Su Wong-shen (蘇旺伸) seeks to capture the contingencies of life in a new series of 13 paintings, created over the past four years. Inspired by contemporary Asian trends such as migration and individualism, his paintings depict a symbolic world of objects and animals to represent interpretations of his feelings and thoughts. As curator and critic Jason Chia-chi Wang (王嘉驥) has observed, Su’s work portrays a pessimistic attitude towards alienation.
■ 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 X1588. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until Jan. 13
Starting tomorrow, visitors to MOCA, Taipei will be greeted with the wings of 200,000 dragon flies, a mural-come-installation by Li Shan (李山) that is part of a wide-ranging exhibition on the Chinese artist, Reading Li Shan (閱讀‧李山). The show touches on Li’s early work as a promoter of China’s avant-garde art movement, when he became a representative painter of rational abstraction, and later become one of China’s greatest exponents of “political pop,” as his Warholesque portraits of Mao Zedong (毛澤東) attest. In addition to touching on his previous work, this exhibition presents Li’s thinking, ideas and experiments since the mid-1990s with “bio-art,” which combines scientific — particularly genetic — knowledge with artistic experimentation and imagery. Exhibited items include his journals on bio-art, a bio-art proposal created in New York in 1998, a fused image of an insect and an artist produced digitally, and a transgenic frog (including concept, pictures and video records), in addition to hundreds of images of transgenic creatures. Viewers will also see the two methods Li used to minimize, conceptualize and maximize his bio-art. Combined these bio-works are meant to riff off Classics of Mountains and Seas (山海經), an ancient Chinese volume of whimsical stories and otherworldly beings.
■ Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (MOCA, Taipei), 39 Changan W Rd, Taipei City (台北市長安西路39號), tel: (02) 2552-3720. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. General admission: NT$50
■ Starts tomorrow. Until Jan. 20
Temporary Assembly of the Exiled (被流放者的臨時集會) provides an overview of the ideas underlying the making of Happiness Building I (幸福大廈I), a video by Chen Chieh-jen (陳界仁). Set in a fictional apartment building and featuring short personal narratives of people from different backgrounds who lack stable employment, Chen’s most recent work explores the plight of home exile in contemporary society. The artist’s notion of exile, which he views as a kind of punishment, differs from that of the past, as it is a state of constant governance in one’s native land that determines potential participation (or lack thereof) in systems of economic production. Chen says that this situation is the result of neo-liberal economic politics that require cheap labor and accelerated capital accumulation. Under these policies, individuals are forced into at-home exile, and due to society’s growing atomization, have no community, family or house on which to rely, thus rendering them drifters in various states of alienation.
■ Lin & Lin Gallery (大未來林舍畫廊), 16 Dongfeng St, Taipei City, (台北市東豐街16號), tel: (02) 2700-6866. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm
■ Until Jan. 20
Chuang Che, Overfilling vitality (2009).
Holistic View and Microscopic Vision (統覽．微觀) provides an overview of the work of Chuang Che, one of Taiwan’s first abstract expressionist painters. Chuang, who mastered several styles of calligraphy, followed in the footsteps of such French-based Chinese artists as Zhao Wou-ki (趙無極) and Chu Deh-chun (朱德群), merging Chinese calligraphy and modernist aesthetics. A member of the Fifth Moon Group (五月畫會), an artist’s collective that promoted the combination of Chinese literati painting tradition and Western abstract expressionism, Chuang’s work illustrates the seamless merging of two separate artistic traditions into something innovative and new.
■ Asia Art Center II, 93, Lequn 2nd Road, Taipei City (台北市樂群二路93號), tel: (02) 2754-1366. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6:30pm
■ Until Jan. 6
The Chiayi Museum (嘉義市博物館三樓) is currently holding a solo exhibition of figurative drawings by Taiwan-based French artist Christophe Chevance. Chevance’s drawings depict organic forms — parts of the human anatomy, the roots of trees — that are combined in a unique and almost surreal manner that is appealingly grotesque.
■ Chiayi Museum (嘉義市博物館三樓), 275 Zhongxiao Rd, Chiayi City (嘉義市忠孝路275-1號), tel (05) 278-0303X931. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Admission: Free
■ Until Jan. 13