Synchronic Constellation — Le Moulin Poetry Society and its Time: A Cross-Boundary Exhibition (共時的星叢:「風車詩社」與跨界域藝術時代) is a retrospective of exchanges between modernist literature and art in the Western world and Asia at the beginning of the 20th century. In particular, the show casts a spotlight on Le Moulin Poetry Society (風車詩社), a group of surrealist-inspired Japanese and Taiwanese poets who were active in Taiwan in the 1930s. Working in the cultural climate of the Japanese colonial era, Le Moulin Poetry Society was a robust force in intellectual circles, whose members drew from their studies of Western culture while studying abroad in Japan. Although short-lived, the association was revived in the 1970s, which prompted a wave of discussions regarding Taiwanese pre-war art as well as art produced during World War II. The show includes original works, reproductions, documents and multimedia installations that integrate contemporary means of expression with the presentation of archival material. Curators Huang Ya-li (黃亞歷), Sun Sung-jung (孫松榮) and Kunio Iwaya describe Le Moulin Poetry Society as an important point in Taiwanese cultural production intricately connected to the cultural pulse of Europe, the US, Japan and Korea at the time.
■ 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) 2372-3552. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm
■ Until Sep. 15
Photo courtesy of Galerie OVO
The Expressive Significance of Brush and Ink: Selections from the History of Chinese Calligraphy (筆墨見真章 — 歷代書法選萃) at the National Palace Museum is an informative exhibition chronicling the development of Chinese calligraphy since antiquity. Whether as a tool for communication or an aesthetic practice, calligraphy has played a major part in Chinese culture. Oracle bone script found on artifacts from the 13th century BC — carved on animal bones as messages of divination — is the earliest form of Chinese writing. By the Shang Dynasty, a new style called the bronze script had developed for inscriptions on ritual objects; while by the Song Dynasty, the art of writing had matured into a creative practice performed by the literati. The show offers a range of artifacts from the museum collection, including many examples of writing from the Qing Dynasty and Republican period. Highlights include Calligraphy Model Books of the Imperial Summer Palace (清避暑山莊法帖二), a compilation of rubbings based on the writings of Emperor Kangxi (康熙). Kangxi, posthumously known as Shengzu (聖祖), was known for his passion for calligraphy, even establishing a special palace department devoted to making engravings and rubbings from imperial writings.
■ National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), 221, Zhishan Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市至善路二段221號), tel: (02) 2881-2021. Open daily from 8:30am to 6:30pm; closes at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays
■ Until Sep. 25
Photo courtesy of Mangasick
The Flesh Mass (肉禮拜) is a solo exhibition and visual feast of human flesh by the renowned Japanese illustrator Namio Harukawa — an Osaka-based artist who invented his pseudonym by combining the names of Japanese actress Masumi Harukawa and the female protagonist in a novel by Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki. His works depict erotic scenes of female supremacy that often feature men in bondage and in the service of voluptuous women. Harukawa published his first drawings at the age of 15 and continues his narrative of female empowerment today at the age of 72, having amassed a cult following over the years. The Incredible Femdom Art of Namio Harukawa is a new monograph with a generous compilation of works spanning his career. In one of the drawings, an almost-naked woman with leopard-print high heels stands beside a lean man half her height, as both read a manifesto about erotic adoration.
■ Mangasick, B1, 2, Alley 10, Ln 244, Roosevelt Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路三段244巷10弄2號B1), tel: (02) 2369-9969. Open Thursdays to Mondays from 2pm to 10pm
■ Until Aug. 4
Photo courtesy of Waley Art
Born in 1990, Lin I-hsuan (林弈軒) is representative of a generation of artists who have learned about experimental and avant-garde art through the Internet. These references affect his creative process and the kind of audience to whom his works are directed. Lin’s solo show Non-transferable Dirty Stories (非重述穢物語), currently on view at Galerie OVO, features a selection of his recent videos, paintings and images. The gallery writes that the artist’s visual framework reflects a way of thinking and feeling in society today. The title of the show reads like a statement about Lin’s method of making creative decisions through acts of negation — his works tell stories through dissected animal bodies, rotten matter, beehives, cemeteries, nude figures and wild landscapes. Lin uses colors freely, combining muddy and vibrant hues to mix the ugly and the beautiful, writes fellow artist Su Yin-chen (蘇盈蓁) in a commentary. The artist himself says: “Through accepted means, I seek to make visible things that are considered unwelcome.”
