Academic Cultural Awareness Sharing

27 November 2019

An Intercultural Communication Workshop was held between Undergraduate students from the Queensland University of Technology visiting the Taipei National University of the Arts’ students in the IMCCI Program. The Undergraduate students from the University’s Creative Industries Faculty were in Taiwan for a 2 week Creative Industry Study Tour. Their visit to the TNUA Campus was day 4 of their tour which included visits to diverse creative hotspots and industry spaces including museums, art villages and performance spaces across the country. The visit was immersive to say the least, providing an opportunity for cultural, creative and academic exchange as well as networking. The workshop focused on Cultural Awareness and was spearheaded by the students.

First year students in the IMCCI Program were tasked with creating a presentation highlighting observations they made on differences and similarities between their home countries and Taiwan. The presentation highlighted areas of Cultural Policy, Creative Spaces, Indigeneity, Transportation and Food. IMCCI students collaborated to develop a detailed yet succinct presentation that provided an overview of the cultural and creative situations in their countries and contrasted that with what has been observed during their brief stay in Taiwan. The activity opened with introductions, students shared where they came from and what made them come to Taiwan and study Creative Industries. From the variety in response it could immediately be recognized that we all had the similarity of wanting to learn from Taiwan some ways to be more inclusive of the arts and culture.

The directors of each respective program delivered an introduction and overview of what each program entailed. Both programs had students from various backgrounds and interests, and diverse cultures. Allowing opportunity for both groups to contrast their individual educational experience and approach. As well as ask questions about controversial ideas on how to write about culture. This moment of sharing was useful for IMCCI students who have had related discussions on the idea in the context of several classes this semester.

Major points highlighted by IMCCI students about cultural policy was the manner of implementation and for some the lack of such a guideline ever existing. For developing countries if a cultural policy existed, the level of government support for the industry in terms of funding and other resources is limited and for the most part dependent on international and private investors. Whereas in Taiwan the Government provides a great level of support to the industry and the benefits of creativity and culture is employed in all sectors from community designs to education. Creative programming is unending and accessible to all.


photos by Cecile Kao



The students from Queensland were pretty intrigued by the information provided by students on both their countries and Taiwan. In response a short presentation highlighting some of Australian Indigenous history was shared by 2 students from QUT.

Overall it was an enlightening experience for both groups, students in the IMCCI program and Creative Industry Undergraduate alike as they both had an opportunity to interact with cultures, ideas, and creative industry perspectives from across the globe. For IMCCI Students the forum provided information on the background of their peers as well as creative industry in diverse spaces. Coming from both developed and developing countries – from spaces that are sometimes seen as culture and creative industry hubs and leaders to areas that are just beginning to develop an industry and even those working through a revival. The sharing provided content and context for those present. Both groups got an organized glimpse of the global status of creative industries. It also connected with what was being discussed in courses during the semester, providing context on another South East Asian community’s creative industry and indigenous history.

The activity also provided a space for discussion between the students to take place. Which allowed an opportunity for deeper understanding and sharing to occur. Questions surrounding how international students in the program interact with the Taiwanese Creative Industry or how they navigate within the space of the difference were asked. Allowing students to reflect on a deeper level on their experience and how that might influence their understanding of the creative industry in their home countries.

Notable from the presentations was the connection shared between Taiwan and Australia in their indigenous population percentage and history. Like in Taiwan, Australian “Aboriginals” have been provided with some degree of recognition and apologized to by the government. For most of the IMCCI students, Austrailian Indigenous history and creative industry was not a topic we were familiar with, therefore the information shared was of great value. We were also told of ways that Australian Aboriginal art is being monetized in a way that benefits the Aboriginals’ community.

The chance to share with students who like IMCCI Cohort are from different artistic and academic backgrounds was enlightening. Based on the feedback of Australian Students, they too agree that Taiwanese Creative Industry and respect for culture is something to admire and work toward. Perhaps the greatest lesson from the workshop was that the desire for art development and indigenous appreciation is an international phenomenon that goes beyond borders and country classification.

