French artist Paulo Grangeon’s 1,600 pandas and 200 Formosan black bears are currently at Taipei City Government’s Civic Plaza, where they have braved a week of light rain and some enthusiastic handling. The paper-mache pieces, created in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund and the Taipei City Government, aim to draw notice to the estimated number of pandas (1,600) and black bears (200) remaining in the wild. Next, Pandas on Tour moves on to Liberty Square for a showing from March 14 to 30, and then heads to an auction that benefits local charities. For more information, visit www.pandasworldtour.tw
■ Taipei City Government Civic Plaza (市民廣場), 1 Shifu Rd, Taipei (臺北市市府路1號), tel: (02) 2356-0870. Open daily
■ Until Sunday
The National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) is hosting a major retrospective on Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972), a Dutch printmaker famous for his optical illusions. The Enigma of M. C. Escher: Prints from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem brings together all his major works, including Drawing Hands — two hands rising from a sheet of paper and drawing each another — and Waterfall, which shows water winding its way from the bottom of the picture, to the top. The exhibition is organized by six topics Escher treated in his prints. One section, The Human Figure, shows how his depiction of people changed from realistic figures in early works to faceless, stylized and occasionally demonic characters after World War II.
■ Library Building (圖書文獻大樓), National Palace Museum, 221, Zhishan Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市至善路二段221號), tel: (02) 2881-2021. Open daily from 9am to 5pm. General admission: NT$280
■ Until June 2
Just Clowning Around (啊! 那不就好棒棒!) is a solo show of paintings, photography and installation works by Wang Chien-hao (王建浩). Wang is a young artist with a talent for visual puns and jokes, as well as for picking up unlikely moments of humor in ordinary Taiwanese life. His Landscape series is a collection of mini-sitcoms on photographs, including a scene of an empty local restaurant that’s wallpapered with many life-sized Caucasians dining al fresco.
■ VT Artsalon (非常廟藝文空間), B1, 17, Ln 56, Xinsheng N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市新生北路三段56巷17號B1), tel: (02) 2597-2525. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11:30am to 7pm, Saturdays from 1:30pm to 9pm
■ Opening reception tomorrow at 7pm. Until April 3
Eyes on the Fabric (織布上的眼睛) features weavings by the women of the Truku Aboriginal tribe (太魯閣族), who are recognized as highly skilled weavers. The exhibition includes DIY activities and matches the woven pieces with an introduction to Truku design and daily life. In traditional Truku society, looms are used to create necessities like tablecloths and ceremonial dress, and women are considered prepared to marry only after mastering it. Truku women typically use two methods, twill weaving and plain weaving, to form characteristic designs like colored diamonds over a white base.
■ Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology (新北市十三行博物館), 200, Museum Rd, Bali Dist, New Taipei City (新北市八里區博物館路200號), tel: (02) 2619-1313. Open daily from 9:30am to 5pm
■ Until April 6
Follow the Lines on a Journey (跟著線條去旅行) is a paean to the line, a foundational element in artistic composition. The exhibition focuses on 13 pieces: photos, oil paintings and mixed media that illustrate inspired uses of the line. The show features guided tours, teacher’s workshops and seminars about how the line can be constructed and deconstructed to express texture, dynamism and emotion. For more information, visit www.ntmofa.gov.tw