Since its opening last October on the premises of what used to be the Taipei North Police Station, the Taiwan New Cultural Movement Memorial Museum (台灣新文化運動紀念館) has been holding talks and events that look back at the surge of Taiwanese cultural developments in the 1920’s. This month the museum presents The Compendium of Autobiographies (自傳大系), a solo exhibition by contemporary artist Chang Wen-hsuan (張紋瑄). Chang’s multimedia installations explore the idea of fiction as “a narrative action that connects history with politics,” writes the exhibition press release. The imaginative space that fiction creates provides room for negotiation between individual stories and the official account. Chang’s ongoing project, The Compendium of Autobiographies, explores the art of storytelling by a process of editing narrative poems entitled Autobiography. The serial work is based on the artist’s research of the Taiwanese Communists Party and its founder Sia Soat-hong (謝雪紅). Chang studies the many historical accounts of Sia and seeks to unveil the intent of each version of history. The project is presented as an editorial office with three editorial desks, each belonging to a male editor who is politically left-wing, another male editor who is politically right-wing and a female editor who is both.
■ Taiwan New Cultural Movement Memorial Museum (台灣新文化運動紀念館), 87 Ningxia Rd, Taipei City (台北市寧夏路87號), tel: (02) 2557-0087. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm
■ Until June 30
Photo courtesy of Aki Gallery
The late Hung Jui-lin (洪瑞麟) was a prolific artist who grew up during the Japanese colonial period in Taipei’s Dadaocheng (大稻埕). In the 1930s, Hong spent several years studying in Japan and had intended to continue his studies in Paris, but his plans were interrupted by the tense political climate that overcast the world prior to the eruption of World War II. Hung instead took a job in the coal mines of New Taipei City’s Ruifang (瑞芳), where he was deeply affected by the hardship of the workers. He devoted 35 years living among and painting coal miners. Trained in Western and Chinese painting, he combined both traditions to create a distinct style characterized by expressive, determined strokes, impressionable ambiance and sensual evocations. Hung Jui-lin Limited Edition Prints Exhibition (洪瑞麟授權限量典藏畫展) is an intimate show of the master painter’s 12 iconic works currently on view at Maria Social Welfare Foundation Love Home (瑪利亞社會福利基金會 愛心家園). All proceeds go to the support of the foundation.
■ Taichung City Maria Social Welfare Foundation Love Home (台中市瑪利亞基金會 愛心家園), 1F, 450 Dongsing Rd Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市東興路一段450號一樓), tel: (04) 2471-3535. Open daily from 9am to 9pm
■ Until Aug. 2
Photo Courtesy of SCBC
Jointly organized by the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), Yilan County Lanyang Museum (宜蘭縣立蘭陽美術館) and National Taiwan Museum (國立台灣博物館), Eco-Rethink (生態想想) is an exhibition of cultural artifacts, animal specimens and multimedia presentations inspired by the natural world. The show seeks to raise awareness about environmental protection by promoting the legacy of world exploration since antiquity. A digital room is dedicated to the works of 18th century missionary Giuseppe Castiglione, who painted people, flowers, birds and animals with combined sensibilities of eastern and western painting. The realist tendencies with which Castiglione rendered life in China provides invaluable information on the ecology of the time, writes the museum in a press release. In addition, mythological sea creatures that were inspired by oral accounts of nature are featured in an interactive theater. These imaginative beings, partially grounded in reality, suggest an early development of science fiction in Chinese literature. Other exhibition highlights include old world maps, samples of rare seafood delicacies and a stuffed leopard cat, Taiwan’s only surviving wild feline.
■ Yilan County Lanyang Museum (宜蘭縣立蘭陽美術館), 750, Qingyun Rd Sec 3, Toucheng Township, Yilan County (宜蘭縣頭城鎮青雲路三段750號), tel: (03) 977-9700. Open Thursday to Tuesday from 9am to 5pm
■ Until Sept. 3
Photo Courtesy of Artists
Held at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文化創意園區), Reentry is a group exhibition by the graduating class of the Department of New Media Art, Taipei National University of the Arts (台北國立藝術大學). The show revolves around the theme of re-admission, whether it is the act of logging on to the Internet, entering a new system of reality or arrival on a different planet. The works probe the relationships between reality and virtuality, the individual and the public and form and meaning. New media is not only a tool for sensory stimulation, but a means to provoke new ways of thinking, reads the exhibition text. The show is structured as an immersive experience wherein the exhibition space is defined as an extension of the world. At the entrance, viewers receive a wearable device that connects the viewer to a database of messages concerning human consciousness, desire and perception. Exhibition highlights include Wanderer (遊子), a work of virtual reality that offers an experience of self-liberation from one’s corporeal reality by entering a flow of consciousness. The Last Talk (最後的人) is an interactive film installation and experimental film about the themes of being and non-being in the context of humanity and artificial intelligence.
■ Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區), 133, Guangfu N Rd, Taipei City (台北市光復南路133號), tel: (02) 6622-6888. Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 8pm, weekends 10am to 8pm.
■ Until June 24
Photo Courtesy of Taiwan New Cultural Movement Memorial Museum
The Form of Life (生之形-日本當代雕塑展) is a group exhibition of Japanese contemporary sculpture organized by Aki Gallery (也趣藝廊). The show investigates the essence of inanimate objects — the memories and histories they carry and their testament of life through abstract and concrete qualities. Hiroto Kitagawa is known for elongated figurative sculptures infused with Italian terracotta techniques and Japanese manga aesthetics. The characters he creates often flaunt fashionably stylized attire and hairstyles while expressing a sense of alienation through body language. Satoru Koizumi creates wood-carved sculptures treated with resin and polychrome that depict innocent children dressed in animal costumes. Koizumi’s practice responds to our disconnection with the natural world as city dwellers and attempts to explore the connection between humanity and the wilderness. Yoshimasa Tsuchiya’s wood sculptures bring to life fantastical creatures such as unicorns, mermaids and centaurs. His detailed works demonstrate advanced carving techniques and feature the natural texture of beech and elm. Katsuyo Aoki is a ceramic artist that creates ornate, glazed sculptures of delicate abstraction. Evoking both organic and alien qualities, the artist works between the intersections of the mythological and the natural
■ 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
■ Until July 21
Photo Courtesy of SCBC
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
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