In this inaugural issue, there are four research articles and three policy reviews accepted, with the Chief Editor’s Preface, “Taiwan/Asia-Pacific – Culture as a Method: International Knowledge Regime and Network Ecology of Culture: Policy, Management, and Entrepreneurship.” In the first paper, CHANG Yu-Hsin analyzes the concept of international indigenous peoples’ cultural rights in three discursive approaches, “the connection between universal rights and special rights”, “the connection between cultural rights and multiple rights” and “the connection between cultural rights and enforcement mechanisms”. She advocates that through the special design of the “cultural impact assessment mechanism”, it may serve as a possible method to strengthen and protect the cultural rights of indigenous peoples in Taiwan. Ian Inkster’s excellent contribution deals with cannibalism, Orientalism, and culture wars among the British, Japanese, Chinese, and the indigenous peoples in the Formosa during the 1890s. Centering upon Dr W. Wykeham Myers’s Memorandum sent to the British government, the paper shows that “indigenized Orientalism” occurred when the Anglophone West pressed the cultural switch to transform the Chinese into their degraded Other by identifying the indigenous victims of Chinese rule as culturally viable. In this way, Inkster develops a cultural argument that bring together cultural economic and political forces into an historical conjuncture.
WU Chieh-Hsiang introduces the art exhibitions for two centenaries in Taiwan’s history, one for ROC’s 100th National Birthday, one for Taiwan Culture Association’s 100th anniversary. It reviews how plein air painting, promoted as modern art by Japanese colonizers, became a way for Taiwanese artists’ pursuit of subjectivity. By looking into artworks and curatorial statements of several art exhibitions in Taiwan, the article analyzes how the curatorial tasks contextualized the nation’s aspiration to decolonize through developing national narrative other than Sino-centric view. Rusnė Kregždaitė, Erika Godlevska, and Morta Vidūnaitė take the complex indicators for the research of artists conditions in Lithuania as an empirical case study, to explore existing methodologies and assessment models for artists’ labor force and create artists’ socio-economic and creative conditions. The research suggests that the deviation of each indicator from the general evaluation would allow them to identify the strongest and the weakest components of artists’ conditions. The four research articles show how research works of indigenous cultural rights in Taiwan, international colonial history, art exhibitions and curatorial narratives, and artist’ labor conditions may bring about important findings locally to enhance intercultural dialogues regionally, and globally.
The three Policy Review Papers includes, KU Shu-Shiun’s review on the Taitung Cultural White Paper, by using culture as the method of urban governance; LIN Yi-Chen’s commentary on Taiwan’s cultural heritage preservation policy and the dilemma of the regeneration sites, which asks for a better way to regenerate historical sites; and CHAO Hsin-Yi’s proposal of the“5% Solution of Social Inclusion?” to discuss about the development and obstacle of cultural equality policy from human right perspective. All three reviews deal with issues that are connected to contemporary social life. Culture is placed at the central position in its mediation to political, economic, and social governing institutions.