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August 30th, 2021 | by Mathieu Gayet

“We want Taiwan to be at the technological and creative forefront of the XR industry” - Celeste Ting, Aurélien Dirler (TAICCA)

The Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) which supports immersive artists and producers will present an impressive collection of 7 works in the next Venice VR line-up. As the festival will go to an Expanded edition again, with an international network of satellite venues, it is the confirmation of a strong and renewed presence for the Taiwanese XR industry - and a success for its international co-production strategy.

We met with Celeste Ting, Chairperson of TAICCA, and Aurélien Dirler, Advisor to the agency.

Taiwan and Venice VR, again!

Celeste Ting - We are very glad to see so many Taiwanese projects in Venice VR this year. Since the festival opened its immersive section in 2016 Taiwanese experiences were selected. When TAICCA was founded in 2019, it was a priority to support the XR artists and productions from Taiwan with a new funding grant - and an international call for co-production. Since then, we saw a lot of amazing ideas and started artistic collaboration that we see now nominated in Venice’s selection. And in other worldwide events as well!

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C. T. - This year we have 7 projects selected in or out of Competition, with many universal themes that international audiences can resonate with: the pandemic, the loss of ancient culture and language, the fight for resources and climate change, etc. You find in them a powerful creativity from Taiwan, associated with international talents to create the best pieces possible.

In Competition ; SICK ROSE (病玫瑰), SAMSARA Ep.1 (輪迴), THE LAST WORKER, THE STARRY SAND BEACH and BEDLAM. In Best Of, KUSUNDA. In Special Selection, IN THE MIST (霧中). See our interview with curator Michel Reilhac

C. T. - Venice VR is a real opportunity for us. You can meet amongst the best artists in the field, and to present our projects. For Taiwan’s immersive scene, it’s a prestige to be selected - but at the same time, it helped them to work on their future project. They come back with more ideas, more partnership opportunities. And the market is growing fast! To be at worldwide events like Venice VR is mandatory for us if we want to help our XR community in its next phases.

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Working on an international XR co-production network

C. T. - XR is a new medium, everyone is exploring its creative possibilities. What can we do with it? Today, we can imagine almost everything with it. There are ways to produce and present new and innovative art forms in XR. And today it’s accessible to everyone! In Taiwan we have a lot of technological advantages due to our national hardware and software resources, creative studios and artists… We have a freedom of creation that helps us promote immersive projects.

Celeste Ting - We want to build worldwide partnerships in order to work with efficiency around major international projects. If we work with Europe (France, United Kingdom…) now, it’s to combine the best of every country. And we are open to do that with everyone!

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Aurélien Dirler - Looking at the Venice VR selection, you can see our line-up as a statement. Not only the quality of the artworks, but also their diversity and provenance. I think the selection reflects our ambition and the work that has been done in Taiwan, by partners such as Kaohsiung of course, but also by us at TAICCA, and our commitment to future content. As you can see, the Venice projects we have supported are both local and international, and in all formats. This includes a highly anticipated PCVR video game such as THE LAST WORKER or a groundbreaking work like BEDLAM, which is a revolutionary full remote multi-user experience, using real-time performance capture and AAA graphics on any device (PC, VR, mobile) using 5G and Cloud XR technologies.

A. D. - TAICCA bringing this piece and investing in it is a commitment to the next generation of content. This is our way of showing that Taiwan will be at the forefront of the creative content industry. With one of the most complete ecosystems in the world, we want to position Taiwan as a hub for international co-production. We believe Taiwan should be an important voice in the conversation when it comes to the future of immersive content.

A statement for innovation and creation

C. T. - Taiwan has invested and proliferated in 5G infrastructure, and we welcome creators and companies to work with us on their revolutionary ideas and imaginations about 5G applications. Taiwan has the most comprehensive ecosystem to offer in these groundbreaking and long-term partnerships.

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A. D. - At TAICCA, we are already working around these technologies. With BEDLAM, they are already in use! Our support for this project is not only about the artwork, but also about the tools and, most importantly, the vision behind them. These are tools and technologies that we want to make available to local creators and international partners. But this work is also an important proof of concept and proof of business for several industries in Taiwan.

A. D. - Taiwan is very well positioned to become a major metaverse player. That's why the support we provide to a project such as BEDLAM is also about connecting it to the Taiwanese ecosystem – where most of the bricks of the technical infrastructure that will propel this kind of online social and embodied experiences are already created and assembled.

Our wish, and what TAICCA has been working on for months, is to create a system to mobilize, with this type of project, the different actors of the ecosystem (manufacturers of consumer and enterprise electronics, semiconductors, telecom operators and Internet service providers, government, etc.) to formulate a complete, open and high-value offer to the world.

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