It's that time of the year: the end of the year when many publications take a fond look and assess the year's achievements and failures. And so, with no further ado, the Taipei Times takes a look at some of the highs and lows in Taiwan's contemporary art for the year 2004.
1. Who needs curators anyway? Some of the best exhibitions in Taiwan were organized by local artists, which only helped to prove the point that decisions about art should mainly be left up to artists. Yao Jui-chung (
2. The Bunker Museum of Contemporary Art in Kinmen (formerly known as Quemoy) was also organized by an artist. Cai Guo-Qiang (
3. Treasure Hill is one of the great jewels of Taipei City. Near National Taiwan University, this cluster of unassuming ramshackle homes that overlooks the Hsindian River was also home to a very inspiring art residency program.
4. Art can be fun. Artist Huang Shih-chieh's (
5. The debut of artist Peng Hung-Chih's (
6. Artist residencies, both here and abroad were such a boon to the artists who participated in them. At the beginning of the year, there was a British-Taiwan exchange. Programs like these act as a kind of cultural diplomacy.
7. Ava Hsueh's (
San Francisco's Asian Art Museum hosted Spaces Within featuring Wu Mali's (
8. The openings/renovations of some new art spaces such as Taipei MOMA and Taichung's National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts provided fresh perspectives and viewing areas.
9. And let's give a "yo" out to the alternative weekly paper POTs which became more bilingual this year and focuses on local cultural events quite well.
The biggest bombs
1. Do we really need another coffee shop? How do we keep up with the chaotic changes at government-funded cultural venues such as the Taipei Artist Village and Huashan?
2. The Auckland Triennial and Shanghai Biennial included some Taiwanese artists; however, these major exhibitions were rather lackluster, so who cares.
3. Again another digital show, the "Digital Sublime: New Masters of the Universe" at MOCA was heavy on the technology and light on the substance.