"Unidentified Artistic Objects Invading Taipei In Droves" is the slogan of the new Taiwan Avant-garde Documenta exhibition (前衛文件展), or C02, as it's been nicknamed. The phrase is appropriate in the sense that the exhibition is unprecedentedly big and many of the works are so baffling in form, expression and intention, that one does not easily know what to make of them.
\nThe exhibition sprawls across five venues in Taipei, and consists of 150 uncategorized works from 250 participants all over the country. Seventy-seven of the works were recommended by organizers, while the rest were selected from 135 submissions. As an open-submission exhibition, the participants are mostly young aspiring artists, with many undergraduates and first-time exhibiting artists among them. The media they use include film, performance, interactive installation, and whatever else one can think of.
\nThe large scale of the first-time event, its timing, which coincides with the 2002 Taipei Biennial at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and its strong non-curatorial stance make it seem like a conscious rival to the Biennial. C02's organizer, the National Cultural Association (文化總會) and convener Lin Man-li's (林曼麗) apparent political affiliation with the DPP president as opposed to the Biennial's being organized under the administration of a KMT-led Taipei city government, only strengthen this suspicion.
\nPolitics aside, C02 does complement the Biennial well in providing those interested with an alternative selection of works which are not likely to show at the far more selective TFAM anytime soon.
\nOne the interesting surprises is Green Corner's (綠色角落) Take a Rest at the Corner (落腳角落), a project by two art majors. For the piece, the group designed a logo, uniforms and advertisements for a cake and instant coffee stall, the kind so common you can find one on every block in Taiwan. Conceptually, it's probably the ideal work of art -- highly interactive, self-financing, and potentially an integral part of life. But is it a work of art?
\nG8 Public Relationship and Consultation of Art Corp's (G8
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL CULTURAL ASSOCIATION
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards. And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then — you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous,
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly