When Austrian ceramic artist Matthias Kaiser came across books on Chinese medicine, the pictures and descriptions of odd and fascinating ingredients, such as the organs of rare animals, inspired his latest series. Kaiser’s work retains the original quality of the material, giving it a mystical rather than commercial feel. Although Chen Hsian-jung (陳向榮) rarely considered Chinese medicine shops because of their ubiquity, his latest ceramic pieces consider their cultural significance. Chen’s approach differs from Kaiser’s in that he uses bright colors and jarring geometric lines. Gold and Green (金草中藥行) , on view at Pon Ding, features the work of both artists.
■ Pon Ding (朋丁), 6, Ln 53, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市中山北路一段53巷6號), tel: (02) 2537 7281. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 8pm
■ Until June 11
Photo courtesy of Pon Ding
Although watercolor wasn’t always his preferred medium — he thought it too “Western” — Chinese artist Wang Yuping (王玉平) has since taken a liking to the medium and his latest solo exhibition, Wang Yuping (王玉平), held at Taipei’s Eslite Gallery, features over 40 of his recent watercolor paintings. Wang paints old books such as biographies, children’s books and comics, as well as odds and ends, including a matchbox from the Czech Republic, from his personal collection. While his paintings conjure up feelings of warmth and nostalgia, their subject matter seems lonely and abandoned. Some of the books he paints have water marks and creases from years of neglect, hinting at a bygone era when people treasured books.
■ 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 June 18
Photo courtesy of Project Fulfill Art Space
The artist who paints in his underwear is back with a riveting and raunchy solo exhibition at Aki Gallery. Lee Chen-dao (李承道) continues to employ his signature hot-but-lethal women in lingerie and combat boots and fat-men-in-underwear motifs in Cha Cha Cha of Siena (西恩那恰恰), which is named after the Italian town famous for its medieval buildings. The rifle-wielding women are the heroines in this series of paintings, though the lines between good and evil are blurred, suggesting that humans are a bit of both — or that everything is simply a matter of perspective.
■ 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 June 18
Photo courtesy of Aki Gallery
After an impressive lineup of exhibitions — including an installation which required ripping apart the floorboards of the gallery and piecing them back together and another one which saw the pipes being ripped out — Project Fulfill Art Space is exhibiting paintings. Scenery Poem (風景詩) features the work of Hong Kong artist Wong Chun-hei (黃進曦) and Japanese artist Kenichiro Fukumoto. Wong’s paintings of bucolic green mountains and turquoise waters are inspired by his hikes around the outskirts of Hong Kong. While Fukumoto previously painted the lush forests of Southeast Asia, upon returning to Tokyo he started painting potted plants, flowers and trees found in people’s gardens, and weeds growing through concrete. Both artists demonstrate that one need not venture far to experience the meditative effects of nature, and that we can find little slices of calm in the city too.
■ Project Fulfill Art Space (就在藝術空間), 2, Alley 45, Ln 147, Xinyi Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市信義路三段147巷45弄2號), tel: (02) 2707-6942. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 6pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until June 24
Photo courtesy of Pon Ding
The annual competition bringing together architecture and public art at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is back. Program X-Site 2017: Mist Encounter (2017第四屆X-site計畫：供霧所) opens tomorrow outside the entrance to the museum. The refreshing water mist system, which sprays mist on visitors, couldn’t be opening at a better time as summer is pretty much upon us. Designed by Serendipity Studio (偶然設計) and Kuan-Wei Chen Architects (陳冠瑋建築師事務所), the structure is meant to raise awareness of the need for more eco-friendly air-conditioning. The museum will also be hosting a series of workshops to encourage people to view architecture as an art form.
■ 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 July 30
Photo courtesy of Project Fulfill Art Space
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
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
The morning after the ride, my hands ached in a way I’d never before experienced, and my palms looked slightly bruised. Flexing my fingers as I waited for my coffee to cool down, I knew exactly which part of the previous day’s excursion had done this to me. As the go-to-work rush hour ebbed, I’d set off inland on my 125cc scooter. I took Provincial Highway 20 as far as Tainan City’s Yujing District (玉井). From there, I took Provincial Highway 3 into Nansi District (楠西). The route I’d planned would take me past the eastern side of Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫)
The recent death of Hana Kimura, a bubbly, pink-haired 22-year-old wrestler and reality TV show star, has spotlighted a rise in cyberbullying in Japan and prompted swift official pledges to do more to protect victims. Kimura, a cast member on the popular program Terrace House, was found dead at her home on May 23 from an apparent suicide after being deluged with negative comments on her social media feeds. Acutely aware of the public debate spurred by her death, Japan’s ruling party is holding hearings from this week to consider legal changes that will help cyberbullying victims seek justice. “People must understand where