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 In addition to the paintings, the exhibit includes historical documents and memorabilia.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.