between Australian and Taiwanese artists, particularly their Indigenous artists, and will include cultural exchange opportunities, such as reciprocal visits.

Australian Representative, Ms Jenny Bloomfield, said ‘I am delighted to be here at NCAF today to sign this important agreement that will allow us to develop our arts and cultural cooperation even further. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Australian Office in Taiwan, and our friendship only continues to deepen’.

Chair of NCAF, Professor Lin Mun-Lee, said ‘since the National Culture and Arts Foundation launched ARTWAVE – Taiwan International Arts Network in 2018, we have been able to connect Taiwanese artists more fully with other international cultural networks and share resources with international partners, including through many exchanges with Australia.  The signing of this agreement is an excellent starting point to further enhance arts and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Australia, and provides a good foundation for us to actively create mutual opportunities for collaboration in the arts and cultural sectors’.

The signing ceremony was also attended by Chair of the National Performing Arts Centre, Mr Henry Kao, and NCAF Board Director and Chair of the Bank of Taiwan, Mr Joseph Lyu, and Chairman of Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, Dr Michael Hsiao.

Australia and Taiwan have a long history of arts and cultural cooperation. Opera Australia and Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra co-presented Carmen in Taipei in 2009 and Madama Butterfly in 2012. The Sydney Dance Company performed Full Moon, by Taiwan’s Cheng Tsung-lung at Kaohsiung’s Weiwuying in 2018. In 2019, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney hosted the Heaven and Earth art exhibition, and the National Taiwan Museum hosted the Old Masters exhibition of Australian Indigenous bark paintings.  In 2018 and 2019, the National Culture and Arts Foundation successfully presented the achievements of Taiwanese contemporary art to Australian audiences through the participation of a number of Taiwanese artists at the OzAsia Festival. 

Indigenous artists have formed strong people-to-people connections through mutual visits in recent years. Eight Indigenous Taiwanese artists and two curators participated at QAGOMA’s 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, and Paiwan artist Aluaiy Kaumakan became the first Taiwanese Indigenous artist to present at the Biennale of Sydney in 2022. An upcoming Indigenous fashion exhibition in July-September 2022, First Wave, will further showcase the strong links in Australia-Taiwan Indigenous arts, culture, and creative industries.    

During the Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year, the Australian Office has hosted several arts and cultural events, including launches at the Museum of the National Taipei University of Education and at the Pan-Austro-Nesian Arts Festival at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. The Friendship Year has also seen the launch of ‘40 years, 40 stories’, which showcases stories told from Australian and Taiwanese perspectives demonstrating the breadth and depth of the relationship.

‘Australia and Taiwan have so much to share and learn from each other’, said Representative Bloomfield. ‘Arts and cultural exchange are vital to building mutual understanding, and this partnership with NCAF will provide our artists with incredible opportunities’.

The inaugural participating Australian and Taiwanese artists under the Arts Exchange Partnership will be announced in due course.