■ Galerie OVO, 51, Dehui St, Taipei City (台北市德惠街51號), tel: (02) 2591-5296. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 7pm
■ Until July 20
Photo courtesy of National Palace Museum
Peripheralized People: Solastalgia Between Taiwan and Nepal III (邊陲人: 台灣與尼泊爾鄉憂系列計畫iii) is a group exhibition showing at Waley Art. Two participating Nepalese artists spent time in Taiwan on an exchange program between the gallery and NexUs Culture Nepal, an art activism space in Kathmandu, exploring concepts of global immigration and gender identity. Mekha Bahadur Limbu Subba is a cross-disciplinary artist whose recent works touch upon issues surrounding migrant workers and how national policies affect the lives of the workers’ families. His video series How I Forgot My Mother Tongue was made here and includes an interview with elderly women who were educated during the Japanese colonial era. Keepa Maskey often works with textiles — a talent that may have been passed down from her grandmother, according to the gallery. Dripping Bodies is a wall-hung sculpture made of various types of soft cloth mediating her observations of Taiwanese society. The third participating artist, Art and Disaster, is a team of six South Korean artists who have spent time in disaster areas in Kathmandu in hopes of bringing relief to the community through the healing power of art.
■ Waley Art (水谷藝術), 6, Ln 322, Wanda Rd, Taipei City (台北市萬大路322巷6號), tel: (02) 2301-1821. Open daily from 12 noon to 7:30pm
■ Until July 28
Photo courtesy of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
The town of Baolai (寶來) is located along the Southern Cross-Island Highway in the upper reaches of Kaohsiung City. After suffering a devastating setback at the hands of Typhoon Morakot, the town’s tourism industry is finally showing signs of recovery. While the town itself has many commercial hot spring offerings for tourists, the adjacent Baolai River also has at least five different wild hot springs available to those with a more adventurous spirit. SHIDONG AND WUKENG Just before entering the town of Baolai, make two right turns to reach the bridge across the Baolai River. Immediately after crossing this bridge, there is
Jan. 25 to Jan. 30 It was the beginning of the end when Dutch sergeant Hans Jurgen Radis walked out of Fort Zeelandia and surrendered to the besieging army of Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功, also known as Koxinga). The Dutch had already been trapped in the fort for nine months, and they were sick, hungry and in despair. After one defection during the early days of the siege, Dutch commander Frederick Coyett set up checkpoints around the fort’s perimeter, in what is today’s Tainan. Radis told his bunkmate he was going hunting, but by the time they realized where
In October of 2002 the James Ossuary exploded into the public consciousness. The artifact, a burial box in which bones were interred, was announced at a press conference in Washington prior to undergoing any form of scholarly authentication. It had an inscription that read in Aramaic: Ya’akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua (“James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”). Its promoters presented the thing as the first real concrete link to the historical Jesus. It was an obvious fake, and at that time I was administrating two enormous discussion groups devoted to early Christian history, which hosted numerous scholars in
“Well, if it cannot happen this year because of the pandemic,” Tourism Bureau Director General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) says at the end of his interview with Cycling Shorts last week, “at least we’ll be ready to promote it next year.” Chang is discussing the Year of Cycling Tourism (自行車旅遊年) that has long been planned for this year. He has spent the previous 30 minutes introducing the various infrastructure projects undertaken over recent years and those proposed for the next few. Essentially, the Bureau, under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), has been pulling together resources from a wide range of