Since the National Museum of History (hereinafter abbreviated as NMH) officially began its renovation and upgrade project in July 2018, it has stayed committed to the principle of "the museum does not take a break during renovation; the services don't stop" as the NMH continues to present feasts of arts and cultures to people everywhere. As a part of the implementation of the "Rebuilding Taiwan's Art History" project, the NMH has joined hands with the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum (hereinafter abbreviated as YCM) and the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute to hold Lineage of Fire: Origin of Biennial Exhibitions of Ceramic Art in Taiwan. It is hoped that the special exhibition will deepen the audience’s understanding of Taiwanese ceramic art, and orderly present the historical development of Taiwanese ceramic art within the structure of Taiwan's art history. The exhibition features the NMH's and the YCM’s archived winning works, shortlisted works, and works by invited foreign artists for ceramics biennales held between 1986 and 2018 in Taiwan, presenting the complete development history and evolution of the biennale.
The “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale” is a precious memory shared by the Taiwanese arts community; it’s also an international ceramics competition where Taiwanese and foreign ceramic talents compete. “The Chinese Ceramics Biennial Exhibition” was first held by the NMH in 1986. Then, in 2004, the YCM took over the organization of the biennial exhibition and expanded the event into the “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale.” The biennial exhibition gradually grew bigger, and today it is one of the world’s four major international ceramic art competitions, along with “International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Faenza, Italy,” “International Ceramics Festival MINO in Japan,” and “Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale in Korea.”
The 30-year-long journey of the “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale” is a testament to the gradual rise of Taiwanese ceramic art. Looking at the overall development of contemporary ceramic art, the concept of contemporary artistic ceramic creation in Taiwan was still in the budding stage in the 1970s. In 1981, the Exhibition of Works by Chinese and Japanese Ceramists jointly hosted by the NMH and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association officially launched, and this exhibition sparked a fire that inspired the Taiwanese arts community to think about the essence of ceramic art. In 1986, the NMH hosted the first ceramics biennale, which was the first competition exhibition in Taiwan dedicated to ceramic artworks. Between 1986 and 1998, the NMH held seven “The Chinese Ceramics Biennial Exhibition” one after another, and they gave "ceramic art" a clearer definition. All past ceramics biennales were received well and highly valued by Taiwanese people. The biennale is an important and iconic event for contemporary ceramic art in Taiwan. In 2000, the NMH held the 2000 International Biennial Exhibition of Ceramic Art, R.O.C. for the first time. Ceramists from all over the world were invited to come to Taiwan and exchange ideas. The event became a turning point at which Taiwan's contemporary ceramic art integrated into the international network.
Established in 2000, the YCM actively promotes Taiwanese ceramic culture and bring it onto the international stage. In 2004, the YCM organized the first “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale,” which received entries from around the world, opening up a new chapter in Taiwanese ceramic art's journey toward international exchange. In 2010, “Taiwan Ceramics Biennale” began adopting the operating model in which an “exhibition curation competition” and an “artwork competition” are held alternately every two years. Strict and detailed assessment methods used for competitions, and proposals of original themed exhibition curation, are incorporated into the planning of every international (artwork competition) exhibition. The aim is to put a focus on both the depth and scope of the exhibition. Also, events analogous to the ceramics biennale, such as the Artist in Residence Program, have enabled the biennale to gather more ceramic creative energy from Taiwan and overseas. The development of Taiwanese contemporary ceramic art has formed a new image that is a lot more different from the one it had in the initial stage.
The themes, contents, and evolution of Taiwan’s ceramics biennale are traced and presented in an organized manner at Lineage of Fire: Origin of Biennial Exhibitions of Ceramic Art in Taiwan. This opens up more dialogues about the international/ local positioning of Taiwan's contemporary ceramic art and the biennial exhibition, as well as the progressive review of the relationship between the two and their multifaceted presentations. We also invite people to come to the special exhibition showcasing selected winning and shortlisted artworks from past biennial exhibitions, and to appreciate the diverse aesthetics of ceramic art.
Exhibition Duration: 2019/08/06-09/22
Venue: 2F, Taipei Branch, National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. (No.41, Nanhai Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City)
Opening Hours: From Monday to Sunday, 9:30 to 17:30