The Art of Diplomacy: The Role of Exhibitions in the Development of Taiwan–China Relations | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5836
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5844



In 2009 and 2011, Taiwan’s premier public art museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum presented two major solo exhibitions by prominent Chinese artists Cai Guo-Qiang and Ai Weiwei. These exhibitions signified a critical juncture in museological practice in Taiwan and they were closely aligned with the Taiwan government’s mission to develop closer ties with China. This article investigates the role of art in the development of cross-strait relations, including how it is being deployed by governments on both sides as a vehicle for soft power, as well as some of the political agendas that influenced and shaped exhibitions of Chinese art in Taiwan. By exploring issues of representation and reception, this article considers how the local art community is responding to Taiwan’s rapprochement with China, and to the growing visibility of Chinese art in its museums.


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