Balgo Hills, in Western Australia, is a melting pot of Aboriginal cultures and is one of the most important centers for Aboriginal art in the country. A sampling of the work of 26 Aboriginal artists from the region titled Balgo Contemporary Australian Art From the Balgo Hills is currently on view at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The Aboriginal artists from Balgo Hills create art that resembles experimental techniques of Western abstractionism and expressionism, yet employ a unique visual language imbued with strong totemic imagery.
■ Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM — 台北市立美術館), 181, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市中山北路三段181號). Open daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm, closes at 8:30pm on Saturdays.
Tel: (02) 2595-7656
■ Until Feb. 21
The Classics (經典大展) presents a who’s who selection of works by Taiwanese artists, both living and deceased. The paintings range from Modern works by Chu Teh-chun
(朱德群) and Yang San-lang
(楊三郎) to contemporary canvases by Lee Ming-tse (李明則) and Lien Chien-hsing (連建興). Sculptures by Ju Ming (朱銘) are also on display.
■ Impressions Art Gallery
(印象畫廊), 40, Renai Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市仁愛路四段40號). Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:30am to 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 7pm. Tel: (02) 2705-9966
■ Until Feb. 5
Celestial Realm (天界) is a solo exhibit by Taiwanese artist Chiu Hsien-te (邱顯德). Chiu’s finely detailed watercolor landscape paintings are flourished with rugged expressionist brushstrokes.
■ 99 Degrees Art Center
(99 藝術中心) 5F, 259, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段259號5F). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm.
Tel: (02) 2700-3099
■ Until Feb. 28
The fine line separating fantasy and reality is the central theme of Low Floating Palace — Remix Version (浮宮 - 瑞米克斯版), a solo exhibit by Taiwanese multimedia artist Lin Ching-fong (林慶芳). Lin employs neon lighting, paint and sculpture to create works that examine Taiwan’s iconic betel nut girls, and in which he ponders the dichotomy between their attractive exteriors and the often torturous emotional lives they lead.
■ Gallery J. Chen, 3F, 40, Ln 161, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City
(台北市敦化南路一段161巷40號3F). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from noon to 9pm. Tel: (02) 2781-0959
■ Until Feb. 21
From Gatchaman to Deva Loka — The Legend Continues is a solo exhibition by Japanese contemporary artist Yoshitaka Amano. The show features Amano’s latest fine art paintings rendered in a manga and anime style.
■ Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (MOCA, Taipei), 39 Changan W Rd, Taipei City (台北市長安西路39號). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm.
Tel: (02) 2552-3720
■ Until March 7
The Yingge Ceramics Museum’s Ceramics Park Gallery has been taken over by an ambush of tigers — ceramic tigers that is. The museum chose 120 sculptures as part of its contest for the Year of the Tiger. A brief overview of the tiger’s place in Chinese history and folk religion accompanies the exhibit, revealing that although extinct in many parts of the world, the large feline retains considerable mythological resonance for Taiwanese.
■ Yingge Ceramics Museum
(鶯歌陶瓷博物館), 200 Wenhua Rd, Yinge Township, Taipei County (台北縣鶯歌鎮文化路200號). Open daily from 9:30am to 5pm, closes at 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tel: (02) 8677-2727
■ Until Feb. 28
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
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).
The Lunar New Year vacation had just ended when Alice Wu began to worry about COVID-19. Not long after, on Feb. 10, Wu — who didn’t give her Chinese name to speak freely for this story — received the first of several coronavirus-related sales messages through her smartphone. The pitch came from an acquaintance who represents Amway, an American multi-level marketing (MLM) company that’s been active in Taiwan since 1982. “I’ve only met her once, and I’ve never bought from her. If her sister wasn’t one of my daughter’s teachers, I’d probably block her,” says Wu, who lives in Taichung. MLM, sometimes
It’s difficult to watch Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four-hour Netflix series on the now-deceased convicted sex offender without a choking sense of outrage. How many girls had to suffer to get attention? How perversely twisted is the American justice system that a Gatsby-esque billionaire, friends with such powerful figures as Bill Clinton , Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, a longstanding donor to Harvard and MIT, could buy his way out of an almost certain life sentence for child sex abuse and trafficking? Filthy Rich arrives, of course, less than a year after Epstein, 66, died, officially by suicide, in a New