Australia,Taiwan sign MOU of Artist-in-Residency Program for indigenous artists

Under the pact, artists will be able to take up residency for six weeks in an approved arts facility in the other country

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A memorandum of understanding on a residency exchange program for indigenous artists from Taiwan and Australia was concluded Nov. 9 by Pingtung County-headquartered Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Center and Darwin-based Artback NT.

Under the pact, artists will be able to take up residency for six weeks in an approved arts facility in the other country and stage an exhibition with the assistance of the host nation. The program is set to take place from 2018 to 2019.

The indigenous arts of Taiwan and Australia are extremely diverse, and indigenous cultural exchanges between Australia and Taiwan have been in place for a number of years. Governments in Australia and Taiwan have long sought to build on similarities between their indigenous communities and strengthen links between them.

In order to enhance Indigenous arts and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Australia and expand the vision of both parties’ artists, the two parties seek to expand their opportunities to use indigenous culture to expand into the international arena.

Following the signing ceremony at the headquarters of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, CIP Deputy Minister Calivat Gadu said the memorandum represents a strong step forward in the development of indigenous peoples' culture for Taiwan and Australia. Bilateral collaboration serves as a catalyst for advancing exchanges on cultural and creative industries as well as talent cultivation for the two sides he added.

Echoing these remarks, Australia Office Taipei Representative Catherine Raper thanked the signatory organizations and their respective coordinating agencies—the CIP and Northern Territory Government—for financially supporting the milestone collaboration. This is the first time Taiwan and Australia have institutionalized such a program, as previous projects were ad hoc, she said.
 
Australia is one of the significant partners targeted by Taiwan in promoting its New Southbound Policy initiative, which is a key component of the government’s national development strategy, seeking to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, educational, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.