Thu, Oct 13, 2005 - Page 13 News List

MOCA management has its swan song

The art museum management group's contract will not be renewed, so `Well Done -- The Art of Design World' will be its last show

By Susan Kendzulak  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Top, an untitled painting by Yoshitoma Nara. Above, a sample of Michael Lin's furniture.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MOCA

Well Done -- The Art of Design World, an exhibition of artsy design work that includes installation, furniture design, dolls and animation, could be MOCA's last. MOCA's current management contract expires at the end of the year and will not be renewed. As yet there is no other management group slated to run MOCA for next year.

Since MOCA's future is up in the air, current director Hsieh Su-chen (謝素貞) sought to have the last exhibition end on an uplifting note. As curator, she put together a group of fun designers and artists to create a whimsical light-hearted show easily accessibile for the average viewer. There is no critical theory or elitist agenda to promote, just nice looking objects that most people can identify with.

Some of the works are set up like furniture showrooms. Strauss creates a fantasy room filled with pink spongy shapes and assorted furniture in which the viewer can relax.

Wokmedia's installation of

submerged light bulbs in beakers of water that set off a certain type of glow look dangerous and beautiful at the same time.

Mon Beau Beton is a design team doing experimental works with materials that are usually considered crass, such as low-grade cement. However, taking these industrial materials and reconfiguring them into easy chairs, tables and lamps definitely upgrades the materials. Gorillaz has a graffiti-sprayed wall and video monitors evoking a happening place that would easily fit at a trendy clothing store on Zhongxiao East Road.

Michael Lin (林明弘) is one of the most successful Taiwanese contemporary artists whose work crosses over into the areas of fashion and interior design. He is known for his huge murals and floor paintings that use the floral pattern from traditional Taiwanese textiles -- and now he has gone on to use that pattern for furniture too. On view, are different lounge chairs made in collaboration with the famous Italian furniture design company Moroso.

Arman is an art historical figure and is known for his agglomerates of objects piled together. Here he makes a dining set from the body of cellos. Besides furniture design some paintings are on view too. Hsu Tang-wei's (許唐瑋) acrylic

paintings create new little worlds. Liao Yuan (廖堉安) shows cartoon-like paintings. And everyone's favorite cartoon-inspired artist Yoshitomo Nara has designed the huge shopping bag that is in the museum's plaza.

One designer who not only designs beautiful objects out of silver, but likes to display them with a deeper, connotative meaning is Nick Dong Chen-lian (董承濂) who created a private chamber with a dressing table. Thus, when picking up the silver hair brush and winding up a little music box, the piece will transport you back to childhood memories.

Upstairs, pairs of running shoes attached to mechanical moving wings suspended from the ceiling look like a fun group project as 100 local artists each decorated one pair. Yet, it is puzzling why running shoes and not some other types of consumer objects. Even though so many artists contributed, the results seem quite similar, as most have painted or glued small objects to the surface.

Overall, the design work on view is fun to look at, or to sit on, but you won't find anything deeper to ponder over. Of course in today's world we are confronted by a daily barrage of commercials and entertainment forcing us to be consumers.

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