Social Change through Art

By: Ching Horng  

Motivated by the desire to see a peaceful reconciliation between Taiwan and China, I applied photo analysis to the past 45 years of history of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan. As an example of social change through art, Cloud Gate has helped transform Taiwan to civil society and is bringing its experience to China. I selected a pool of 200 photos from the 600 photos contained in Cloud Gate’s annual reports from 1992 to 2016 for the photo analysis. While I used six categories and 27 subcategories to shed light on the two research questions of Cloud Gate’s social contributions to Taiwan and its potential to serve as an inspirational model to help China revive its cultural heritage, I selected a final set of eight photos to compose a photo essay and let it tell the story more than test the research questions. Results from both photo categorization and photo essay show that Cloud Gate has been heavily involved in free outdoor performance which includes its signature dance, Legacy, to lead the indigenous movement in Taiwan and help cultivate a civil society in Taiwan. The results also show that its presence in China has been increasing in recent years and that it is also making a positive contribution to China. Both aspects support the claim that Cloud Gate shows us that organizations can achieve social change through art and help make the world a better place.

Politics of Art, Arts and Identity, Innovation, Originality, Creativity, Autheticity
2020 Special Focus - Against the Grain: Arts and the Crisis of Democracy
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ching Horng

Professor, Management Department, National Chung Cheng University

I'm a professor at a business school in National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. My research interest is in cultural identity, own brand management, and the cultural industry. I teach coureses in introduction to business, strategic management, and reading in business news. In recent years, I've started to apply photo analysis to my research.