Toronto-based photographer Pohan Wu’s (吳柏翰) surrealist and psychedelic photographs and audio-visual installations are currently on view at 1839 Contemporary Gallery. Magic as Muse (音樂繆斯) takes photography to the other-worldly realm — or at least the equally elusive realm of human emotions — and proves that photography does not always need to be used as a means of documenting the physical world.
■ 1839 Contemporary Gallery (當代藝廊), B1, 120 Yanji St, Taipei City (台北市延吉街120號B1), tel: (02) 2778-8458. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 8pm
■ Until May 7
Photo courtesy of A Gallery
A Gallery has two concurrent exhibitions, both of which embed miniature people and cities within the larger landscape of ink painting. In Want to Leave These Moments For Them (想為它們留下那些瞬間), Chen Tzu-jo (陳芷若) sketches tiny bridges, buildings and cityscapes in the blotches in between layers of ink. Chiu Ling-lin (邱伶琳) applies a similar method, drawing silhouettes of different-sized petal-shaped people to form mountainous landscapes in her latest series of works There Is No Grief (解消傷懷). Both techniques are so painstaking and subtle that from afar they look like abstract landscape paintings or paintings of flowers but up close, they seem to suggest an entire civilizations.
■ A Gallery (當代一畫廊), 22, Alley 36, Lane 147, Xinyi Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市信義路三段147巷36弄22號), tel: (02) 2702-3327. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 6pm
■ Until May 13
Photo courtesy of In River Gallery
Ever found a hidden beach or garden that you wanted to boast about but also wanted to keep secret? Wang Yu-ting’s (王宥婷) invokes this sentiment in her latest solo exhibition, Somewhere Only We Know (____的秘境) at the Barry Room in Taipei Artist Village. The exhibition includes photographs of anonymous lakes, forests and other landscapes taken by Wang during her artist residency in New Zealand. The use of the blank space in the Chinese name, followed by the words “secret location” (秘境) implies a sense of mystery and adventure that comes with exploring uncharted territory, where viewers can substitute their own “secret locations.”
■ Barry Room, Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村百里廳), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號), tel: (02) 3393-7377. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm
■ Until May 21
Photo courtesy of In River Gallery
A Mirage (迷景考) opens at In River gallery tomorrow and is a joint exhibition of work by Huang Po-hsun (黃柏勳) and Lu Xiangyi (鹿向夷). Huang’s vibrant and colorful paintings resemble otherworldly places — glittering purple forests, pink sea creatures — but they also seem to evoke the lush and tropical climate of his native Kaohsiung. Lu, meanwhile, uses mostly pastel greens and yellows to convey both the calm and intensity, as well as the vast loneliness of nature.
■ In River Gallery (穎川畫廊), 2F, 45, Renai Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市仁愛路一段45號2樓), tel: (02) 2357-9900. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 8pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until May 24
Photo courtesy of 1839 Contemporary Gallery
Psychedelic and otherworldly seem to be popular motifs at art galleries as of late. Zero Gravity Paradise (失重樂園) featuring the works of Japanese computer graphic artist Kawaguchi Yoichiro, which opens at MOCA, Taipei tomorrow, is inspired by the Cambrian Explosion 541 million years ago. Since the 1970s, Kawaguchi has been using 3D growth algorithms to generate his own wacky fluorescent creature called Eggy. Viewers can see how Eggy has grown and evolved over the years while confronting their own monsters.
■ Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (台北當代藝術館, MOCA, Taipei), 39 Changan 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
■ Opens tomorrow. Until June 18
Photo courtesy of A Gallery
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same
It’s impossible to write a book entirely in the Taokas language. There are only about 500 recorded words in the Aboriginal tongue, whose speakers shifted to Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) generations ago while preserving certain Taokas phrases in their speech. “When I first started recording the language around 1997, I really had to jog the memories of the elders to find anything,” says Liu Chiu-yun (劉秋雲) a member of the Taokas community and a language researcher. The Taokas last month unveiled a picture book, Osubalaki, Balalong Ramut the community’s first-ever commercial publication using the language. The lavishly illustrated book
In his 1958 book, A Nation of Immigrants, then US senator from Massachusetts John F Kennedy wrote the following words: “Little is more extraordinary than the decision to migrate, little more extraordinary than the accumulation of emotions and thoughts which finally lead a family to say farewell to a community where it has lived for centuries, to abandon old ties and familiar landmarks, and to sail across dark seas to a strange land.” As an epithet, the book’s title is commonly associated with America and, in the face of the xenophobic rhetoric that has marked US President Donald Trump’s tenure,
It seems that even the filmmakers don’t know what happened in 49 Days (驚夢49天). After spending too much of the film building up the mystery and constantly introducing confusing elements, they wrap up the film in the last couple of minutes in the laziest way, with the protagonist actually uttering “nobody knows.” That is bloody annoying, having sat through over 90 minutes of disjointed and head-scratching storytelling. Billed as a horror flick featuring the chilling Taoist ritual of guanluoyin (觀落陰), or visiting hell, 49 Days was meant to scare the pants off viewers over Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Horror movies