Japan’s Odani Motohiko is best known for sculptures of human mutants and hybrid creatures that are meant to elicit emotional pain in the viewer. At Circle of Disruption (中斷的圓環), he shows work in other media that aspires to do the same. Phantom Limb, a disquieting set of five photos, features a prepubescent girl with her hands marked by blood-red raspberries. Light of the Decade — Erasing Memories to Recall is a video installation that shows vinyl records across 20 monitors: Some are burning, while others release a howl of distorted music.
■ TKG+ Projects Taipei, B1, Ln 548, 15 Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路548巷15號B1), tel: (02) 2659-0798, open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 7pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Opening reception tomorrow at 4:30pm. Until Jan. 26
The top prize in this year’s TIVAC Young Photographer Award (攝影新人獎) went Li Hao (李浩), whose entry goes on view tomorrow with other winning works. Li’s Le Mecanisme Repetitif (重複的機制) laments the tedium of modern life, using multiple exposure techniques to show how each day at a train station and hyper-mart is a near-duplicate of the last. Other TIVAC prizes went to Luo Zhao-heng (羅兆恆) for Sarinagara (然而然而) — a picture-story about a black beast — and Chiang Teng-Kai (蔣登凱), with his anthropomorphic portraits of exercise equipment in Household Affair (家庭緋聞).
■ Taiwan International Visual Arts Center (TIVAC — 台灣國際視覺藝術中心), 16, Alley 52, Ln 12, 16, Bade Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市八德路三段12巷52弄16號), tel: (02) 2577-1781. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:30am to 7pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Jan. 12
Monet: Landscapes of Mind at the National Museum of History brings together personal items and 55 original works by the French Impressionist painter, including early caricature sketches and his famed Japanese Bridge landscape. Just outside the museum is a special gallery of “live” paintings, assembled by the Taipei Botanical Garden using fresh water lilies, irises and even a replica Japanese Bridge.
■ 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$280
■ Until Feb. 16
Dress Rehearsal is a show of 16 oil paintings by Hong Kong artist Christopher Cheung (張漢明). He depicts rehearsing actors: nude figures, a bald woman and Caucasian men in Peking opera dress. Some are engrossed in a scene and others are bungling a line, preserved on canvas forever in an unguarded moment.
■ Main Trend Gallery (大趨勢畫廊), 209-1, Chengde Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市承德路三段209-1號), tel: (02) 2587-3412. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 7pm
■ Opening reception tomorrow at 5pm. Until Dec. 28
Have a Meal with Father (與父親共餐) is a solo exhibition of video performance projects by Japan’s Mariko Tomomasa. The titular video stars the artist and her father — not her own father, but different strangers invited to play the part at a sit-down meal. In filmic scenes, the pretend father and daughter struggle with their differences, even as they identify the language and behaviors that generate a family’s quality of presence. Tomomasa is also showing Otousan Gokko, Lectures of Taiwanese Table Manners for the Daughter and Design Discussion of New Menu for Father and Daughter, related performance projects that were filmed during her artist’s residency in Taipei.
■ Treasure Hill Artist Village (寶藏巖國際藝術), 49, Ln 230, Dingzhou Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市汀州路三段230巷49號), tel: (02) 2364-5313. Open Tuesday to Sundays from 3pm to 6pm
■ Until Dec. 31
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same
In his 1958 book, A Nation of Immigrants, then US senator from Massachusetts John F Kennedy wrote the following words: “Little is more extraordinary than the decision to migrate, little more extraordinary than the accumulation of emotions and thoughts which finally lead a family to say farewell to a community where it has lived for centuries, to abandon old ties and familiar landmarks, and to sail across dark seas to a strange land.” As an epithet, the book’s title is commonly associated with America and, in the face of the xenophobic rhetoric that has marked US President Donald Trump’s tenure,
Every time Chen Ding-shinn (陳定信) saw a liver cancer patient in his ward, it reminded him of his father, who died from the disease at the age of 49. Historically, Taiwanese suffered from an unusually high prevalence of liver ailments as well as cancer, and Chen was troubled by the number of terminal patients. After decades of research, Chen and other experts found that Taiwan had the highest percentage of hepatitis B carriers in the world, which often developed into cirrhosis and cancer. In the early 1980s, he served as a key member of the Hepatitis Prevention Council (肝炎防治委員會), which
It seems that even the filmmakers don’t know what happened in 49 Days (驚夢49天). After spending too much of the film building up the mystery and constantly introducing confusing elements, they wrap up the film in the last couple of minutes in the laziest way, with the protagonist actually uttering “nobody knows.” That is bloody annoying, having sat through over 90 minutes of disjointed and head-scratching storytelling. Billed as a horror flick featuring the chilling Taoist ritual of guanluoyin (觀落陰), or visiting hell, 49 Days was meant to scare the pants off viewers over Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Horror movies