The mounds of fleshy objects found in the staged photographs of Spanish artist Ignasi Cunhill, who created them as part of his artist residence at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館), look like a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong. Are they human? Animal? A combination of both? The images, collectively titled Homo Sapiens, are made doubly alarming by juxtaposing these grotesques with unremarkable and benign still life elements. Combined, the photographs “metaphorically link the human to the cultural monster, deformed by an overdose of impositions that have affected even its genetic integrity,” according to the museum’s press statement. Don’t look at them for too long because they will probably give you nightmares.
■ Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei City (台北市學園路1號), tel: (02) 2893-8870. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm
■ Begins Friday. Until April 13
Long Live/Landscape (萬歲/山水) is a two-part solo exhibition of Yao Jui-chung’s (姚瑞中) recent work. In Landscape, the first segment, Yao subverts the rules underlying traditional Chinese ink painting from the Song to Qing dynasties by embedding himself and his family into the works as a means of closing the temporal distance between contemporary aesthetics and the classical past. Long Life, the second section, is an installation that takes Taiwan’s authoritarian past as its central theme, which is used to reflect on the present. According to the gallery’s press release, “Yao is critical of the national spirit of Taiwan, as he contemplates whether the island has moved beyond its past, or if it remains haunted by the ghost of history — only to continue and repeat itself.”
■ Tina Keng Gallery (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 April 29
Chinese artist Leng Bingchuan (冷冰川) reinterprets the shape of flowers and Chinese musical instruments through the visual language of Western expressionism in About Simple (至素樸). Leng’s paintings juxtapose layers of impasto earthy forms with dark solid spaces that provide an area for the viewer to reflect on the harmonious relationship between art, music and nature.
■ Lin & Lin Gallery (大未來林舍畫廊), 16 Dongfeng St, Taipei City, (台北市東豐街16號), tel: (02) 2700-6866. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Opening reception on Saturday at 4pm. Until April 29
Meet Mexican Picasso is a solo exhibit of paintings by Mexican artist Byron Galvez. Galvez, as you may have already guessed, is considered the Picasso of Mexico because of his Cubist figures — though many of the paintings on view at Jia Art Gallery (家畫廊) move closer to abstraction and are rendered in strong hues of pink, malachite and orange. More commonly known for his sculptures of human figures and large-scale installations, this exhibit is an ideal introduction to the artist’s painting.
■ Jia Art Gallery (家畫廊), 1F-1, 30, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市中山北路三段30號1樓之1), tel: (02) 2591-4302. Open daily from 10am to 6pm
■ Opening reception on Sunday at 2pm. Until June 3
“We had believed that it’s an age of democracy and equality, but today we confront absurd, unfair and unacceptable things that nevertheless can be legalized,” states the publicity material from Sincere Subversion (不頑之抗), a group exhibit at VT Art Salon. So, democracy sucks — and don’t get them started on the art world, which is “hypocritical and snobbish.” The 16 exhibiting artists, including Yang Mao-lin (楊茂林), Yao Jui-chung (姚瑞中) and Tsai Shih-hung (蔡士弘), employ video installation and sculpture to “demonstrate that their amusing manners could be inspiring and powerful,” and serve as a corrective to the “invisible powers” controlling our lives, whether aesthetically or politically. So what “amusing manners” will the exhibit use as a tonic? Sarcasm, of course, which can be “profound and distressing. After all, it is art.”