This year’s Photo Taipei, an international art fair that focuses on photographic and video works, is currently underway at the San Want Hotel (神旺大飯店), Taipei.
For the event’s third edition, the three-day fair teamed up with 15 galleries from Japan, France and Taiwan with the aim of raising the profile of photography and video as collectable art forms.
“Compared with other Asian countries, the market for photo-based art has yet to flourish in Taiwan,” said Jimmy Lu (陸潔民), a renowned art critic and one of the event’s organizers. “Because of the weak market, prices [for photo and video art works] are more friendly.”
Mounted in collaboration with Art Emperor (非池中藝術網), an online art network, the fair’s Taiwan Young Artist Selected Exhibition showcases the work of nine local artists, selected from 94 entries.
Highlights include Lin Wang-tin’s (林旺廷) SimCity (模擬城市), a video work that combines shots of miniature models of buildings and real city streets to create a surreal urban landscape, and Blocking Blocks (堵), a photographic series by Lee Hsin-che (李欣哲) in which the artist focuses on the facades of concrete buildings.
The exhibiting artists will be on hand to answer questions about their work.
For something more historical, the development of photography in Taiwan can be traced through the works of the iconic photographers on show in the section mounted by the Taiwan Photo Museum (台灣攝影博物館).
Featured photographers include the late Deng Nan-guang (鄧南光), Chang Tsai (張才) and Lee Ming-tiao (李鳴鵰), who are collectively known as the Three Musketeers (攝影三劍客) and pioneered realist photography in Taiwan after World War II. Through their photographs, everyday life in a bygone era comes to life. Included in the segment are portraits by Wu Jin-miao (吳金淼) of the residents of the Hakka town of Yangmei (楊梅), Taoyuan County, taken when Taiwan was ruled by Japan. The shots reveal fascinating details about the clothing and cultural influences of the time.
What: Photo Taipei 2011
When: Today from noon to 8pm, tomorrow from noon to 7pm
Where: San Want Hotel (神旺大飯店), 172, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段172號). The art fair is on the 5th floor of the hotel
Admission: Tickets are NT$200 for the exhibition and NT$150 for each forum
On the net: www.photo-taipei.com
“The works of these pioneering photographers were buried and their value neglected. Only through exhibiting and discussing them are we able to truly appreciate what they are worth,” said photographer Chuang Ling (莊靈), who cofounded the museum.
Art collectors of a philanthropic persuasion may want to check out the Celebrity Photo Exhibition for Charity, which is curated by talk-show host and art collector Mickey Huang (黃子佼) and features works by 32 celebrities, including pop idols Ning Chang (張鈞甯), former F4 boy band singer Ken Chu (朱孝天), and Hebe Tien (田馥甄) of S.H.E, as well as musicians Wu Bai (伍佰) and Mayday (五月天) vocalist Ashin (阿信). Proceeds from the sale of these works will be used to fund art education for children.
Besides the buying and selling of art, Photo Taipei includes a series of forums organized by the Taiwan Photo Museum that address topics ranging from the history of photography in Taiwan to the current market for collecting video and photography.
Tomorrow from 3pm to 6pm, a panel discussion will be led by Shigeo Goto from Japan’s G/P Gallery. Admission to the seminar is free for Photo Taipei ticket holders.