There are many examples of the richness of Taiwanese arts: Ancient Chinese painting, calligraphy, sculpture, ceramics, stamps, folk and Aboriginal arts, Taiwanese opera, puppetry, paper cutting, ivory and jade carvings, cloisonne, lacquer art, embroidery, Kung Fu, music, drama, dance and cinema.

Traditional puppetry in Taiwan is performed with gloves, shadows or marionettes. Although the early Chinese immigrants brought puppetry to Taiwan, it is now different from the Chinese version. Leather sculpture is another Taiwanese art. Leather shadow puppets are made by shadow puppet artists. The puppet is two-dimensional and shows its profile only, which means it has one eye.

Paper cutting is popular among Taiwanese women. There are two kinds of paper cutout techniques. One is to fold the paper first before cutting with scissors so that the folds create a pattern when the cutting is done. Another way is to cut out patterns freely without folding the paper first. Paper cutting is believed to nourish the mind, cultivate patience and increase concentration. It is also considered a beneficial exercise for both the hands and the eyes of the individual.
Did you know?

The craft of knotting strings in various complicated ways to produce decorative cords was developed 300 to 400 years ago in China.

Two of the most popular folk art performances are the dragon dance and the lion dance. The dragon symbolizes power, good luck and dignity. Several people move a long dragon-like costume in the air. The lion dance has one or two participants and can be performed in a small area. Sometimes a third person wearing the mask of a laughing Buddha will run and tease the lion into action. Many elementary schools teach lion dancing as part of their physical education classes.
In the past, Taiwanese arts and culture were influenced by Chinese, Japanese, American and other Western traditions. Political regimes have also directed this area of Taiwanese life. A revival of traditional Taiwanese culture can be seen in Taiwanese cinema, literature and opera.