Liu Keng-i’s (劉耿一) creative philosophy and artistic styles are the focus of Aria of Life (生命感知與詠嘆), a retrospective on the artist’s life and work. Sixty paintings, some of which resemble Honore Daumier’s moody naturalism, while others the mature impressionistic landscapes of Paul Cezanne, as well as dozens of pieces of handcrafted furniture that range over many contemporary styles, will be on view. A lecture on Liu’s life and work will be held on Feb. 19 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm.
■ 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), tel: (02) 2595-7656. Open daily from 9am to 10pm. General admission is free
■ Begins Saturday. Until April 3
Chinese artist Xu Jiang (許江) recalls his time spent as a teacher in rural Fujian during the Cultural Revolution in Deep Song of the Sunflower Garden (葵園深歌), a series of oil paintings and sculptures in which sunflowers become an emblem for the essence and spirit of China.
■ Tina Keng Gallery (大未來耿畫廊), 15, Ln 548, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路548巷15號), tel: (02) 2659-0798. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 7pm
■ Opening reception on Saturday at 4:30pm. Until Feb. 27
Liu Yung-jen’s (劉永仁) new series of paintings employs a unique approach to the medium. Liu’s earlier abstract works were built up using acrylic and oil paint; with his Mot Arts show he adds beeswax and lead. The combination of the vibrant yellows of the beeswax and the stark tones of the lead offer a range of colors that the artist says traditional painting materials cannot replicate.
■ Mot Arts, 3F, 22, Fuxing S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市復興南路一段22號3樓), tel: (02) 2751-8088. Open daily from 11am to 9pm
■ Until Feb. 13
Magnificent Artistic Annals (鼎藝千秋) is a commemorative exhibit focusing on the work of Liang Ting-ming (梁鼎銘), Liang Yu-ming (梁又銘) and Liang Chung-ming (梁中銘), three brothers who did much to visualize the propaganda of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Known in art circles as the “Three Marvelous Liang Brothers (梁氏三傑),” the show traces the development of their art, which consists mainly of ink paintings that glorified China’s past and war paintings that served the nationalists’ cause after they fled China. In addition to the paintings, the exhibit includes historical documents and memorabilia.
■ National Museum of History (國立歷史博物館), 49 Nanhai Rd, Taipei City (台北市南海路49號), tel: (02) 2361-0270. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. General admission is NT$30
■ Until Feb. 13
For those interested in Taiwan’s mid-20th-century military history, the Armed Forces Museum, a 15-minute walk from the National Museum of History, is currently showing The Brave in the Upper Air (高空的勇者), an exhibit that recounts the courageous Black Cat Squadron (黑貓中隊). The members of the squadron flew U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft into enemy territory — dangerous missions that saw each member making a will in advance. Their story is told through posters, paintings and historical documents.
■ Armed Forces Museum (國軍歷史文物館), 243, Guiyang St Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市貴陽街一段243號), tel: (02) 2331-5730. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. Admission: Free
■ Until Feb. 26
Birds brings together the ceramic sculptures of Swiss artist Genevieve Meylan. The nine angelic white birds are dotted with tiny holes and embellished with colorful mosaics that serve as emblems of life and death.
■ Yingge Ceramics Museum (鶯歌陶瓷博物館), 200 Wenhua Rd, Yinge District, New Taipei City (新北市鶯歌區文化路200號), tel: (02) 8677-2727. Open daily from 9:30am to 5pm, closes at 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is Free
■ Until Feb. 13
A new series of psychologically rich oil paintings of young women by Chinese painter Lai Yuan (來源) is currently on view at Elsa Art Gallery.
■ 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), tel: (02) 2876-0386. Open daily from 1pm to 7pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
■ Until Jan. 30
Flower in the Flower (花語畫) is a group exhibition of paintings that juxtaposes expressionist and realistic representations of flowers.
■ Wingrow Art Gallery (萬國際藝術公司), 5, Ln 175, Daan Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市大安路一段175巷5號), tel: (02) 2325-8253. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until Jan. 29
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same
It’s impossible to write a book entirely in the Taokas language. There are only about 500 recorded words in the Aboriginal tongue, whose speakers shifted to Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) generations ago while preserving certain Taokas phrases in their speech. “When I first started recording the language around 1997, I really had to jog the memories of the elders to find anything,” says Liu Chiu-yun (劉秋雲) a member of the Taokas community and a language researcher. The Taokas last month unveiled a picture book, Osubalaki, Balalong Ramut the community’s first-ever commercial publication using the language. The lavishly illustrated book
In his 1958 book, A Nation of Immigrants, then US senator from Massachusetts John F Kennedy wrote the following words: “Little is more extraordinary than the decision to migrate, little more extraordinary than the accumulation of emotions and thoughts which finally lead a family to say farewell to a community where it has lived for centuries, to abandon old ties and familiar landmarks, and to sail across dark seas to a strange land.” As an epithet, the book’s title is commonly associated with America and, in the face of the xenophobic rhetoric that has marked US President Donald Trump’s tenure,
It seems that even the filmmakers don’t know what happened in 49 Days (驚夢49天). After spending too much of the film building up the mystery and constantly introducing confusing elements, they wrap up the film in the last couple of minutes in the laziest way, with the protagonist actually uttering “nobody knows.” That is bloody annoying, having sat through over 90 minutes of disjointed and head-scratching storytelling. Billed as a horror flick featuring the chilling Taoist ritual of guanluoyin (觀落陰), or visiting hell, 49 Days was meant to scare the pants off viewers over Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Horror movies