Arts and Culture

Most of Taiwan ‘s 23 million inhabitants are descendants of immigrants from different parts of mainland China , especially the coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong . About 360,000 “aborigines”, believed to be of Malayo-Polynesian origin, inhabit the mountainous central and eastern parts of Taiwan.

Because of the make-up of the population and because of the fact that Taiwan was ruled by the Japanese between 1895 and 1945, Taiwan ‘s culture is a unique mixture of mainly Chinese elements with a Japanese flavor. In addition, it is heavily influenced by Western cultures and in recent years, characteristics of the aboriginal culture have also become more visible.
Fine arts, architecture, folk traditions and popular culture embody both traditional and modern and both Asian and Western motifs.

Arguably the number one attraction of Taiwan is the National Palace Museum on the outskirts of the capital city Taipei . It is the home of over 650,000 pieces of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting and porcelain which used to be in the possession of the Chinese imperial household. The collection is so extensive that only 1% is on display at any one time.

For people who want to experience some of the Taiwan ‘s traditional art forms, there are few better places to turn to than glove puppetry and the Taiwanese opera. In addition, sculpture, music, dance and theater representing the Hakka and the indigenous peoples have had a bigger following in recent years.

Useful links:
The Council for Cultural Affairs
National Palace Museum
National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center
National Center for Traditional Arts