Eslite Gallery (誠品畫廊) presents Stance (立), a mulit-generational show that features the work of Hsia Yan (夏陽), a founding member of Ton Fan Group (東方畫會), one of Taiwan’s first modernist artist collectives, and five young artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. As a young man, Hsia served in the military and fled to Taiwan from China in 1949. He studied with Lee Chun-shan (李仲生), a prominent artist and professor known for his unique methods of teaching and an enduring passion for the avant-garde. Hsia moved to Paris in 1963, and developed an existential style of isolation and the absurd. His interest in photorealism is shared by young Taiwanese artist Lin Yen Wei (林彥瑋), who paints detailed close-ups of animal sculptures, caricatures that are influenced by the aesthetics of Disney cartoons.
■ Eslite Gallery (誠品畫廊), 5F, 11 Songgao Rd, Taipei City (台北市松高路11號5樓), tel: (02) 8789-3388. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until Aug. 4
Photo Courtesy of Eslite Gallery
Cheng Ting-ting (鄭婷婷) works with film, photography and multimedia installations to convey her observations of various cultures. Over the years, Cheng has participated in many residencies around the world, creating works that address cultural phenomena and human behaviors. Her current solo exhibition, For our present story to go on, we must now go back in time (為了讓故事繼續進行，我們必須要回到過去), features two series that explore the histories of Taiwan, South Korea and Japan in the 1970’s. The artist is particularly interested in how people identify themselves with history. Progress and Harmony for Mankind (人類的進步與和諧) includes a film that incorporates historical photographs from Expo ’70, Japan’s first world fair, held in Osaka in the 1970’s, and dialogue from the manga series 20th Century Boys (20世紀少年). The back of the shrimp that cries (哭泣的蝦背) is a single-channel video produced during Cheng’s residency in Seoul last year. The work addresses the relationship between Taiwan and South Korea and postcolonial issues concerning gender, race and nationality.
■ 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 Sept. 15
Photo courtesy of Double Square Gallery
Currently on view at d/art Taipei is Creatures Born of Twilight (曙暮罔兩), a duo exhibition by Japanese graphic artist and game designer Yasushi Suzuki and Taiwanese illustrator and designer Blaze Wu (吳布雷茲). Over the past 20 years, Suzuki has produced an impressive oeuvre of work, running the gamut from game and character design, manga books and cover illustrations. He is responsible for designing the 2001 shooting game Ikaruga, which chronicles a man on a mission to liberate the world from a dictator who rules the globe. Marked by fine contours and realist treatment of figures and space, the artist’s unique, charismatic style includes a broad range of genres including folk tales and modern detective stories. Wu is also a veteran illustrator known for creating watercolor drawings for novel covers and games. One of Wu’s most recent works include the main visual design for Nintendo’s futuristic, rhythm game Cytus a, released early this year. The game has earned praise for its attractive animations and 400 options for song choice. This Saturday, Suzuki and Wu will hold a book signing and talk at the gallery. For more details please contact the venue.
■ 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
■ Until Aug. 11
Photo Courtesy of Eslite Gallery
Lee Chun-shan (李重山) is a significant figure in Taiwanese art history who, since the 1950s, has inspired a generation of artists. Lee is celebrated as a pioneering Chinese painter who combined in his work eastern sensibilities, surrealist ideas and Freudian theories of the unconscious. As a professor and writer, Lee was passionate about modern art movements, especially the avant-garde. Prior to his move to Taiwan in 1949, Lee studied at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (上海美專) and joined a modern art circle, The Storm Society (決瀾社). Lee also spent time studying in Tokyo, where he was inspired by the alternative teaching approaches of renowned Japanese artist Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita. His career as an art professor began shortly after arriving in Taiwan, in a time when post-war Taiwanese arts were experiencing stagnation under the rule of martial law. Lineage II — Lee Chun Shan and Varied Voices at Double Square Gallery (雙方藝廊) presents a selection of Lee’s paintings alongside seven artists — including Hsia Yan — who studied under him.
■ 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 Monday
Photo Courtesy of Mind Set Art Center
Dresden-based Chinese painter Fu Rao (傅饒) creates fantastical landscapes of suspense. He works from intuition, drawing on art imagery from the past, religious symbols and observations from everyday life. His works “convey a dynamic process of seeking for belonging … through creation,” writes Mind Set Art Center (安卓藝術). A body of new paintings are included in Fu’s solo exhibition, Infinitrace (光年), at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館). The title refers to a light that Ru says courses through his body and grants him a feeling of transcendence that surpasses the limits of time, space, borders, cultures and identities. A painting of the same title depicts an ominously barren landscape in which an industrial factory is operated by a line of workers with ambiguous apparatuses.
■ 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 Sept. 22
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
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
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