Impossible Voyage (不可能的旅程) brings together nine artists who interpret what it’s like to live in the modern city. South Korean artist Siyon Jin turns the traditional religious experience into a hypnotic spectacle of LED lights. With help from Google Earth, Gwenola Wagon follows the itinerary of Phileas Fogg, rounding the world with a series of clicks and compiling a video travelogue based on articles and photos available online. In her picture of how the world appears to netizens, wired nations are information-rich and most worth knowing, while sites like Saudi Arabia are data deserts where not much of note occurs. Meanwhile, spots far-flung on the globe seem identical, represented by the same paradisiac photos of sunsets and deck chairs taken by tourists.
■ MOCA Studio Underground (地下實驗), Zhongshan Metro Mall B30/32/34, near Exit R9 (捷運中山地下街，近R9出口), tel: (02) 2552-3721. Free admission
■ Until Feb. 16
For decades, Taiwanese contemporary sculptors have depended on icons of the Chinese literati tradition or Eastern religions for their depictions of nature. The 2013 Formosa Sculpture Biennial (Formosa 雕塑雙年展) showcases over 50 pieces from 30 artists working with the theme, “What’s ahead for us?” (我們的前面是什麼?). The exhibition surveys the state of contemporary sculpture with special attention to trends on the rise, such as the increased use of specific people and scenes. These new localized works allow the artist to comment on urban development, industrial progress and the vexed relationship between man and nature in Taiwan today.
■ Warehouse P3 and P2 and P3 square at Kaohsiung’s Pier 2 Arts Center (高雄駁二藝術特區), 1 Dayong Rd, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市大勇路1號), tel: (07) 521-4899, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 6pm, Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 8pm, closed on Chinese New Year Eve
■ Until March 20
A Taiwanese sculptor who continues to work mainly with Buddhist and Taoist tropes is Li Chen (李真). Li, a Yunlin native, is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top sculptors in the art-market guide Artprice. The Asia Art Center presents his original sketches and images of his sculptures, which illustrate classic Chinese themes with an impish flair. Titled Chineseness — A Documentary Exhibition (華人藝術紀), the show is an extension of the Discovery Channel’s Chineseness, a four-part documentary series about major artists.
■ Asia Art Center II (亞洲藝術中心二館), 93 Lequn 2nd Road, Taipei (台北市樂群二路93號), tel: (02) 8502-7939. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6:30pm
■ Until Jan. 26
Mamat Sallah holds his first Taipei photography show, which is also his last before he returns to Gambia. At Around Us (圍繞), he presents shots of water in motion and of spaces he encountered in Taiwan. Sallah arrived in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in art on the recommendation of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
■ 1839 Little Gallery (1839 小藝廊), B1, 120 Yanji St, Taipei (台北市延吉街120號B1), tel: (02) 2778-8458. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 8pm
■ Until Jan. 15
Public installation artist Hung Yi (洪易) dots the Taichung Cultural and Creative Industries Park (台中文化創意產業園區) with animals: a crouching dragon, goats performing a pyramid stunt, ducks in traditional Hakka attire and tremendous elephants whose trunks form an arch over a central piazza. Happy Animal Party (快樂動物派對), Hung’s first solo show, brings together 55 sketches and large-scale modern sculptures rendered in trademark style, which draws from ethnic cultures and everyday life.