Life is like a box of piglets: You never know what’s happening unless you listen. That’s according to artist Wu Chang-jung (吳長蓉), who learned during a stint as a swine farmer that the only foolproof method of diagnosing the health of a pig is by checking its breathing and the sound of its digestion. At solo show Sounds Uncovered (聲聲幔), Wu presents new works that depend on sound to tell the truth. In the titular project Sounds Uncovered (聲聲幔), Wu uses a soundtrack to precisely clue in viewers to events occurring under miniature plastic tents. Wu’s Excuse Me (不好意思) is an audiovisual record of things people in Taipei City say to one another — “excuse me” is common — that describe the peculiar, polite yet brutish relationship that urban dwellers share.
■ Project Fulfill Art Space (就在藝術空間), 2, Alley 45, Ln 147, Xinyi Rd Sec 3, Taipei (台北市信義路三段147巷45弄2號), tel: (02) 2707-6942. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 7pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Jan. 26
Photo Courtesy of Project Fulfill Art Space
One Piece Room is Chen Po-i’s (陳伯義) salute to a fishing village razed in 2008. Photographs document the changing face of Greater Kaohsiung’s Hongmaogang (紅毛港) from 1970 to after 2000. The most recent shots are stark and unpeopled; frames are filled instead by abandoned houses and belongings, which form a mute symbol of sociopolitical values that have been shed on the march to modernity.
■ Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei (台北市學園路1號), tel:(02) 2896-1000. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm
■ Until Feb. 16
Photo Courtesy of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
In Taipei, Chinese artist Yang Jing (楊靜) presents A Doll’s House (玩偶之家), a solo show named after Henrik Ibsen’s play. Ibsen’s work follows Nora Helmer, a coddled housewife who discovers her state of subservience to husband Torvald and decides to leave him. In over 20 paintings, Yang casts different porcelain dolls as Ibsen’s proto-feminist. Though surrounded by birds, flowers and other classic icons of femininity, each doll subverts her circumstances in covert ways. Sometimes, she toys with a little puppet of her own. On one white canvass, she is supine and apparently dead due to suicide; from her arm extends a rivulet of black ink, on which a tiny ship is sailing away.
■ Art Issue Taipei (藝術計畫), 1F, Ln 407, 32, Tiding Blvd Sec 2, Taipei (台北市堤頂大道二段407巷32號1樓), tel: 2659-7737, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7:30pm, closed on Mondays
■ Until Feb. 23
The National Aboriginal Children’s Painting Contest (原住民兒童繪畫創作比賽) is a drawing contest for Aboriginal children from preschool to the ninth grade. Winning works, on view now at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, include The Dancing Girl (跳舞的女孩) — a preschooler’s crayon sketch of a skipping Aboriginal child — and Let’s Get Ready for the Malahodaigian Festival (我們一起準備射耳祭), a junior-high school student’s depiction of the “deer-ear shooting ritual” of the Bunun people. Also at the gallery are the 86 winners of the Makapah Fine Arts Awards (Makapah 美術獎), a national competition for photographers and painters that work with themes of Aboriginal cultures.
■ Mei Ling Art Gallery (美齡藝廊), National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂), tel: (02) 2343-1100, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 6pm
■ Until Jan. 17
Three Masters of Art (閩臺三傑) is a show of calligraphy and ink paintings by Cheng Shan-hsi (鄭善禧) and the late Yu Chen-yao (余承堯) and Shen Yao-chu (沈耀初), three Fujian-born artists who met in Taiwan. Yu, who came to Taiwan in 1950, learned to paint through trial and error and developed a trademark technique of using broken lines to reproduce the visual texture of rocks on mountains. Shen, who arrived in 1948, was a sketch artist who became a feted calligrapher. Cheng is an outdoor sketch artist who works in temples, markets and railway stations — he uses vivid hues and feather-light brushstrokes to depict humorous moments in everyday life.
■ National Museum of History, 49 Nanhai Rd, Taipei (台北市南海路49號), tel: (02) 2361-0270. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. General admission: NT$30
■ Until Feb. 23
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
The 22nd Taipei Arts Festival (臺北藝術節) opens tonight with three productions, a slightly scaled-down pandemic version that seeks to keep its tradition of big ideas, challenging programs and international connections alive and moving forward in an increasingly uncertain world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Super@#S%?” — as good a term as any when descriptives and superlatives seem not only inadequate, but somewhat irrelevant in a world where so many people cannot imagine being able to return to theaters, either as performers or audience members — they are too worried about having a job and their health. Technically, however, it is
Shuanglianpi (雙連埤) is both a Hakka outpost and a place of great ecological interest. The conjoined body of water from which it gets its name is the centerpiece of the 17.16-hectare Shuanglianpi Wildlife Refuge (雙連埤野生動物保護區). No waterways of significance fill or drain this scenic lake in Yilan County’s Yuanshan Township (員山鄉). During the 1895 to 1945 period of Japanese rule, the colonial authorities — struggling to secure Taiwan’s foothills — encouraged Han people to settle in areas adjacent to indigenous communities. Around 1910, a 49-year-old Hakka pioneer called Tsou Cheng-sheng (鄒成生) from what’s now Taoyuan decided to begin farming at
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the