Ageing society in Taiwan and East Asia

The East Asia and Pacific region is ageing faster. By 2060, one of five of the world’s oldest countries will be in East Asia, according to the 2015 World Bank report, Live Long and Prosper: Aging in East Asia and Pacific. This rapid ageing will bring with it social, cultural and economic challenges, alongside sharp increases in public spending, healthcare and long-term care. Given similar challenges exist around ageing in the UK, the British Council started to investigate this common challenge which primarily have been focusing on understanding the role of arts and culture in an ageing society.  

Taiwan is one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world.  The proportion of Taiwanese adults aged 65+ of its total population grew from 10.9% in 2010 to 13.6% in 2017. According to the National Development Council, Taiwan will enter super aged society status by 2025 when 1 out of 5 people will be in the elderly aged bracket. As Taiwan currently has the lowest birth rate in East Asia, the importance of active & creative ageing is a matter of urgency, and therefore this will be one priority area of development in British Council’s arts programme for the next two to three years.


British Council’s Research Program on Arts and Ageing

From our 2017 research "Art for Social Impact: Ageing & Disability Research in Taiwan", we found that in Taiwan’s arts landscape, initiatives on creative ageing have started to gain attention in the museum and design sectors over the past 5 years, and more recently also in the dance, theatre and design sectors.  Apart from dealing with issues of isolation of elderly people living alone, cultivating inter-generational art programmes to bring the elderly and young people together for art-making has become also quite important, particularly within the Taiwanese culture of celebrating family bonds and filial piety.

In order to develop better understanding of potential collaboration opportunities between UK and Taiwan, in 2018, in partnership with the Baring Foundation (UK), we started with inviting 5 UK delegates to visit 3 cities in Taiwan for a week research trip.  Through institution and festival visits, meetings and two professional forums, we build bridges for exchange of knowledge, network and collaboration reflecting on the role of arts in the fast ageing societies of the UK and Taiwan. A reciprocal visit to the UK for Taiwanese professionals will be planned in May to further foster a better understanding of UK context and partnership opportunities.


2018 UK-Taiwan Exchange Forum-Inclusive Arts - Creativity with Older People

During the week of research trip in Taiwan, we are proud to be able to partner with National Culture and Arts Foundation for the professional forum in Taipei and with Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts for the session in Kaohsiung.

With our partners, British Council will host two professional forums, inviting 5 UK delegates alongside with Taiwanese key changers of creative ageing from visual arts, performing arts, film and design to share best practices, to investigate common challenges and to explore future partnership opportunities between the two countries. 

The UK delegates are below in alphabetical order.

  • David Cutler, Director, Baring Foundation, London
  • Phillip Cave, Director of Engagement & Audience, Arts Council England
  • Anne Gallacher, Director, Luminate Festival, Scotland
  • Joce Giles, Director of Learning and Engagement, Sadler’s Wells, London
  • Ed Watts, Engagement Manager, Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester


The Taiwan speakers are below.

Taipei Forum

  • Wen-Han Huang, Chief of Education and Community Section, Communication Department, National Performing Arts Center - National Theater & Concert Hall
  • Professor Wan-Chen Liu, Dean of College of Letters and Cultural Heritage, Tainan National University of the Arts / Vice President of Chinese Association of Museums
  • Hsin-Yi Lo, Executive Director of Sunmake Culture and Arts Foundation / Board Member of Chinese Association of Museums
  • Wen-zhen Zeng, Documentary filmmaker

Kaohsiung Forum

  • Yuan-shuen Chang, Head of Education and Public Services Department, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
  • Fang-ling Tseng, Curator of 2017 Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival / Head of Exhibition Department, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
  • Chieh-Hui Lin, Art Director of INPIN DESIGN / 2017 Kaohsiung Design Festival “ Live it up” Exhibition


Forum Details

Taipei Session:

  • Date: 14:00-17:00 Monday, 5 February, 2018 (registration starts at 13:30)
  • Venue: 1F, Museum of National Taipei University of Education (MoNTUE) (Address: No. 134, Section 2, Heping East Road, Da’an District, Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Co-organised by National Culture & Arts Foundation
  • Forum registration: The online registration is currently closed. Eligible participant will then receive a confirmation email from British Council. You will not be notified separately if you did not register to the forum successfully.


Kaohsiung Session:

  • Date:14:00-18:00 Thursday, 8 February 2018 (registration starts at 13:30)
  • Venue: Resource Classroom, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (Address: No. 80, Meishuguan Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
  • Co-organised by: Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (KMFA)     
  • Forum registration: The online registration is currently closed. Eligible participant will then receive a confirmation email from British Council. You will not be notified separately if you did not register to the forum successfully.