Few names in Taiwan’s art scene are as recognizable as Chen Chieh-jen’s (陳界仁). On the Empire’s Borders (在帝國的邊界上) is a comprehensive exhibition of Chen’s work, particularly his video installation, since 1996.
From his early guerilla performances and underground exhibitions before the lifting of Martial Law in 1987 to his exploration of Taiwan’s modern history — particularly its transformation from a colonial to a consumerist society — Chen’s easily accessible work covers the gamut of post-modern critical discourse.
“Taiwanese society has lost the ability to think about the future from the context of the past,” Chen said. This exhibit could serve as an antidote to the facile public discourse that distracts much of the country’s popular media.
■ Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), 181, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市中山北路三段181號). Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5:30pm, closes at 8:30pm on Saturdays. Tel: (02) 2595-7656
■ Begins Saturday. Until Nov. 14
Employing philosopher Susanne Langer’s notion that art is composed of abstracted and simplified symbols of human feeling, Feeling and Form (情感與形式) is an exhibition of painters working in figuration, abstraction and expressionism. The four exhibitors are Jiun Hsieh (謝鴻均), Huang Zhi-zang (黃致陽), Chen Chien-jung (陳建榮) and Tang Jo-hung
■ Sakshi Gallery (夏可喜當代藝術), 33 Yitong St, Taipei City (台北市伊通街33號). Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1:30pm to 9:30pm, closes at 7:30pm on Sundays. Tel: (02) 2516-5386
■ Until Oct. 3
Living With Art (生活的藝術) brings together eight Japanese and five Taiwanese artists spanning a range of ages and genres — though mainly painting and sculpture. Like the Sakshi show, Living With Art presents a broad range of genres — figurative, abstract and expressionist — as a response to new media art forms.
■ Yi&C Contemporary Art (易雅居當代空間), 22, Ln 252, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段252巷22號). Open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm. Tel: (02) 2781-3131
■ Until Sept. 10
Co(op)llaboration (分化�合作) is a two-man exhibit by German artist Lars Koepsel and Australian artist Vernon Ah Kee. The installation, comprising video and photography, examines the proliferation of neo-Nazi symbols and codes across Germany and the world since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The artists are interested in how racism “codifies itself and how culture, nationalist and ethnic, informs racism and racist expression.”
■ IT Park Gallery (伊通公園), 2F-3F, 41 Yitong St, Taipei City (台北市伊通街41號2-3樓). Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 10pm.
Tel: (02) 2507-7243
■ Until Sept. 18
Most shows on traditional Chinese ink painting feature numerous scrolls with brief explanations. The Sound of Many Birds, the Moving Nature of Each (百禽百聲音一動一情性) goes in the opposite direction by focusing on a single work, Three Friends and a Hundred Birds (三友百禽) by early Ming Dynasty artist Bian Wenjin (邊文進), and then using it to discuss landscape and bird painting in general. It’s a novel approach to a notoriously esoteric art form. Viewers learn about the work’s motifs, what they symbolize and how they fit into the framework of Chinese painting.
■ National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), 221, Zhishan Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市至善路二段221號). Open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Tel: (02) 2881-2021. Admission: NT$160