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Talk of the Day -- Liberate creative industry from political hostage

2012/09/12 23:25:41

Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), is currently on a visit to Taiwan to explore feasible ways to boost cross-strait cooperation in cultural and creative industry.

While welcoming Chen's visit, local history and cultural buffs said the cultural and creative industry would thrive only when it is free from political intervention or interference.

Although there is ample room for cross-strait cooperation in the cultural and creative industry, they said, few projects have been able to proceed smoothly because of differences in their political, social and legal systems.

The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of relevant issues:

United Daily News:

Taipei's Huashan Creative Park was transformed from an abandoned winery built during the Japanese colonial era. It would only be a historic relic without the creative efforts of many local artists, historians and cultural workers over the past 20-plus years.

Without Taiwan's democratization, the Huashan complex would not have been turned into a thriving hub for cultural and creative industry, local analysts said.

Creative industry will flourish only in a society that has freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Take the widely acclaimed 2008 American animation film Kung Fu Panda for example.

The action comedy film was set in a version of ancient China populated by anthropomorphic talking animals. Its plot revolves around a bumbling panda named Po who aspires to be a kung fu master.

Many cultural and creative industry operators in China have asked why such a film full of traditional Chinese cultural elements was produced by American filmmakers, not their Chinese counterparts.

To resolve such a question, one must first explore whether it is possible for Chinese animation artists to paint Chinese people as pigs.

Political restrictions have hindered the development of cultural and creative industry but also obstructed many cross-strait cooperative projects in such fields, industry insiders said.

Many Taiwanese operators have been forced into changing or modifying their creative or innovative ideas in order to meet China's censorship requirements, they said.

Worse still, industry analysts said, Taiwanese operators also face many other restrictions in logistics and public security fields when launching cooperative cultural or creative projects with Chinese partners.

They expressed the hope that ARATS President Chen Yunlin will help reduce political restrictions in cultural and creative industry development and cross-strait cooperation in those fields. (Sept. 12, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)