IT Park Gallery has been doing a good job at showing the intersections between art and science lately, and in its most recent exhibition, Chiu Chao-tsai (邱昭財) uses both a telescope and a microscope to create some extraterrestrial-like installations. Light‧Scape (光 ‧ 景) piques the viewers’ natural curiosity toward the unknown — both in terms of what’s out there in the vast universe and the microorganisms that lurk beneath the surface. His blurry and static-filled videos both amuse and frighten, but most of all, they make us feel somewhat helpless, as if we were solely at the whim of the universe.
■ IT Park Gallery (伊通公園), 2F-3F, 41 Yitong St, Taipei City (台北市伊通街41號2-3樓), tel: (02) 2507-7243. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 10pm
■ Until April 29
Photo courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery
It’s ironic that Peng Xiancheng’s (彭先誠) latest solo exhibition is called Best Time of Year Falls in March (四時最好是三月) since it opened in April, but the name comes from a verse in a Tang Dynasty poem about the youthfulness of spring while lamenting the idea of growing old. The Chengdu-born Chinese artist is known for his mogu (boneless) technique, a style of painting that renders forms in ink and color washes rather than outlines. His latest series of paintings explores in particular the subtleties during seasonal changes, which allude to different emotions and how quickly and drastically they can change within in a short period of time.
■ Tina Keng Gallery (耿畫廊), 15, Ln 548, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路548巷15號), tel: (02) 2659-0798. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 7pm
■ Until April 30
Photo courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery
On display at Eslite Gallery are Tsong Pu’s (莊普) abstract paintings made with tiny, 1 x 1 cm squares that resemble Chinese seals or stamps. Against the Quotidian Tug (晴日換雨‧緩慢焦點) examines the idea of different perceptions, something which Tsong does well — his paintings are abstract but realistic (especially the landscapes in pixelated squares), geometric but asymmetrical. The exhibition also includes five new 3D installations that complement his paintings. Tsong’s work is highly conceptual in general and viewers can expect to use their brains a fair bit when visiting the gallery.
■ Eslite Gallery (誠品畫廊), 5F, 11 Songgao Rd, Taipei City (台北市松高路11號5樓), tel: (02) 8789-3388. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until May 7
Photo courtesy of Eslite Gallery
Art galleries can’t seem to get enough of the Gutai Group — Lin & Lin Gallery featured their works several times last year and this year, Aki Gallery will be hosting Gutai — Our Spirit is Free. The group, which was founded in Ashiya, Japan in 1954, has been influential in the development of modern Japanese art, and is especially known for bringing art out of museums and galleries and into the public sphere. But those who aren’t into minimalism may be a bit disappointed — a few of the pieces will have some viewers thinking that they can paint it too. For instance, Jiro Yoshihara’s Circle is just a white circle set against a black background.
■ Aki Gallery (也趣藝廊), 141 Minzu W Rd, Taipei City (台北市民族西路141號), tel: (02) 2599-1171. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from noon to 6:30pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until May 14
Photo courtesy of TFAM
Chi New-york (紀紐約) goes by his real name Chi Kai-yuan (紀凱淵) in his latest solo exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. This is a first for the Kaohsiung-born artist, who is known by his nom de plume in artistic circles. Chi Kai-yuan 2017 Solo Exhibition (2017紀凱淵個展) revolves around the ideas of names, labels and the importance we attach to them. All of this is explored in relation to the artist’s struggle to keep his personal and professional lives apart. Throughout his video installations, it’s not clear who the “other” is — sometimes it’s Kai-yuan and sometimes it’s New-york. What is clear though, is the absurdity of names and social constructs.
■ Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM, 台北市立美術館), 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 June 4
Photo courtesy of Aki Gallery
Photo courtesy of Aki Gallery
African-American entertainer Dooley appeared on local television show Super Entourage (小明星大跟班) a few weeks ago and was told by the crew that they wanted to do a skit in blackface. Dooley, whose real name is Matthew Candler, tells the Taipei Times that Super Entourage wanted to perform a rendition of the wildly popular “Ghana Coffin Dance,” a meme that has taken the world by storm. Instead, he showed them videos about the racist origins of blackface and slavery in America, and they agreed to drop the makeup. “[I told them] about the history [behind blackface] and [said] you decide
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
Captain Wynn Gale — a fifth-generation Georgia shrimper — is on the side of the road on an April morning, selling shrimp at the same street corner where his dad sold shrimp. “How’s the pandemic treating you?” I ask. “Sales have dropped off by about two-thirds. No out-of-towners coming through on the I-95. No local traffic.” He sighs. “I’m going to tough it out. I can survive with what I’m selling. But that’s all I’m doing. Most shrimpers don’t have 401k retirement plans, you know?” Gale would rather be out on his boat, a 1953 trawler he had for nine years but recently