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Statistics are out for the 2016 Creative Expo Taiwan (CET) organized by the Ministry of Culture. During the exhibition period, CET attracted 227,104 visitors, which is a 22% increase compared to the year before. Visitor satisfaction reached 90%, achieving new historic high. This year’s CET ran from April 20 to April 24 at Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, and Expo Dome, featuring a total of 697 domestic and international brands, and 1,132 booths; the exhibition also hosted 734 sessions of business matching, achieving an estimated NT$ 477 million in total production. In addition to facilitating 21% more trades compared to the previous year, this year’s CET further built on the concept of “The city is the exhibition, the exhibition displays lifestyles,” gathering 250 CET fringe shops, as well as 180 satellite events and activities.
In 2014, the Ministry of Culture launched the CET transition program in aim to build Asia’s most professional cultural and creative trade fair and the most stylish city marketing campaign. Maintaining its strategies of fixed exhibition period and separated exhibition venues, CET further institutionalized exhibition execution and administration in 2016, and focused on crafts, design, and the newly emerged licensing industry; at the same time, CET further expanded international exchange and interdisciplinary integration.
As for international exchange, 2016 CET saw participation by 20 countries (exhibitors from 17 countries, and buyers from 14 countries). The inaugural annual theme exhibition “Savoring the Rich Eastern Culture” was jointly curated by Taiwanese designer Chen Jiun-Liang and three renowned curators from UK, Japan, and Denmark, showcasing cultural and creative sceneries in everyday life. Expo Dome also expanded the Young Talent project, which invited 30 emerging designers the year before, and designated the Talent 100 section to showcase young creative talents, exploring the blue ocean in the fiercely competitive licensing industry.
The Ministry of Culture also announced that CET has also successfully established international connections, signing MoU with “Craft Trend Fair” organized by Korea Creative Content Agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Japan’s largest “Tokyo International Gift Show.” In September and December this year, CET will summon Taiwanese cultural and creative brands and companies to join the Taiwan Pavilion to participate in exhibitions held in Japan and South Korea in aim to explore business opportunities in Asia, and deploy in the international market. President Ma Ying-jeou also mentioned at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that CET has enabled Taiwan to develop “Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese traits,” and allowed this brilliant culture to continue spreading overseas. “This is not self-indulgent; this is globally-praised.”
As for interdisciplinary integration, not only did the Ministry mobilize all venues and facilities to participate in 2016 CET as fringe shops, it also has combined resources across departments for broader participation. The Ministry collaborated with Taiwan Textile Federation to hold the “CET Fashion Show” at Taipei InStyle that took place from April 14 to April 16, while jointly promoted “WDC Taipei 2016” with Taipei City Government.
The Ministry of Culture has pointed out that the 2016 CET has facilitated several important purchases by key buyers. In terms of design and craft merchandise, emerging brands Blacktail and Paperself performed well, as Japan’s Loft, Detail, Bluespot, and Tsutaya, Thailand’s Siam, UK’s Magma, and Taiwan’s own The Lalu, have all shown interests in purchasing the brands’ design products, and hoped to establish customized collaborative R&D relationship. Mainland Chinese buyers were captivated by bamboo crafts, whereas Pegacasa’s products of living aesthetics combining wood and metal showed great business potentials.
The licensing section featured popular brands such as LINE stickers, Chinatrust Brothers, and South Korea’s Sticky Monster Lab, and attracted fans from all around Taiwan, and the exhibition saw long queues everyday. The six Taiwanese local original characters also received invitations to participate in various exhibitions as well as licensing events. The exhibition held at the Ministry of Culture’s licensing pavilion also took on a new look, such as “PS Shop” that showcased licensed products of works by renowned artists Pu Xinyu and Chang Yu, as well as National Taiwan Museum’s “Modern Museologist Project,” which illustrated the development trend of museums as actors of art licensing.
The Ministry of Culture hopes that CET is not just a trade fair, but also an event that exports the cultural values of the brand “Taiwan,” establishing a national brand through which Taiwan can step onto the global stage en route the Chinese-speaking communities. In the future, the Ministry will continue to collaborate across industries, departments, and cultures to explore new grounds for the industries on the exchange platform.