Among the knowledge gained from the session was alternative disciplines that could be combined to develop the creative industry. Seeing the diverse areas of specialization that the QUT students were interested in gave IMCCI students a wider range of areas that could be examined when thinking about research ideas. Additionally, it opened up a new location for us to consider when comparing international creative industries. Having a picture of what the Australian Creative Industry is, gives us yet another perspective on the global situation. For QUT students, the visit perhaps provided an international perspective to creative industries in a Taiwanese context. Giving them a preview of what is happening in both Taiwan and the countries that the Cohort represent. The experience as a whole was inspiring and immensely educational. Most IMCCI student shared that the ideal way to develop what was learned in the workshop would be the opportunity to participate in a similar study tour. This would certainly provide them with much needed field experience in another country. Granting them the opportunity to be exposed to and experience various aspects of another creative industry.


– written by Melody Wagner


26 October 2019






photos by Cecile Kao






– written by Sean Hsu


photos by Cecile Kao

Beitou in your Eyes Collaboration

15 May 2019

Beitou Primary School and IMCCI students meet for an afternoon of sharing


The partnership between IMCCI and Beitou Primary School (北投國小) for this semester was planned in line with the “Bodies in Beitou” project. As IMCCI students prepare their “Bodies in Beitou” project, they had the opportunity to learn about Beitou from the local students. The event also gave them the chance to show the students what they learned about the region and the similarities between local features and those of their own countries.

The afternoon started off with a brief introduction by the Beitou School dean, followed by IMCCI students’ own presentations. While Taiwanese IMCCI students looked for curious elements in the local culture, international students brought religion, food, architecture, cultural activities and history shared by both places.

Some of the themes presented were: the shapes and colors of Thailand and Beitou; the catholic Corpus Christi celebration and its similarities to the Mazu procession; the landscape, active volcanoes and thermal waters that invite locals and tourists to Beitou and northern Spain; the tasty food loved by people in Central America and northern Taipei as well as the azulejos that were brought by the Portuguese to Brazilian architecture and the Taiwanese tiles produced in Beitou that decorated wealthy families houses.

This last presentation led to a workshop in which the Beitou Primary School students were able to create their own colored paper designs for azulejos with very creative and interesting results.

The following presentations were led by the Beitou Primary School team and began from the youngest to their oldest students. They presented a whole range of different aspects of Beitou through their eyes: the hot springs, the kimono, snacks and interesting sightseeing places through guided ‘tours’. Each group came prepared with colorfully illustrated flipcharts. A group of students performed a traditional song in YueQin (月琴) guitars and a martial arts apprentice performed in full uniform with a Jian (劍), a flexible sword,traditional to Chinese and Taiwanese cultures. IMCCI students had the chance to learn a few moves from her after the performance.

photos by Clarissa Perrone Butelli


At the end of the presentations, all students were invited to an afternoon snack with a full table of delicacies made from local products. Mokino bamboo shots with mayonnaise, bottle gourd pizza as well as syrup-glazed sweet potatoes and ginger were only a few of the dishes offered by the school to its students and visitors.

Throughout the whole event, a facial threading specialist offered a very thorough facial treatment to professors and students.

After this immersion in the local culture through the Beitou Primary School’s students and professors’ eyes, IMCCI students were more than inspired to continue their Beitou-inspired projects for the semester.

– Written by Clarissa Perrone Butelli


photos by Larissa Soto Hermández


photos by Cecile Kao


Event video

video by Yip Ming Hoe

Discovering Beitou Through the Senses

20 March 2019

Hong-Gah Museum Field Trip  


The second field trip within the “Bodies in Beitou” program had professors I-Wen Chang and Hsi-Chuan Liu introduce IMCCI students to the Hong-Gah Museum and its current exhibition: “Beitou Local Flavors Collecting Project”.

The museum occupies the 11th floor of a commercial building in Daye Road and has windows to long extensions of green fields between Taipei and New Taipei City. The view inspires visitors to enjoy a momentary escape from the urban movement and noise of sidewalks and roads downstairs.

The “Beitou Local Flavors Collecting Project” exhibition is a multi-platform initiative that brought together students of different ages from institutions in Beitou as well as experienced artists – all under the supervision of curator Zoe Yeh.

