Taiwan's contemporary art scene is active and international with many opportunities for local artists to participate in exhibitions abroad while holding dialogues with foreign artists at local exhibitions.
Young Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung (
Wu, whose work is noteworthy for its exploration of imagery via video, photography and mechanical instal-lation, is currently exhibiting his art for the first time in the UK at the Artes Mundi exhibition that ends on May 7.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
The eight selected artists -- from India, Finland, South America, Europe and Taiwan -- are regarded as having made significant contributions to the world's understanding about the human condition. The prize will be awarded to one of the selected artists on March 31.
In 2004, New York-based Chinese artist Xu Bing received the first award for his work Where Does The Dust Collect Itself, made from dust collected from the streets in Manhattan after Sept. 11.
Besides the US$40,000 prize money, the winning artist's work will be exhibited at a major show and purchased for national collections.
Currently on view at the German Cultural Center in Taipei is a modest, yet poignant exhibition of German and Taiwanese artists titled Intimate Relations. Curator/artist Andreas Walther is no stranger to Taiwan as he has been living, exhibiting and cura-ting here for several years and is therefore familiar with lifestyles both in Cologne and Taipei.
The videos, photographs and drawings explore the theme of closeness between people and provocatively ask if there are cultural differences between Western and Eastern personal relationships.
Some of the art on view seems to act like a sociology experiment. This is most notable in Andreas Walther's riveting video Family Portraits, in which a video camera runs for 10 minutes, while the invited family members (who were instructed not to speak to each other while seated in the studio facing a large mirror) fidget, giggle, and non-verbally interact with each other.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Sometimes with conceptual art, a background explanation is required in order to comprehend the art. To fully understand Chen Ting-yu's He Cried it is necessary to read about his concept beforehand. There are two see-mingly identical photos of a close-up of a man's face wiping away tears from his eyes. Chen photographed himself crying, as this was part of his experience of being involved in an intimate love relationship. Then he photographed his boyfriend mimicking his action.
However, his boyfriend couldn't fake the tears.
Chen's two portraits show that even with an intimate partner we can achieve simulations of closeness but achieving actual oneness is nearly impossible.
Another conceptual work is Cologne-based artist Cony Theis' Familienportrait. With her mother, sister and two nieces, the five female family members painted a series of watercolors together.
Chen Shun-chu's (陳順築) Journeys in Time is a photographic series where he uses the family snapshot in a similar way to the Proustian madeleine to recapture the idyllic past of his childhood.
Juergen Heiter's film The Place in the Woods is interesting, but due to its German soundtrack there are limits for the audience. The architecture of Rome and Paris serves as a backdrop to tell a story about modernity, while in the foreground couples try to make relationships work even though intimacy is glaringly absent.
What: Intimate Relations
Where: German Cultural Center, 12F, 20 Heping W Rd, Sec 1, Taipei (
When: To April 20
Tel: (02) 2365 7294
African-American entertainer Dooley appeared on local television show Super Entourage (小明星大跟班) a few weeks ago and was told by the crew that they wanted to do a skit in blackface. Dooley, whose real name is Matthew Candler, tells the Taipei Times that Super Entourage wanted to perform a rendition of the wildly popular “Ghana Coffin Dance,” a meme that has taken the world by storm. Instead, he showed them videos about the racist origins of blackface and slavery in America, and they agreed to drop the makeup. “[I told them] about the history [behind blackface] and [said] you decide
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
For more than a century, Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) has been connecting the north and south of the nation. Between 1912 and 1926, the rail network was expanded to the eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung. Even though the number of people living in Taiwan has grown massively — it has more than tripled since World War II — a combination of population outflow in certain places, and a greater range of transportation options, has led to the closure of several TRA stations. One of the most-visited retired stations is in, and named for, Kaohsiung’s Cishan District (旗山). Until the late
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there