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.
■ National Chiao Tung University Art Space (交大藝文空間), 1001 Dasyue Rd, Hsinchu City (新竹市大學路1001號). Open daily from 10am to 7pm, closes at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tel: (03) 571-2121
■ Until Oct. 21
It can take ice cream maker Miky Wu (吳書瑀) months to create a new flavor. In addition to using only eco-friendly and organic ingredients, her brand 1982 de glacee also eschews artificial additives, replacing emulsifiers and stabilizers with Taiwanese rice and wood ear derivatives. Wu’s non-traditional methods and dedication to capturing the essence of the main ingredient can lead to hours and hours tinkering in her “research office” in Tainan, even referencing academic papers to get the science correct. Her efforts were recently recognized for the third year in a row by the prestigious A. A. Taste Awards run by the
June 29 to July 5 With women gathering rocks and men hurling them at thousands of rivaling neighbors, ritualistic stone battles were regular affairs for people living in Pingtung during the 1800s. Direct combat and use of weapons were prohibited to avoid serious injury, with the losers hosting the winners for dinner. These “guests” often acted rudely, and faced no repercussions for smashing windows or snatching their hosts’ possessions. These battles usually took place yearly, with a significant number happening every Dragon Boat Festival. The winners had rights to the losers’ banquet prepared for the festivities. Sometimes things would get out of
Certain historical statues have been disappearing in Thailand, but they are not effigies of colonialists or slave owners torn down by protesters. Instead, Thailand’s vanishing monuments celebrated leaders of the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand, who were once officially honored as national heroes and symbols of democracy. Reuters has identified at least six sites memorializing the People’s Party that led the revolution which have been removed or renamed in the past year. In most cases it is not known who took the statues down, although a military official said one was removed for new landscaping. Two army camps named after 1932
Jason Ward fell in love with birds at age 14 when he spotted a peregrine falcon outside the homeless shelter where he was staying with his family. The now 33-year-old Atlanta bird lover parlayed that passion into a YouTube series last year. One of the guests on his first episode of Birds of North America was Christian Cooper, a black bird watcher who was targeted in New York City’s Central Park by a white woman after he told her to leash her dog. A video capturing the encounter showed the woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), retaliate by calling the police