For 40 years , the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI) has been holding competitions to recognize the achievements of craft artists and makers in Taiwan. Taiwan has been through a lot of changes in the industry, education, policy-making and fashion trends at the same time. As a part of the modern consciousness industry, the NTCRI tries hard to make the products in this industry a goal and a value to believe in, similar to what media and education system can do. While craft competitions are evolving with time, it is good to look back on its history, reflect on what it really means and how it influences the public, as well as what its future looks like.
The article goes back to the time when the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute was first established, and how it started to organize various kinds of competitions. Handicraft used to be something people couldn’t live without, and played an important role in supporting community economy and keeping traditional skills relevant to our time. It is now a work of art that shows the artist’s aesthetics and user’s taste in art. Competitions in different periods of time demonstrate the different development stages of handicraft in Taiwan. From it, we see the transformation of society and manufacturing skills, and our obsession on objects and pursue of beauty.
It has been several decades since the first Taiwan Craft Competition. For ten years, it has built its reputation as the Oscars in the craft world in Taiwan. To adapt to the changes of time and social environment and to better meet the needs of the market, its mission to support craft development in Taiwan is also changing. It is focusing on fostering innovation and preserving tradition simultaneously right now. This is also how it will go in the future. The entries in recent years show that more and more traditional materials have been incorporated into developing interdisciplinary and practical works, letting us see that contemporary crafts are not all about skills and decorations, but something you can use in real life.
Taiwan Good Craft certificate was launched in 2003 in the aim to find good craft works that show the authentic Taiwan style, and those are selected will be given the C-Mark. This year, C-Mark’s review process is combined with that of the Yii brand project to go through the entries with even stricter criteria, such as functionality, aesthetics, materials, craftsmanship, marketability, and quality. It is hoped these designed, created, and made in Taiwan premium products that are innovative and have great market potentials can fi t into our daily life and in sync with international trends at the same time.
This is a guide to some of the most prestigious international competitions on ceramics, glass, mixed media (metal craft), fiber, and lacquer. It is a great opportunity to make your dreams come true, and a lot of networking and exchanges to be expected.