The 40 murals on display at 3D Dark Art (DARK ART 夜光3D藝術展) appear 3D from a fixed point, so that viewers can walk in and, for example, have tea with Mona Lisa, launch a ball of pure energy at an enemy or insert themselves under a bell jar next to a lady vampire. The vampire’s eyes even change color — all pieces feature fluorescent paint or other materials that transform when subjected to black light.
■ Hall 4B at 1914 Huashan Cultural and Creative Park (1914文創園區), Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei (台北市八德路一段1號), tel: (02) 8732-7976. Open Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm. Regular admission: NT$280
■ Until March 16
Photo Courtesy of Taiwan Soca Association
The National Palace Museum is currently showing an exhibition that gives viewers a sense of how Han Chinese settlers viewed Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples during the 18th and 19th centuries. After the Qing (清) court annexed Taiwan in the late 17th century, Han Chinese migrated across the Strait to claim land, encountering the region’s autochthonous people along the way and recording the experience in books, illustrations and other artifacts on display at In Their Footsteps. The exhibition includes rare documents of Aboriginal culture by western visitors such as Scotsman John Thomson, who in 1871 sailed into what is today Greater Kaohsiung and photographed his trip from Liouguei (六龜) to Tainan.
■ National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院圖書文獻大樓), 221 Zhishan Rd Sec 2, Taipei (台北市至善路二段221號), tel: (02) 2881-2021. Open daily from 9am to 5pm. General admission: NT$160
■ Until May 19
Photo Courtesy of Uraku Entertainment Inc.
At Japanese artist Ryuca’s solo show, If You Laugh (如果你笑的話), every oil painting is as cute as a bug, featuring a baby animal or an expressionless doe-eyed child wearing an animal costume. These are loveable ambassadors of kawaii, as well as a sweet release into helplessness against anguish-inducing modern realities. “Children have no defenses against the unreasonableness of society,” writes the artist in gallery notes.
■ Little MOCA (微當代文創), 17, Ln 17, Chengde Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (臺北市承德路一段41巷17號), tel: (02) 2558-1787 Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm
■ Until May 4
Surging Waves (澄海波瀾) is an art exhibition commemorating Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波), a Chiayi-born artist who was publicly executed by the government during the 228 Incident in 1947. Chen was trained in Tokyo and became a prime mover in Taiwan’s modern art scene. His oil painting Qing Liu (清流), which is currently on display in Tainan with other works and never-before-displayed personal items, represented the Republic of China at the 1932 Chicago World’s Fair.
■ Xinying Culture Center (新營文化中心), 23 Zhongzheng Rd Xinying District, Tainan City (臺南市新營區中正路23號), tel: (06) 6321047, open Wednesdays to Sundays from 9am to 5pm
■ Until March 30
The Taiwan Soka Association (台灣創價學會) is hosting a retrospective show of works by Huang Lei-sheng (黃磊生, 1928-2011), a Chinese watercolor artist famous for painting from nature. Huang traveled across China to scout out locations with exotic flowers, birds and grand mountain peaks. He was a member of the Lingnan School of Painting (嶺南畫派的繪畫藝術), a 20th-century movement that challenged traditional Chinese art by adopting foreign brushwork and aesthetics like Western romanticism and realism.
■ Hsiu-shui Art Center (秀水藝文中心), 61, 2F, Pingan Fifth St, Anxi Village, Xiushui Township, Changhua County (彰化縣秀水鄉安溪村平安五街61號2樓), tel: (04) 763-3643, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5pm
■ Until March 15
Chen Zhiwu (陳志武) says that the COVID-19 crisis puts into sharp focus that we are in a new cold war, with China and the US being the two protagonists. “It’s almost literally in front of us,” says Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute and Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Hong Kong. Political observers were hesitant, Chen says, even up to the beginning of this year, to confirm a new cold war was underway. “But ... the coronavirus has made clear the clash in values and way of life between what China would like to pursue, and what
For tourists visiting Hualien, Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園) is the first order of business. But if you find yourself in the city with half a day to spare — your train back to Taipei will leave mid-afternoon, say — it’s hardly worth busing out to Taroko Gorge. Instead, borrow or rent a bicycle or a scooter, or hail a cab, and set out for one of these attractions. At only one of these places is there an admission charge. CISINGTAN SCENIC AREA A literal translation of Cisingtan (七星潭) would be “Seven Stars Pond,” but there’s no pond here, just the vast Pacific
To bring sustainability and prosperity to their farms, some agriculturalists in southern Taiwan have embraced innovative types of companion planting. In contrast to the monoculture that dominates much of the rich world’s farmland, companion planting is the cultivation of different crops in proximity, usually to optimize the space, for pest control or to enhance pollination. The symbiotic relationship between cacao trees and betel nut, which may be unique to Pingtung County, is striking when one visits the cacao plantations maintained by Choose Chius (邱氏可可) and Wugawan (牛角灣) in Neipu (內埔). The history of growing cacao in Taiwan goes back to Japanese colonial
I had really hoped that this film would be a Taiwanese answer to the American camp classic Snakes on a Plane, but Spiders on a Ship — er, Abyssal Spider (海霧) — takes itself way too seriously. One major gripe about Taiwanese commercial features is that they are prone to being unnecessarily over the top, but that’s the one element that could have made Abyssal more watchable. The lack of camp is especially disappointing since director Joe Chien (錢人豪) first made his mark with the intentionally trashy horror movie Zombie 108 (棄城Z-108). Released in 2012, it is considered Taiwan’s earliest