Though still shadowed by the totalitarian regime, the Burmese people are finding ways to establish the democratic system of government while exploring the cohesive relationship between modern and tradition. Fascinated by their persistent efforts to construct a new system and culture, project researcher Jiang Bing-Shian interviewed Taiwanese academics and Burmese figures of tremendous influence to find out how cultural activities, such as publication, audiovisual arts, and engagement with the émigrés, could foster cultural interflows and resonance between nations. After having witnessed a series of riotous instabilities and interethnic conflicts that have taken place in Myanmar in recent years, the researcher proposed seven ideas to build paths for the Myanmar-Taiwan Community. They include construct, exchange visits, community, diaspora, voicing opinions, resistance, and actions.
Construct. In adopting the socio-philosophical concept of construct, the researchers wanted to find out how art and culture in Myanmar are shaped by confrontation of different values and systems. Exchange visits. People of Taiwan and Myanmar can understand each other better with the aid of field research, investigation, writing, journalism, and ethnography and in this specific discussion, international volunteer schemes were recommended as a good approach to accelerate constructive dialogues between these two countries. Community. The researcher studied how Taiwanese and Burmese emigres built their own communities in Myanmar and Taiwan respectively and developed distinctive features that derive from the culture of the adopting countries. Diaspora. In Sinophone studies, diaspora is generally used to refer to the displacement of the Sinophone people after the Second World War, including the Sino-Burmese community that remained unrecognized in Myanmar or managed to move to Taiwan. While supporting the importance of studying this specific community, Jiang also expanded the idea to include the recent expulsion of the Rohingya population. Voicing opinions. For Jiang, an effective communication strategy can help the Burmese to present their troubled history worldwide and amass public support. Resistance. As art is a means of holding, expressing, understanding, and communicating human experiences, Jiang suggests that Burmese people can use art to empower themselves when forming an international movement against oppression and dictatorship. Actions. When the Burmese activists struggled with military rule, some ideas were explored to inspire the Myanmar-Taiwan Community to take feasible actions.
Jiang Bing-Shian is a writer with strong interest in editing, publishing, and television productions. In addition to the publication of Art Triangular Mirrors of Islands, he has assisted the Taishin Bank for Art and Culture to interview creative professionals and contributed to the books and journals.