Fantastic Experimental Products and Where to Create Them (實驗品與它們的產地) is a group exhibition of artists who work between technology, science and contemporary art. The title seems to be a play on the Harry Potter film series, with all its suggestions of light-hearted fantasy. The exhibition catalog stresses its affiliation with maker culture, a DIY movement that was termed in 2006 and has since spread worldwide. Makers typically embrace an open-source spirit and often incorporate engineering skills and traditional crafts to create new devices or modify existing ones. Maker culture has greatly influenced digital art culture by promoting systems of shared resources, laboratories, collaborations and multi-disciplinary projects. “The roads to digital art are stacked with fantasies, designs and semi-finished products from engineering implementation within their creative processes,” writes the art center. Featured artists include Sun Yi-cheng (孫以臻) and Chang Hao-shin (張顥馨), two artists who share a background in life sciences; Chen Yan-ren (陳彥任), an artist who has developed an interactive device that explores the making of digital footage; and Dimension Plus, a collective that focuses on interactive new media and interdisciplinary projects.
■ 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
■ Until Dec. 1
Photo Courtesy of Art Taipei
The annual art fair Art Taipei, which begins today and positions itself as a significant business platform for regional art, features 135 domestic and foreign galleries from 13 countries, presenting work from more than 450 artists, including sculptures, painting, installations, video and other forms of art media. Notable exhibitors include the debut of Italian gallery Massimo De Carlo, who will show works by Hong Kong artist Lee Kit (李傑); the Shanghai-based ShanghART Gallery will be presenting Chinese artist Chen Wei’s (陳維) photographs of urban architectural landscapes; and Taipei-based Apollo Gallery announces a promising roster of 14 Taiwanese artists including San Yu (常玉), Lee Tze-Fan (李澤藩), Lee Shih-chiao (李石樵), Kuo Hsueh-Hu (郭雪湖). The fair will also feature five thematic exhibitions that deal with new trends, institutions and a review of old masters. The show MIT: Taiwan Young Artists Connection with the World is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, giving support to a selection of emerging Taiwanese artists. Furthermore, a large-scale art installation and public art projects will also be shown at the fair.
■ Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 (台北世界貿易中心一館), 5, Sec 5, Xinyi Rd, Taipei City (台北市信義路五段五號), tel: (02) 2577-5601. Open today until Sunday from 11am to 7pm; Monday from 11am to 6pm
■ Today until Monday
Photo Courtesy of Digital Art Center
The sixth edition of Kuandu Biennial continues its ongoing commitment to the topic of Asia, this time taking on a more institutional angle. Seven Questions for Asia (給亞洲的七個提問) is co-curated by seven curators who have each posited a question concerning “what an Asian biennial can do and cannot do,” writes Lin Hongjohn (林宏璋), the museum’s director. The questions examine geopolitics, dialects, freedom, mapping and other issues that pertain to the region. The exhibition preface begins with a discussion on the term Asia, which was first used to define an eastern land in relation to Europe. “The entity of Asia cannot do without generalization and abstraction, because in reality Asia is contestant and heterogeneous,” Lin writes. “Facing modernity and colonialism, most nation states in Asia have undergone twisted histories ... coarse democracy and uneven urbanization.” How do we address the many ideas, histories and shared concerns related to the Asia? The show responds to the above questions with a selection of artworks, projects, performances, events and a film screening. Featured projects include Korean artist Onejoon Che’s International Friendship: The Gifts from Africa, an installation that displays reproductions of gifts sent to Kim Il-sung by national leaders, figures and parties. Fiona Ta’s Disorient is a two-channel video inspired by Marco Polo’s book The Travels; the film narrative traverses through time and place, fiction and reality, and the future and beyond.
■ Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei City (台北市學園路1號), tel: (02) 2896-1000 X 2432. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm
■ Until Jan. 6
Photo Courtesy of Galerie Grand Siecle
Ding Chien-chung (丁建中) is a Taiwanese artist who creates kinetic installations, audio-visual works and installation art. Ding has a background in computer animal, interactive design and new media art. His work often utilizes light as a major component to explore the relationships between time, space, body and memory. For his solo exhibition, Da(il)ylight, at Galerie Grand Siecle, Ding presents two projects. Building on his last Taipei show in 2016, Ding seeks to “amplify the spatial perception of the viewer through the comprehensive mapping of ambient light,” writes the gallery in a press release. The conditions of sunshine, temperature and humidity contribute to the visitor’s experience of the two projects in the space. Untitled Series is a project that manipulates the drying process of ink; by setting different durations of light exposure, the dried ink creates different shades on paper. Void Series experiments with the effects of light on liquid crystal compositions by controlling the amount of illumination that passes through an object made with glass and mirrors.
■ Galerie Grand Siecle (新苑藝術), 17, Alley 51, Ln 12, Bade Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市八德路三段12巷51弄17號), tel: (02) 2578-5630. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 6pm
■ Until Nov. 18
Photo Courtesy of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
Thierry Feuz is a Geneva-based artist known for paintings that often involve botanical-inspired elements and color abstractions. He uses a combination of acrylic and lacquer, which creates enhanced chromatic effects on the canvas. His first show in Asia currently on view at BlueRider Art presents several series of works that Feuz has developed over the years. Feuz’s paintings reflect his ongoing contemplations on human existence and natural life, writes the gallery press release. Technicolor Panorama Maverick is a series of paintings that depict repetitive horizontal lines of acrylic on canvas. These abstractions suggest a “warm, oxygenated atmosphere found above tropical seas,” writes the gallery. Perfect Night Silva and After the Rain III are two works that celebrate a vibrant landscape of colors and plant life. In addition, a six meter wide painting, Silent Winds Panorama Montage, will be shown at BlueRider Art’s fair booth at Art Taipei.
■ Bluerider Art (藍騎士藝術空間), 9F, 25-1, Renai Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市仁愛路四段25-1號9樓), tel: (02) 2752-2238. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
■ Until Dec. 8
Photo Courtesy of BlueRider Art
June 29 to July 5 With women gathering rocks and men hurling them at thousands of rivaling neighbors, ritualistic stone battles were regular affairs for people living in Pingtung during the 1800s. Direct combat and use of weapons were prohibited to avoid serious injury, with the losers hosting the winners for dinner. These “guests” often acted rudely, and faced no repercussions for smashing windows or snatching their hosts’ possessions. These battles usually took place yearly, with a significant number happening every Dragon Boat Festival. The winners had rights to the losers’ banquet prepared for the festivities. Sometimes things would get out of
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
Certain historical statues have been disappearing in Thailand, but they are not effigies of colonialists or slave owners torn down by protesters. Instead, Thailand’s vanishing monuments celebrated leaders of the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand, who were once officially honored as national heroes and symbols of democracy. Reuters has identified at least six sites memorializing the People’s Party that led the revolution which have been removed or renamed in the past year. In most cases it is not known who took the statues down, although a military official said one was removed for new landscaping. Two army camps named after 1932
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