With the mission "to raise the quality of cultural life by cultivating a healthy environment for artistic development," Chairman Thomas T.L. Wu established the non-profit Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture in May 2001. His vision was to inspire, nurture, and spread the spirit of the times through the corporate social commitment in support of the contemporary arts, for it is the arts that capture the diverse social trends and rapid evolution of the twenty-first century. Positioned amid globalization and localization, the Taishin Foundation aims to encourage Taiwanese contemporary arts and culture through the assessment, evaluation and underwriting of the local arts. Through expanding Taiwanese arts and stimulating cultural creativity worldwide, the Taishin Foundation seeks to enrich the lifestyle and imagination of the Taiwanese people.
A vital component of the Taishin Foundation's mission is the "Taishin Arts Awards," initiated in 2002. Recipients of The Performing Arts Award and The Visual Arts Award are each awarded NT $1,000,000, while The Jury's Special Award is an award of NT $300,000. With awards for both performing and visual arts, the Taishin Arts Awards are the greatest monetary awards of their kind in Taiwan. Contributing to the vast scope and international recognition, the Nomination Committee brings together art writers and critics to evaluate and select the most representative works of each year, then invites world-renowned art professionals to confer the final awards. Support for this tremendous national honor not only evidences recognition for excellence in artistic innovation, but also attracts assiduous criticism and broadens educational endeavors. The unveiling of new talents in the Taishin Arts Awards both positions Taiwanese arts as a focal point in the local community and increases their visibility among the international audience.
The cultural involvement of the Taishin Foundation further extends to the support and programming for visual and performing arts. In 2006, in addition to the avant-garde and experimental art of Co6 Taiwan Avant-Garde Documenta, the Taishin Foundation also joined the National Culture and Arts Foundation in supporting Project for the Pursuit of Excellence in Performing. At the beginning of the year, the Taishin Arts Center opened on the second floor of the Taishin Tower as an exhibition space and platform for academic exchange, while providing a stage for piano performances facilitated by the professional Steinway D274. In spring of 2006, the Foundation offered monthly afternoon gatherings for musical performances and exhibitions at the Renai circle landmark, in hopes of constructing a leisurely exhibition and performance space for public enjoyment. Through a deep commitment to artistic and cultural endeavors, the Taishin Foundation believes that it is the collective creativity of the artists that represents the great potential of Taiwanese contemporary arts.