The Ministry of Culture yesterday announced a list of 40 individuals or groups who, under its new policy, will receive financial support to exhibit or publish their art for the first time.
Among them are psychiatrist Lin Tzu-yao (林子堯), who will publish his first comic book on the lives of doctors, and 74-year-old former fast food shop owner Chen Chao-ming (陳朝銘), who will hold his first exhibition of ceramic dogs next month.
Under the new policy, selected artists can receive funds to launch their first publication, exhibition, performance, screening or other public exhibition of their works, the ministry said.
Individuals are eligible to apply for up to NT$300,000 (US$10,000) in subsidies, while companies, schools, and other institutions and groups can apply for a maximum of NT$1 million.
Lin said he hopes that his sometimes satirical four-frame comic strips, which portray hospitals and the lives of doctors, can show readers the secrets behind the men and women in the white coats.
A comic book fan since he was a child, Lin said being a psychiatrist gave him the opportunity to witness many “bizarre, bittersweet, joyous and sorrowful” events in hospital wards.
Also among those to receive a subsidy are composer Huang Chun-ta (黃俊達), who will release his first album, combining choir music with lyrics inspired by renowned Taiwanese writers, and dancer and artistic director Lin Li-chuan (林立川), whose newly founded company will give its first performance showcasing his choreography.
Lin’s performances combine ballet, modern dance and cross-disciplinary artwork.
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said her ministry has opened up the policy to people of all ages because young people are not the only ones who are creative and able to inspire.
“Taiwan does not lack talent. It only lacks platforms,” said Stan Shih (施振榮), founder of Acer and chairman of the National Culture and Arts Foundation, which executes the policy, adding that it is important to establish a good mechanism to showcase Taiwanese talent.
A total of NT$13 million in subsidies is to be handed out under the program each year. It plans to subsidize projects ranging from literature, visual arts and music to dance, animation and film, the ministry said.
The 40 individuals and groups were selected from more than 200 applicants.