If Art Taipei and Art Kaohsiung haven’t yet satisfied your art fair fix, Art Tainan (台南藝術博覽會) is back this spring with a stellar lineup of contemporary art from local and international artists. Taipei galleries like Mind Set Art Center, Liang Gallery, Chini Gallery, Soka Art Center and Bluerider Art, feature prominently this year. Amongst the quirky is Lo Chiao-ling (羅喬綾) who is represented by Liang Gallery (尊彩藝術中心). The artist is known for her cute paintings of chubby cherubic cartoon figures which walk the line between escaping and facing reality. Another artist to be displayed is Israeli painter and sculptor David Gerstein, who is represented by Guan Xiang Art Gallery (觀想藝術). Gerstein’s colorful sculptures of giant lips and butterflies were instrumental in shifting perceptions of pop art as a predominantly American style of modern art.
■ Tayih Landis Hotel (大億麗緻酒店), 660, Shi-men Rd Sec 1, Tainan (台南市西門路一段660號), tel: (02) 2742-3968. Open today to Saturday from 12pm to 7pm, Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. Regular admission: NT$150
■ Until March 30
Photo courtesy of ArtDoor Gallery
Artist Yeom So-jin who hails from South Korea, the land where “couple culture” runs supreme, has an exhibition of her paintings of Taiwanese couples at Cafe Showroom. Entitled Ironic Happiness (痛並快樂著), Yeom captures the irony of happy couples posing for wedding photos in front of historical sites, such as Tamsui’s Fort Domingo, which recall the nation’s colonial past. On a deeper level, her paintings, which also include cohabiting couples and gay couples, question whether the institution of marriage is for everyone. “Some couples are not happy with marriage, some couples are happy without marriage,” she says in the gallery notes.
■ Cafe Showroom (場外空間), 462 Fujin St, Taipei City (台北市富錦街462號場外空間), tel: (02) 2760-1155. Open daily from 11am to 9pm
■ Until April 19
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Art Gallery Association
Dichotomies seems to be the theme of the day for many of Taipei’s art galleries this spring. Immerge, Emerge (沉潛．萌生) is a solo exhibition held at ArtDoor Gallery by expressionist painter Yen Chu-sheng (葉竹盛). Using the dynamism of the ocean and its marine life as his prime metaphor, the Kaohsiung-born, Spanish-trained artist explores the concepts of life cycles, endings and beginnings, destruction and rebirth. While his paintings seem calm and zen-like from a distance, closer inspection of the flowing brushstrokes hints at an underlying chaos.
■ ArtDoor Gallery (藝境畫廊) 639, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路639號), tel: (02) 2658-5268. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until April 26
Photo courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Conception and Perception (念念: 觀念和心念) is a joint exhibition at Art Issue Projects featuring Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean artists who are known for creating “Western-style” abstract art from traditional materials found in the East. The artworks instruct viewers how to approach art-viewing with an open mind because certain things may not appear to be what they are on surface level. In other words, perceptions are constantly shifting as we are introduced to new concepts and elements.
■ Art Issue Projects (藝術計劃), 32, Ln 407, Tiding Blvd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市堤頂大道二段407巷32號), tel: (02) 2659-7737. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm
■ Until May 10
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
“We’re all animals.” How often have you heard that phrase? For photo-journalist Chou Ching-hui (周慶輝), zoos are his muse. Chou traveled around Taiwan for the last five years studying the arrangement of various zoos. Theatrical sets were then set up and actors were recruited to pose for photos. The results, which are on display at Taipei’s MOCA starting tomorrow in an aptly named solo exhibition Animal Farm (人的莊園), gives a sense of humans as experimental specimens to be observed from behind a protective film. It’s unclear whether Chou was influenced by George Orwell’s 1945 book, Animal Farm, but the exhibition does indeed evoke a dystopian (and depressing) environment.
■ Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (台北當代藝術館, MOCA), 39 Chang-an W Rd, Taipei City (台北市長安西路39號), tel: (02) 2552-3720. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Admission: NT$50
■ Opens tomorrow. Until May 17
Louis Kahn’s name is widely known within architectural circles in the US, and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is recognizing his important contributions in Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture (建築之境：路易．康). The University of Pennsylvania architecture professor was known for combining the solid and durable forms of architecture he saw during visits to ancient ruins in Greece and Egypt in 1950, with more modern design elements. Pictures of his designs from around the world, including the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Steven and Toby Korman House, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and the Yale University Art Gallery are on display at the exhibition. They evoke a rustic grandeur infused with timeless modernity.
■ Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館 TFAM), 181, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei (台北市中山北路三段181號), tel: (02) 2595-7656. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5:30pm and until 8:30pm on Saturdays
■ Opens tomorrow. Until July 5
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
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
The remake of Mulan struck all the right chords to be a hit in the key Chinese market. Disney cast beloved actor Liu Yifei (劉亦菲) as Mulan and removed a dragon sidekick popular in the animated original to cater to Chinese tastes. Still, the movie drew decidedly mixed reviews after its coronavirus-delayed release in China last week, with thousands panning it online. The movie was rated 4.9 out of 10 by more than 165,000 people on Douban, a leading Web site for film, book and music ratings. Negative comments and jokes about the film outnumbered positive reactions on social media. Mulan has