In the 21st century, Taiwanese society still witnesses a sense of insecurity and lack of self-confidence about its identity. This complicated society keeps asking: Where are we from? Who are we? When did our national history begin?
Three main perspectives are discussed in the thesis to explore how the Taiwanese identity has been shaped by the island’s history. First of all, different colonial periods have resulted in a diversity of layers and aspects. This historical complexity still inspires discussions on today’s Taiwanese identity and how to deal with our colonial experience. Second, ‘design’ as an outcome of national culture has undergone several transformations. Under Japanese rule the country adopted a Western (American) type of education which then merged with later colonial systems. And thirdly, the will to resist has become part of the Taiwanese nature, especially since martial law was lifted in 1987 and democracy was reinstated in Taiwan. Therefore, a Taiwanese designer carries the responsibility of digging for visual symbols from the national culture and rendering them into a language that can be communicated with the public.
What is Taiwanese graphic design? The thesis searches for traces of influence of Japanese, American and Chinese cultures over a course of thirty years from 1987 to 2016. By probing into the grey area and cultural influence (denial or acceptance) in the post-martial law period, the paper seeks to shed light on how designers cope with cultural identity and create a local culture suitable for all Taiwanese.
| DESIGN ACADEMY EINDHOVEN
| Information design
| Graduation project
| Thesis book