Thu, Jan 19, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Art about town

From the big to the small, from globalization to localization, Taipei has it all




When thinking of international art centers, cities such as Berlin and New York may first come to mind. Well, it's about time to add Taipei to that list. Last week the Taipei Fine Arts Museum held a press conference at a yoga center to announce the theme and curators for the 2006 Taipei Biennial, scheduled for November.

The Taipei Biennial is important as it is one of the few international links for Taiwan. The yoga center was chosen as a place that focuses on integrating the mind with spirit -- which is the Biennial's theme, namely "Between-ness."

The two curators are artist Wang Jun-jieh (王俊傑) and Dan Cameron who is senior curator of the New Museum in New York.

Between-ness will feature artists from around the world, whose work will relate to life in a rapidly globalizing world that is intent on satisfying desire while confronting fears of loss, such as aging. The exhibition will explore the contemporary trends of globalization to find out exactly what we desire and fear and address the ambiguity of modern life. The Museum will try to be an artistic space and a real space,


There are currently two small-scale exhibitions on view which are laid out like individual thoughts. Scott Prairie's A Dangerous Display is on view at the Chi-Wen Gallery (formerly Taipei MOMA).

Prairie, who is known locally for his musical collaborations and performances with his partner Mia Hsieh (謝韻雅) is exhibiting framed photographic prints of images from his private journal of paintings, text, and collages. They are installed with masks and found objects.

Black painted lines and cartoons scribbled on the walls allow the viewer to follow the train of the artist's thoughts. The work has the raw energy of a punk, but also has the contemplative air of reading someone's private diary.

Prairie will also conduct workshops called "Painting as a Process of Self Exploration." These will be held on Sundays: Feb. 12 to Mar. 5. For further information visit

At IT Park, the entertaining performative videos of Tsui Kuang-yu (崔廣宇) are on view. Titled The Shortcut to the Systematic Life: City Spirits, the videos were shot in London and Taipei.

Tsui's humorous videos transcend language and since he showed his work at the Venice Biennale last summer his work is beginning to get international attention. His interest in science and especially mimicry is one of his themes.

For the new city series, he reconfigures public spaces and daily events into sporting ones. Tsui bowls at a flock of pigeons, waves a checkered flag at cars in traffic, and rappels down a mound of trash. The videos are amusing, making the viewer rethink how we can utilize the city space.

The first room of the exhibition space shows Tsui's thoughts on globalization. Polaroid shots of the artist standing in front of transnational corporations are taped to maps painted on the walls. However, by not offering anything deeper or insightful regarding globalization, it ends up reading like a transitional work that is not yet fully explored.

Art Notes:

What: `A Dangerous Display' by Scott Prairie

Where: Chi-Wen Gallery (formerly known as Taipei MOMA)

Address: 3F, 19, Ln 252, Dunhua S Rd, Sec 1, Taipei


Tel: (02) 8771 3372

When: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm, until Feb. 11

What: Tsui Kuang-yu's `The Shortcut to the Systematic Life: City Spirits'

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