Michael Ku Gallery is currently holding a solo show, Love Wholeheartedly. Amour (好好戀愛), by Taiwan artist Jian Yi-hong (簡翊洪). Jian is an award-winning painter known for his delicate ink drawings that are characterized by minimal, flowing contours and playful narratives of contemporary life. He appropriates conventions of traditional Chinese painting with modern sensibilities to create an original, hybrid aesthetic. Male nudes often appear as a subject; some of his works are based on personal experience, while others represent his fantasies of love, says the gallery, and the show features a selection of new works that explore desire and intimacy. The title of the exhibition is based on an entry in Jian’s personal journal last summer that reads: “Love wholeheartedly. One day I’ll push you out and under the sun!” His passionate proclamation suggests the paintings are in part autobiographical. Hot Dance (熱舞) depicts two nude men dancing. The accompanying calligraphic text expresses feelings of separation and bitterness. The Office (辦公室) explores power dynamics between employer and employee.
■ Michael Ku Gallery (谷公館), 4F-2, 21, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段21號4樓之2), tel: (02) 2577-5601. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until March 10
Photo Courtesy of Double Square Gallery
NO ON (事故) is a solo exhibition by Joyce Ho (何采柔), which is on view at TKG Plus. Ho works between painting, sculpture and theatre, and is a seasoned scriptwriter and theatre director. The Chinese and English exhibition titles do not directly correspond in meaning but share a similar quality of wordplay. Ho’s work ponders daily life and examines the intimate yet distant relationships between people and realities. Her work often leads the viewer into deconstructed quotidian scenarios presented as ritualized spaces. The show features a number of objects and images that together weave a dramatic narrative. From moments of tenderness, gripping tension, emptiness and interpretation, the artist is particularly interested in liminal moments.
■ TKG+ Projects, B1, 15, Ln 548, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路548巷15號B1), tel: (02) 2659-0798. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until April 28
Photo Courtesy of Mind Set Art Center
Hanna Pettyjohn is a Filipino-American artist who works and lives in the Philippines and the US. She identifies herself as part of the diaspora, possessing a transnational identity; this cultural positioning is critical to how she perceives her own past and the histories of immigration. Born into a family of ceramicists, Pettyjohn works in sculpture and painting to explore issues of alienation, loss and anxiety. She often draws from her memories, which leads her to reflect on the transient nature of life. Her solo exhibition, Concurrencies, at Mind Set Art Center features a selection of portraits of female immigrants and porcelain sculptures. Each picture shows the outline of a woman’s face, which is juxtaposed with background imagery drawn from her homeland and current residence, and is distinguished by different styles of lighting, color and contours “to give every unique story a [unique] voice,” writes the gallery.
■ Mind Set Art Center (安卓藝術) 108, Heping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市和平東路108號) , tel: (02) 2365-6008. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11am to 6pm
■ Begins tomorrow; until March 29
Photo Courtesy of Micheal Ku Gallery
Chen Ching-yao (陳擎耀) is a Taipei-born painter and photographer committed to the deconstruction of power and symbols. Chen draws inspiration from Japanese and Korean popular culture, borrowing familiar symbols from mass media and placing them into playful scenarios. By use of satire, the artist seeks to downplay the symbols of power by exposing their absurd nature. Chen’s solo exhibition, AK Girls and Panzer, at Double Square Gallery presents new large-scale paintings of himself, famous political leaders and an army of girls modeled after the famous Japanese idol girl group AKB48. “Human beings create gods for everything, including gods in politics… If I become [a god], Girls’ Generation would become my entourage whereas AKB48 would serve as my personal guard,” writes the artist in the exhibition preface. The girls are dressed in white shirts and short uniform skirts, poised in moments of combat and play. Dear Leaders (親愛的領導) are a series of paintings that examine the culture of mythologizing political figures in various Asian countries. National Geographic Channel (國家地理頻道) is a body of paintings that imitate the dramatic formats of popular adventure TV programs.
■ Double Square Gallery (雙方藝廊), 28, Lane 770, Beian Road, Taipei City (台北市北安路770巷28號), tel: (02) 8501-2138. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:30am to 6:30pm
■ Until April 6th
Photo Courtesy of d/art Taipei
MUNASHICHI (六七質) is a Japanese artist who works between illustration, animation and game design. As an illustrator, MUNASHICHI creates exuberant, maze-like pictures of city streets, factories, abandoned sites and towering metropolises. ANDAERφ is the artist’s debut illustration monograph that includes a selection of works produced in the last eight years. An exhibition of original illustrations from the publication is currently on view at d/art Taipei.
■ d/art Taipei, 2F, 14 Wuchang St Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市武昌街二段14號2F), tel: (02) 2383-0060. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 10pm
■ Begins tomorrow; until March 24
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a way urban households can obtain healthy produce, while helping to build a more sustainable farming sector in Taiwan. King Hsin-i’s (金欣儀) transformation from advertising copywriter to social entrepreneur began in 2008, when she visited a rice farmer who practiced pesticide-free agriculture. “He explained that we have to leave space for other species. At the same time, I realized that while big companies have budgets to spread their messages, farmers have few chances to tell the public about their beautiful concepts,” she recalls. Inspired, she quit her job and traveled throughout rural Taiwan for a year. King went