The 2013 Asian Art Biennial Everyday Life (返常) features paintings, photography, video, sculptures and other works that comment on what it’s like to live in the Asia-Pacific, says curator Iris Shu-ping Huang (黃舒屏). Some 40 artists were chosen from Taiwan and abroad. Taipei-based painter Chiu Chien-Jen (邱建仁) brings urban scenes with bleak but mild titles — Heading Up as Before and Nothing Happened So Far — inhabited by alien-like people. Richard Bell is here with his Broken English, a film that tries to find out why Australian Aborigines appear to lack a vision for their future. The biennial also includes symposiums and lectures by guest scholars.
■ National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立臺灣美術館), 2, Wuquan W Rd Sec 1, Greater Taichung (台中市西區五權西路一段2號) tel: (04) 2372-3552. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm
■ Until Jan. 5
Photo courtesy of MOCA
Lurking Waves (伏噪) is a themed exhibition about Taiwan’s noise scene, presented through artifacts collected by founding member Wang Fu-jui (王福瑞). On show are objects dating to the scene’s inception in the ‘90s: Wang’s letters with overseas artists, seminal performances, cassette tapes and other low-tech media from Noise, Taiwan’s first experimental music label, which Wang founded in 1993.
■ TheCube Project Space (立方計畫空間), 2F, 13, Alley 1, Ln 136, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段136巷1弄13號2樓), tel: (02) 2368-9418. Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 2pm to 8pm
■ Until Dec. 8
Photo courtesy of Chi-Wen Gallery
At the Museum of Contemporary Art, another Wang Fu-jui (王福瑞) solo exhibition draws attention to the noise native to cities. Hyper Transmission (超傳波) features two installation works. Parallel Waves (平行波) consists of eight ultrasonic speakers that can broadcast pre-recorded sounds of electromagnetic radiation, a reality of city life that affects its denizens intimately, yet its sound normally lies just beyond human hearing range. Another installation, Murmur (呢喃), is a large interactive chip-controlled toy. Users press buttons to recreate the ringing, buzzing and other noises that their technology uses to hail them every day.
■ MOCA Studio, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (MOCA, Taipei), 39 Changan W Rd, Taipei City (台北市長安西路39號), tel: (02) 2552-3720. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Admission: Free.
■ Until Nov. 3
Lee Hui-fan (李惠芳) holds her largest solo exhibition in years, bringing over a hundred oil paintings — some never-before-seen — that were created between 1986 and 2013. Lee, a Taipei-trained painter who made a career in Paris and the US, has been hailed as the Chardin of the East by critic Wang Tze-hsiung (王哲雄). Her works are western-style still life portraits of animals, people and local domestic objects like ancestral alters.
■ Chung Shan National Gallery (中山國家畫廊) at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館), 505, Renai Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (臺北市信義區仁愛路4段505號), tel: (02) 2758-8008 ext. 542. Open daily from noon to 8 pm
■ Until Oct. 27
Ibrahim Miranda imagines a different kind of Cuba with Reminiscence of the Island (孤島之夜), a solo exhibition of scrolls. Miranda, a Cuba native, bases his mixed media works on actual maps, covering them with his own cartography and symbols to evince long-gone Cubas, or Cubas that could have been if the history of the troubled island nation had turned out differently.
■ Chi-Wen Gallery, 3F, 19, Ln 252, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段252巷19號3樓), tel: (02) 8771-3372. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 7pm. On the Net: www.chiwengallery.com
■ Until Oct. 26
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
For more than a century, Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) has been connecting the north and south of the nation. Between 1912 and 1926, the rail network was expanded to the eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung. Even though the number of people living in Taiwan has grown massively — it has more than tripled since World War II — a combination of population outflow in certain places, and a greater range of transportation options, has led to the closure of several TRA stations. One of the most-visited retired stations is in, and named for, Kaohsiung’s Cishan District (旗山). Until the late
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
It’s difficult to watch Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four-hour Netflix series on the now-deceased convicted sex offender without a choking sense of outrage. How many girls had to suffer to get attention? How perversely twisted is the American justice system that a Gatsby-esque billionaire, friends with such powerful figures as Bill Clinton , Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, a longstanding donor to Harvard and MIT, could buy his way out of an almost certain life sentence for child sex abuse and trafficking? Filthy Rich arrives, of course, less than a year after Epstein, 66, died, officially by suicide, in a New