Art in the Library II — Summer Festival Exhibition (閱讀藝術II—夏祭聯展) features works by the Taiwanese artists that Liang Gallery represents. It includes everything from Lo Chiang-ling’s (羅喬綾) vintage-like paintings of carefree beach scenes to Hsu Chang-yu’s (許常郁) paintings of calm but somber skies and Leo Wang’s (王建揚) grainy, abstract compositions.
■ Liang Gallery (尊彩藝術中心), 366, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路366號), (02) 2797-1100, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm
■ Until Aug. 30
Photo courtesy of MOCA, Taipei
In Chinese culture, white skin is associated with beauty, but when the color white is associated with a congenital disorder like albinism, it loses its aesthetic attraction. Gloria Lee (李怡萱) seeks to challenge this perception with photographs of albinos in Taiwan. Her exhibition at Jinglu Art, which is entitled Imperfect (不完美), is a play on the words “I’m perfect” — to others, they might not seem perfect, but to themselves, they’re happy with who they are. The color white is unsurprisingly a major motif in Lee’s photography, and her subjects’ white clothing set against a white background with some luminescent lights make them appear as lovely, transcendent beings.
■ Jinglu Art (靜慮藝術) 16-1, Alley 203, Longjiang St, Taipei City (台北市龍江路305巷16-1號), tel: (02) 2517-9723. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 2pm to 7pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Sept. 6
Photo courtesy of Liang Gallery
When Lo Tien-yu (羅天妤) did an artist residency in New Zealand earlier this year, she barely left the house, looking instead at images of the picturesque New Zealand countryside on her computer screen. Time passed slowly, sometimes almost coming to a standstill. She felt as if she were still observing New Zealand from a distance, and even during the times that she did venture out, there was a disconnect between her perception of the place and the reality. Lo’s melancholic paintings, filled with purple-bluish hues and downtrodden-looking snow-capped mountains, are currently on display at Cafe Showroom — a cafe and art gallery — in an exhibition entitled The Distant Land (彼端之遙).
■ Cafe Showroom (場外空間), 462 Fujin St, Taipei City (台北市富錦街462號), tel: (02) 2760-1155. Open daily from 11am to 9pm
■ Until Sept. 13
Photo courtesy of Digital Art Center
The Digital Art Center is back with yet another provocative exhibition that combines elements of art, science and technology. Featuring the works of video installation artists from around the world, Imaginary Body Boundary (想像的身體邊界) explores the idea of control over the body — are we in charge of our bodies or are our lives dictated by the machines we invent? Advances in medical subfields such as cosmetic surgery, genetic engineering and synthetic biology has made it so that we can create the perfect version of what we wish to be. However, don’t expect some sleek Gattaca-inspired motifs. This exhibition shows the dark and bizarre side of how we use technology to “enhance” our lives. Expect to see little girls giving birth to dolphins and mouth guards for performing and receiving fellatio.
■ Digital Art Center (台北數位藝術中心), 180, Fuhua Rd, Taipei City (台北市福華路180號), tel: (02) 7736-0708. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Oct. 3
A thriving port city turned concrete jungle, Hong Kong has always sat at the crossroads of many cultures, and this influence is apparent in the works of artists who blend elements of old and new, East and West. In the Name of Art — Hong Kong Contemporary Art Exhibition (以藝術之名—香港當代藝術展), which opens tomorrow at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, features 13 installations by 8 artists from Hong Kong who have been pivotal in defining its contemporary art. Installation is in itself participatory in nature and the artists were chosen for their emphasis on public participation rather than a fixation on the final product.
■ Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (台北當代藝術館, MOCA, Taipei), 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. General admission: NT$50
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Oct. 11
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