Wang Te-yu (王德瑜) works with space to create situations that meditate on the relationship between subject and object, body sensory experiences and consciousness. Since 1990 Wang has been working with different fabrics to produce an ongoing series of spatial creations that encourage the viewer’s participation. Her solo exhibition, No. 98, at Project Fulfill Art Space (就在藝術空間) is a continuation of this series, which features a large installation of the same title. The work invites viewers to climb up a gentle slope and appreciate the gallery space from different heights. No. 98 is inspired by the artist’s stay at Scotland’s Glenfiddich Artists in Residency Program last year. “The surrounding woods, the thick soft grass… along the mountain ridge a row of wind turbines turn silently; I sit alone on the hillside opening my senses to the living force of nature,” writes the artist. While preparing for the creation of No. 98, Wang organized almost 3,000 photographs of the Scottish landscape. For Wang, each photo triggers memories of a site that can be only detected by bodily sensations, such as temperature, light and smells. The artist grew particularly interested in the photos that were similar to those taken by previous residency artists. The idea of roads that were previously taken manifest ideas of shared memories, a repetition of gestures and connections between people from different times.
■ 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
■ Until April 18
Photo Courtesy of John Paulo
Liang Gallery (尊彩藝術中心) presents A Scene like Poetry (如詩的光景), a solo exhibition by award-winning Taiwanese artist Wu Chien-yi (吳芊頤). Wu creates two-dimensional Japanese (washi) paper collages as well as mixed-media installations that examine consumerist society. In the last couple years, Wu has been creating a series of collaged paintings inspired by Taiwan’s unique landscape. Window grill designs, cultural symbols, architectural patterns and commercial products are reassembled to create a sense of strangeness that allows the viewer to examine the familiar from a new perspective. These paintings provide insight into Taiwan’s history and culture by deconstructing its visual landscape, says the artist. Mirror III Ansu Hall is a robust landscape of luscious colors framed by a rigid diamond grill pattern. Mirror II Fengtian Temple is a more open composition of multi-color feathered birds and animals viewed through the perspective of two square grill frames. The animated creatures are loosely suggested by paper stripes that waver between assembly and disintegration.
■ Liang Gallery (尊彩藝術中心), 366, Ruiguang Rd, Taipei City (台北市瑞光路366號), tel: (02) 2797-1100. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm
■ Until March 31
Photo Courtesy of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Lee Yen-hua (李燕華) maintains a cross-disciplinary practice that includes pictography, architecture, sociology, philosophy and aesthetics. Since 2006, Lee has been exploring the medium of the book — the way we read them, the very nature of books as an intellectual object and the textural structures it contains. As a collector of antique books, the artist responds to each volume in her collection with an original language comprised of visual symbols and images based on her own life experiences. These responses are notations of her journey through each book and contain the traces of memory and encounters as a reader. Lee’s solo exhibition, Searching for: Spiritual home series (找尋內心的家系列), at Galerie Grand Siecle (新苑藝術) is an extension of her book project, in which she seeks to discover new possibilities of experimenting between art, space and memory. Inspired by her family background and the environment in which she was raised, the exhibition features abstract silhouettes of people and place, connected by arrays of silk thread. The thread illustrates paths of illumination that symbolically shed light on the artist’s memories.
■ 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 March 22
Photo Courtesy of Galerie Grand Siecle
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館) presents Contours (舞·界·線), a project by performance group Dancecology (舞蹈生態系創意團隊). Founded in 2009, the group creates performances, visual art, films and installations that realize their vision of a holistic relationship between man and nature. Dancecology works beyond the traditional constructs of theater and creates site-specific productions that attempt to eliminate the distance between the audience and actor. Contours is a 360 degree dance film that follows an abstract narrative between nature and humans. The film is shot at Lake George, an ancient lake in New South Wales, Australia, that is known for its strange patterns of high and low tides. Interpreting the cosmic energies of the lake, a diverse group of dancers express through abstract movements ecological ideas such as circulation, symbiosis, nourishment and cultivation.
■ National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館), 2, Wuquan W Rd Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市五權西路一段2號), tel: (04) 2373-3552. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm.
■ Until April 28
Photo Courtesy of White Stone Gallery
Back to Originality and Simplicity: Japanese Contemporary Ink Exhibition Part 2 (返璞歸真: 日本當代水墨展 Part 2) is the second phase of White Stone Gallery’s (白石畫廊) exhibition series focused on ink art masters from Japan. Ink art originates in China and has been adopted and cultivated with various cultural interpretations throughout Asia. According to the gallery, it is a distinct cultural code of the Asian region and a symbol of Eastern aesthetics. Japanese ink art began in the Kamakura period (12th to 14th centuries). The exhibition presents post war to contemporary ink art from Japan, a period marked by a refusal of strong colors and representational landscape. Japanese ink art is characterized by simple contours that create pronounced abstract space with unique aesthetics. The exhibition focuses on artists from the Gutai group, a radical postwar collective that rejected traditional aesthetics and explored the body and matter with performances and installations. The show highlights the works of eight representative Gutai artists, including Kazuo Shiraga’s radical action paintings, Kiro Uehara’s erase-prints and Rogen Ebihara’s poetic calligraphy.
■ White Stone Gallery (白石畫廊), 1 Jihu Rd, Taipei City (台北市基湖路1號), tel: (02) 8751-1185. Opens Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm.
■ Until March 24
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
In the regular drumbeat of arrests of alleged Chinese spies, one case last month stood out. It did not involve the US or another rival of China, but Russia, whose security services accused a prominent arctic scientist of selling classified data on technologies for detecting submarines. Meanwhile a court in Kazakhstan in October convicted the Central Asia nation’s preeminent China specialist of espionage, a move widely interpreted at the time as a warning against increased meddling by the superpower next door. Both men maintain their innocence and if China is spying on Russia, Moscow is surely doing the same. Even so, the fact