Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities
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Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities

Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia

Lily Kong, Ching Chia-ho and Chou Tsu-Lung

While global cities have mostly been characterized as sites of intensive and extensive economic activity, the quest for global city status also increasingly rests on the creative production and consumption of culture and the arts. Arts, Culture and the Making of Global Cities examines such ambitions and projects undertaken in five major cities in Asia: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore. Providing a thorough comparison of their urban imaging strategies and attempts to harness arts and culture, as well as more organically evolved arts activities and spaces, this book analyses the relative successes and failures of these cities. Offering rich ethnographic detail drawn from extensive fieldwork, the authors challenge city strategies and existing urban theories and reveal the many complexities in the art of city-making.
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Chapter 6: In search of new homes: the absent new cultural monument in Taipei

Lily Kong, Ching Chia-ho and Chou Tsu-Lung

Extract

As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei has always been the flagship in Taiwan’s development. It is also the main site of Taiwanese cultural infrastructure investments. During the era of ‘anti-communism and revival of the country’ from the 1950s to the 1990s, and even to the present day, these cultural facilities have important ideological and political functions. The government has used them for political ends to indicate that Taiwan is still the legitimate heir to Chinese culture. In addition, these facilities have been used for ideological education internally, to support anti-communism efforts. Since the early 1990s, Taiwan’s political-economic landscape has undergone significant changes. The government rescinded martial law in 1987 and turned towards democratization. In the course of these changes, many assembly halls previously used for political functions have been released for cultural use. This has quickly transformed Taipei’s cultural landscape and contributed to more diversity in cultural life for citizens.

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