The Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts (PGICVA) and the Curator's Incubator Program @ Museums (CIP@ Museums) of NCAF have undergone several changes since their inception. NCAF Visual Arts Curating provides a basis for understanding the outcomes of PGICVA and CIP@ Museums by discussing their origins, their purpose and philosophy, revisions to their key guidelines, and allocation of grant resources.

History of the Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts

To improve the quality of contemporary art exhibitions in Taiwan and to foster diversity in the local arts scene, NCAF established the Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts (PGICVA) in 2004, which seeks innovative and experimental exhibition projects through annual calls for submissions and the allocation of grant resources. The aim of PGICVA is to encourage curators to collaborate with curatorial teams and propose themed exhibition projects that combine local and international perspectives with the benefits of research and development, in order to promote the integration of theory, creation, and exhibition for the simultaneous growth of artistic occupations.

The PGICVA grant mechanism has been in place for over a decade and has been revised thirteen times up to 2021, with the following major adjustments:

Between 2004 and 2012, PGICVA supported local exhibition projects. In response to the diversified development of curatorial approaches, art themes, and exhibition spaces, PGICVA not only encourages the integration of new ideas in art theory or creative forms, but also promotes the use of local spatial venues and new models of exhibition partnership.

From 2008 to 2009, PGICVA added the Curator's Incubator Program, which encouraged curators to propose projects requiring investigation abroad. PGICVA aims to help emerging Taiwanese curators with potential to strengthen their theoretical research on curating and apply it to exhibition practice, so that theoretical and practical training can be advanced simultaneously. In 2010, this program was established independently—the Curator's Incubator Program @ Hong-Gah Museum—in collaboration with Hong-Gah Museum.

In 2012, PGICVA added the International Residential Research and Exhibition Exchange Projects to encourage professional curators to participate in international exhibition affairs, expand their art networks, and develop opportunities for international collaboration. The content of the grant takes into account the needs of international residential research for the pre-production of the exhibition, as well as the implementation of local and international exchange exhibitions and related activities. By providing curators with the resources needed to complete the process from planning to actual practice, it is hoped to achieve the goal of strengthening exchanges of local and international artworks and talents through the medium of curators. In 2012, PGICVA collaborated with two art institutions in Asia that are international renowned and possess local connections: 1 a Space in Hong Kong and Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan.

In 2013, PGICVA was restructured into a two-phase international residential research and exhibition exchange project. Curators propose phase II exhibition exchange projects after completing a phase I international residential research. Furthermore, curators instead propose the site(s) for their international residential research and network of exchange partner institutions on their own. Since this year, PGICVA has also started receiving corporate sponsorship for international exhibition exchanges, which increased the overall funding resources from NT$1.5–2 million up to a maximum of NT$4 million for each exhibition project, thereby helping Taiwan's curators, artists, and works to step onto the international stage.

Ever since 2016 and up until today, in addition to continuing the implementation model of two-phase Residential Research and Exhibition Plans, PGICVA has encouraged professional curators to participate in international exhibition affairs, expand their art networks, and develop opportunities for international collaboration from a research point of departure. Furthermore, calls for submission of exhibition projects are also open. The aim is to provide domestic curators and curatorial teams with more flexible resource options so that they can propose more innovative and experimental quality exhibitions.

From 2004 to 2021, PGICVA provided 87 grants, including support to 57 exhibitions and 30 residential research projects, totaling NT$126.36 million in funding.

History of Curator's Incubator Program @ Museums

To strengthen the importance of curating as a profession, solidly enhance the development of visual arts curatorial work, and encourage curators to propose curatorial projects with innovative perspectives and accumulate practical experience, NCAF has been cooperating with Hong-Gah Museum, established by the Chew's Culture Foundation, through the Friends of NCAF program since 2010. By incorporating the resources of both parties, the Curator's Incubator Program under the original Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts was expanded into the independent Curator's Incubator Program @ Hong-Gah Museum. In addition to providing funding support for exhibitions, the program also provides venue and administrative assistance in conjunction with its professional art museum resources.

Since 2013, the program has been turned into a biennial call for entries, with a maximum of three grants per round, and the individual grant amount increased from a maximum of NT$600,000 to NT$800,000. There has also been an increase of partner premises to increase the spaces and venues for curators to unrein their imagination. In addition to Hong-Gah Museum, new partners include Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (MoCA Taipei).

In 2015, we entered into collaboration with the Soulangh Cultural Park in Tainan. In 2017, in order to strengthen the interlinking of resources with small and medium-sized art museums both public and private at all levels, we entered into partnerships with Museum of National Taipei University of Education, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art, Yilan Museum of Art, Yo-Chang Art Museum, Chiayi Art Museum, and Taitung Art Museum, in order to provide emerging and potential curators with a variety of venues and opportunities for curatorial practice. The quota of grantees has increased to four starting in 2019.

From 2010 to 2021, a total of 25 curators received funding through the Curator's Incubator Program, totaling approximately NT$16.17 million in funding.