Yeh introduced the exhibition as a multi-year effort in its third edition. Her goal was to develop a wider audience for the museum, starting with a partnership between the museum and educational institutions in Beitou.In an effort to include a more specialized audience after the 2017 exhibition, Yeh invited established artists for the collaboration and the result can be seen in the richness of forms, materials and conceptual developments throughout the gallery rooms.

photos by Clarissa Perrone Butelli


Chen Hsiang-Jung worked with ceramics and plastic to reference iconic elements of the Beitou Market, Yanzhi experimented with different forms and display of fermented food, Kao Ya-Ting produced four large-scale multicolored paintings inspired on beekeeping, Chen Jen-Pei brought stories of Shi-Pai senior students to life with bright food photographs and the duo Zo Lin and Yi Fen Yi collected leaves and weeds as well as images of fog, smoke and vapor around the neighborhood to produce an ethereal display of tea making, which infused the museum in a light perfume al the way from the entrance.

A documentary following Datun Elementary School students’ efforts in growing radish and their notebooks documenting the process displays a very practical complement to the exhibition, inspiring IMCCI students to explore ideas for the next year’s exhibition theme in not only conceptual fronts but practical projects as well.  

At the end of the exhibition, a projection room with tables, colored pencils and activity leaflets invited visitors to contribute with their own “flavor stories”. A series of drawings produced by visitors of all ages decorated the walls while IMCCI students and professors discussed the main ideas of the exhibition and shared plans for the development of the “Bodies in Beitou” project. Curator Zoe Yeh also shared a few ideas, including her plan to collect gestures and mannerisms of cultural elements typical of Beitou, such the motorbike taxi drivers.

After the visit, students were free to walk and explore the Beitou area for themselves and start collecting their own narratives for the next steps of the project.

– Written by Clarissa Perrone Butelli



Hong-Gah Museum (English content)

Hong-Gah Museum (Facebook page, Chinese content)

Chen Hsiah-Jung


Kao Ya-Ting

Weed Day

Railways, Hot Springs and History in Xinbeitou

13 March 2019

Beitou Storyteller Field Trip

“Bodies in Beitou” is the common thread along a series of activities for IMCCI students throughout the first half of 2019. The theme is the starting point for next year’s (2020) exhibition at the Hong-Gah museum, in a partnership between the museum and Taipei National University of the Arts. To inspire students in their assignments for this collaboration, professors I-Wen Chang and Hsi-Chuan Liu combined efforts in a two-hour open-air class in Xinbeitou area in Taipei.


photo by Clarissa Perrone Butelli


Well-known for its japanese colonial architecture, Xinbeitou has its history deeply connected to the buildings that sprouted around its green sulphur water hot springs. The remnant buildings and ruins of hot spring hotels that used to cover the region are signs of the scale this business once had: at the peak of its activity, the area offered almost 80 different hotel options for visitors.

Throughout the tour, students were introduced to local landmarks such as the reconstructed railway station, built in 1916 to cater for the increasing number of visitors to the area.

Xinbeitou was famous not only within city limits: at the golden age of taiwanese cinema – in the 1960s and 1970s – more than a hundred films were produced in the area and have the area as their scenery. Part of this history can be seen in the photos and posters along the Beitou Hot Spring Museum.

The Museum was one of the main sights of the visit and it is an interesting symbol of the rise and decline of the hot spring industry in the region. Inspired by the architecture of its Japanese predecessors, the former public bath house was the largest in East Asia when built. It became an entertainment destination during the Japanese rule and saw its decline with the abolition of licensed prostitution in 1979. Almost two decades after that, the building was found by professors and students of the Beitou Elementary School, who organized an effort to revitalize the local cultural asset. Another two decades later, a restored museum was open to public visitation.


photo by Clarissa Perrone Butelli


Today, details such as different-sized and shaped pools for men and women, the aeclectic mixture of romanesque columns, stained glass windows, japanese tatami mats and other architectural elements offer visitors more than a narrative – they allow for learning with the senses. Switching shoes for soft slippers at the entrance and sitting in the tiled baths and on the open tatami floors are only a few of the experiences that invite students to use more senses than hearing and vision in their learning, and it is a great first step into understanding the idea of “Bodies in Beitou”.

– Written by Clarissa Perrone Butelli




Hot Spring Museum Taipei (English content)

Beitou Storyteller Guided Tours

Voices of the Heart – Rediscovery of Beitou Hot Springs Museum

Beitou Hot Spring Museum 20th Anniversary (English content)