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CFP: The Sixth International Conference on Tainan Studies, 2020

The Sixth International Conference on Tainan Studies, 2020

Art and Material Culture in the Tainan Area



Conference topic:

Tainan is spontaneously seen as a place with a rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage. This has its roots in the history of lowland indigenous people and Han immigration, but also results from previous trade relations with the outside world and the different functions that successive authorities on the island attributed to this locus. Long-lasting Taiwanese capital of traditional artistic expressions and know-hows, Tainan has also become the chief-place of their preservation and research on restoration, while making them resources for the cultural promotion of the region.

In addition to the historical buildings and sites attached to highly contrasted periods of the past, showing remarkable and varied architectural styles, the city and the hinterland count myriads of temples that are the repositories of age-old material culture, as well as innumerable religious celebrations that form the crucible of intangible culture; both facets constitute the pillars that support their transmission and stimulate a traditional aesthetic with flamboyant aspects, engaging all the senses.

Tainan has also been keen to create a dynamic around new institutions such as Tainan Art Museums I & II, the redeployed Chimei Museum, art galleries, art exhibitions, and to welcome more and more public concerts, dance and theatre performances. A number of performing arts troupes have a sustained local action. Besides, several cultural parks have established artist residencies where works of art rooted in their environment are born, accomplished by Taiwanese or foreign artists who have come to meet the inhabitants and have drawn from their life stories. On the other side, the inhabitants have always been strongly attachment to their region and are aware of what it represents for Taiwan's history and culture.

This leads us to consider cultural and artistic life in the relation between the center and the periphery (and this is all the more interesting because Tainan has also been a center in the past), between the north and south of the island and, locally, between the city and the countryside. And moreover to tackle the subjects of cultural roots, the affirmation of identity through art, and aesthetics as a capital of distinction.

Aside from encouraging the illustration and analysis of this artistic, creative and traditional abundance of Tainan, this conference also aims to invite researchers to address a broader theme, concerning ‘art’ in its relationship to ‘place’, based on what we see in Tainan, or starting from Tainanese experiences in comparison with those of other places, including overseas. In this regard, the following questions can be asked: What is the relationship that artists and works of art maintain with the spaces they invest? How is a territory embodied by artistic expression? Can a work of art become a "lieu de mémoire"? What makes the sensory, emotional or ideal anchoring in a particular place a unique experience and how is it projected in the field of art?

Content of presentations:

The presentations should be in line with Taiwan studies in the humanities and social sciences. All periods are concerned. The fields considered are: visual arts in the broadest sense, including film and architecture, applied art and handicraft, music, performing arts, live performances. Poetry and literature, which alone would deserve a symposium, are not included here.

Possible interests and orientations for papers might include:

- Museums, public or private collections, galleries, exhibitions;

- Architecture in the city, in the countryside, monuments, sites and parks;

- Material culture and restoration, know-hows and skills;

- Music and performing arts: traditional, past, present;

- Temples: architecture and decoration, votive statuary, objects;

- Aesthetic arrangements of rituals (objects, costumes, gestures, voice-music-sounds);

- Content, graphic depiction and aesthetics on ancient maps and historical illustrations;

- The new place of art in the public space of Tainan (public sculptures, installations, "painted villages", living spaces embellished by local residents, routes performances and outdoor performances, etc.);

- Tainan's artist residencies: creation, interactions, works of art, exhibitions;

- Tainan's place in Taiwan’s visual art, art history and art criticism;

- Art and identity (local, ethnic, national) from Tainan’s standpoint.

Conference information:

1. Dates and venue of the conference:

Dates: October 17-18, 2020 (Saturday and Sunday)

Venue: The National Center for Research & Preservation of Cultural Properties (Ministry of culture, Bureau of Cultural Heritage) B1 International Conference Hall (No. 1-1, Zhongzheng Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan City 700, Taiwan)

2. Abstract submission due on February 23, 2020.

Please submit by the deadline a tentative paper title and a 350-word abstract (English) or a 500-word abstract (Chinese) and 5 keywords, as well as a copy of your curriculum vitae.

Proposals will be evaluated by the Conference planning committee.

3. For accepted proposals, full papers will be due on August 31, 2020.

4. Languages of the conference and financial support:

* The abstract and paper can be written in either English or Chinese. The languages of the conference will be Chinese and English.

* Travel costs and living expenses during the conference will be covered by the organizers.


Please, send your submission and questions to:

WEN Sheng-Chih 溫勝智 (ICTAHR’s scientific assistant)

E-mail: Tel: 886 (0)6 7212338 or 886 (0)6 6324453

No 245, Liu-an Village, Jiali District, Tainan City, 72242, Taiwan.


Organizers: The International Center for Tainan Area Humanities and Social Sciences Research (ICTAHR) &

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of Tainan City Government

Co-organizer: Bureau of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture (The National Center for Research and Preservation of Cultural Properties)

Joint organizers: College of Liberal Arts (National Chen Kung University) &

Department of Art History (Tainan National University of the Arts).

Conference coordinators:

* Fiorella Allio (艾茉莉) (CNRS, France / ICTAHR, Tainan)

* Yen Ting-yu (ICTAHR, Tainan)


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