Atsushi Fukui and Hideaki Kawashima belong to the generation of Japanese artists following Yoshitomo Nara, whose paintings liberated Japan’s contemporary scene from Eurocentric styles and provided a renewed recognition of childhood sensibility — one that is revealed in their joint exhibit Convolvulus. Kawashima updates the Japanese tradition of bijinga (pictures of beautiful women) but with a manga-infused style all his own that infantalizes the women he depicts. Large almond-shaped eyes that glare at the viewer with a distant yet confrontational expression are set amid a ghost-white face with barely apparent eyebrows and nostrils above thick lips. By contrast, Fukui’s landscapes possess as much life as Kawashima’s women seem to lack. Fukui’s daydream-like paintings are influenced by his love of psychedelic culture and science fiction. Subjects include planets, animals and forests that refract light in a meditative and colorful glow.
■ Michael Ku Gallery (谷公館), 4F-2, 21, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段21號4樓之2). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 8pm. Tel: (02) 2577-5601
■ From Saturday until Nov. 22
Taiwan-born, New York-based artist Vivian Tsao (曹志漪) employs various approaches to light and space and a palette of middle tones in a series of realistic paintings in her solo exhibit on the fourth floor of the National Museum of History. The show also features pastel drawings and manuscripts by the prolific artist.
■ National Museum of History (國立歷史博物館), 49 Nanhai Rd, Taipei City (台北市南海路49號). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Tel: (02) 2361-0270. Admission: NT$30
■ From Friday until Nov. 1
Illusional Distance (虛擬的距離) displays 17 oil paintings by Chinese artist Jiang Zhongli (姜中立). Jiang’s figurative works endow ordinary people with heroic qualities drawn from classical sculpture. Employing an impasto style, the artist builds up his characters using rich earth tones that he then highlights with whites and yellows to create canvases that exist somewhere between the present and the past.
■ Elsa Art Gallery (雲清藝術中心), 3F, 1-1 Tianmu E Rd, Taipei City (台北市天母東路1-1號3樓). Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 7pm. Tel: (02) 2876-0386
■ Until Oct. 25
Taiwanese artist Tsai I-ju’s (蔡宜儒) solo exhibition combines contemporary ink painting techniques with other media to create abstract works that examine nature in all its fury.
■ Piao Piao Art Space (一票票藝術空間), 44 Yongkang St, Taipei City (台北市永康街44號). Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 2pm to 10pm and Sundays from 2pm to 9pm. Tel: (02) 2393-7505
■ Until Oct. 4
Sculptures of confused porky pandas, surrealist ink paintings of the human anatomy and sketches of vacant-eyed men in business suites are among the works on display in Cardinal Number, a group exhibition by Taiwanese artists Liu Je-rong (劉哲榮), Huang Yao-hsin (黃耀鑫) and Wang Ting-chao (王鼎超).
■ BF Gallery (北風藝廊), 2F, 120, Minsheng E Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市民生東路二段120號2樓). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 7pm. Tel: (02) 2561-6516
■ Until Oct. 18
The title of Chu Ko’s (楚戈) solo exhibit Artistic Creation Must Have Fun (創作就是要好玩) aptly expresses the artistic philosophy of the China-born, Taiwan-based multimedia artist. Chu’s watercolors and oil paintings infuse traditional Chinese landscape ink painting with vibrant colors. This exhibit also features some of his sculptures.