King Wu Ding and Lady Hao: Art and Culture of the Late Shang Dynasty (商王武丁與后婦好—殷商盛世文化藝術特展) offers a “gender bending” view of a queen in ancient China. The exhibit presents vivid testimony of Lady Hao as a valiant warrior and military leader “on par with any man in her day,” writes the museum in a press release. The exhibition consists of 362 objects, and includes inscribed oracle bones attesting to Lady Hao’s strength of personality, burial goods and daily objects, which combined offer a picture of a ruling family and the society over whom they ruled.
■ 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), tel: (02) 8692-5588 X2312 (10:30am to 6:30pm). Open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission for Lady Hao: NT$250. Regular admission: NT$160
■ Until Feb. 19
Photo courtesy of Chen Long-bin
Inevitable Vibrations (註定的顫動) is a solo exhibition of performance art by Fan Hsiao-lan (范曉嵐). Fan examines the nature of an individual’s identity and its formation based on the society in which they live.
■ Barry Room, Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村百里廳), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號), tel: (02) 3393-7377. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm
■ Until Dec. 16
Carved Book Odyssey (切書行旅) riffs off the tradition of Chinese literati traveling long distances to acquire scrolls and texts, whether historical, mythical or religious. Chen Long-bin’s (陳龍斌) artistic practice involves this kind of worldly nomadism, but with a twist: He gathers together books, which he then glues and sculpts into a form that strongly resembles a woodcarving.
■ Nou Gallery (新畫廊), 232, Renai Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市仁愛路四段232號), tel: (02) 2700-0239. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until Dec. 16
Event Topology (事件拓樸) is a joint exhibition of photography and animation by, respectively, Hsu Che-yu (許哲瑜) and Hsu Jer-yu (許哲瑜), as a means of describing what they see around them. Juxtaposing their works creates a dialogue — the world within the screen and the screen within the world — where they examine the question: “Is the outside world a creation from an individual’s aesthetic event, or the creation of an individual’s aesthetic event is actually part of the outside world?”
■ VT Art Salon (非常廟藝文空間), B1, 47 Yitong St, Taipei City (台北市伊通街47號B1), tel: (02) 2516-1060. Open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 1:30pm to 9pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 1:30pm to 10pm
■ Until Nov. 17
Taneda Yohei, a Japanese movie director and artist, challenges one of the largest museums in the world with Petit Louvre, an installation that replicates the famous French cultural institution. Instead of focusing on each piece of art, he makes the space into a huge piece of art, transforming the original pieces into two fifths the original size. The second half of the exhibition focuses on Taneda Yohei’s art, including installation, stage design, exhibition design, animation, illustration and movie art.
■ 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: NT$200
■ Until Jan. 8
When Auntie Su (蘇) was evicted from her apartment last Monday, locals were so overjoyed that they sent thank you wreaths to the Tainan Police Department. “Justice has been served.” “Punish villains and eradicate evil,” read some of the notes. “Thank you, hardworking police for bringing peace and quiet back to Tainan!” a neighbor posted on Facebook. Auntie Su is a notorious “informer demon” (檢舉魔人), someone who is known to excessively report violations either for reward money or — depending which side you’re on — to serve as a justice warrior or a nosy annoyance. Usually they are called “professional”
In Taiwan’s foothills, suspension bridges — or the remnants of them — are almost as commonplace as temples. “Suspension bridge” is a direct translation of the Chinese-language term (吊橋, diaoqiao), but it’s a little misleading. These spans aren’t huge pieces of infrastructure. The larger ones are just wide enough for the little trucks used by farmers. Others are suitable for two-wheelers and wheelbarrows. If one end is higher than the other, they may incorporate steps, like the recently-inaugurated, pedestrians-only Shuanglong Rainbow Suspension Bridge (雙龍七彩吊橋) in Nantou County. Because torrential rains hammer Taiwan during the hot season, the landscape is scarred by
With his sugarcane juice stall at Monga Nightmarket (艋舺夜市) floundering due to COVID-19, things took a turn for the worse for Lin Chih-hang (林志航) when he was furloughed from a part-time job. The crowds are trickling back to this nightmarket in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), but Lin is now so busy that he has hired a friend to run his stall. As the sole driver of the night market’s delivery service, established on April 12, Lin takes on an average of 20 orders on weeknights and over 60 on weekends, with his father helping out when he is too busy.
May 25 to May 31 Three months before his 90th birthday in 2015, Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政) woke up shortly after midnight and experienced a inexplicable sense of clarity. “Suddenly, my mind started going all over the place. There were some recent memories, but also many that I thought I had long forgotten. They would appear and disappear from my brain one after another, and they were so clear, so lucid. Even the memories from 70, 80 years ago felt like they happened yesterday. I suddenly thought, if I still remember so much, why don’t I write everything down?” Despite his solid