Life is like a box of piglets: You never know what’s happening unless you listen. That’s according to artist Wu Chang-jung (吳長蓉), who learned during a stint as a swine farmer that the only foolproof method of diagnosing the health of a pig is by checking its breathing and the sound of its digestion. At solo show Sounds Uncovered (聲聲幔), Wu presents new works that depend on sound to tell the truth. In the titular project Sounds Uncovered (聲聲幔), Wu uses a soundtrack to precisely clue in viewers to events occurring under miniature plastic tents. Wu’s Excuse Me (不好意思) is an audiovisual record of things people in Taipei City say to one another — “excuse me” is common — that describe the peculiar, polite yet brutish relationship that urban dwellers share.
■ Project Fulfill Art Space (就在藝術空間), 2, Alley 45, Ln 147, Xinyi Rd Sec 3, Taipei (台北市信義路三段147巷45弄2號), tel: (02) 2707-6942. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 7pm
■ Opens tomorrow. Until Jan. 26
Photo Courtesy of Project Fulfill Art Space
One Piece Room is Chen Po-i’s (陳伯義) salute to a fishing village razed in 2008. Photographs document the changing face of Greater Kaohsiung’s Hongmaogang (紅毛港) from 1970 to after 2000. The most recent shots are stark and unpeopled; frames are filled instead by abandoned houses and belongings, which form a mute symbol of sociopolitical values that have been shed on the march to modernity.
■ Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei (台北市學園路1號), tel:(02) 2896-1000. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm
■ Until Feb. 16
Photo Courtesy of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
In Taipei, Chinese artist Yang Jing (楊靜) presents A Doll’s House (玩偶之家), a solo show named after Henrik Ibsen’s play. Ibsen’s work follows Nora Helmer, a coddled housewife who discovers her state of subservience to husband Torvald and decides to leave him. In over 20 paintings, Yang casts different porcelain dolls as Ibsen’s proto-feminist. Though surrounded by birds, flowers and other classic icons of femininity, each doll subverts her circumstances in covert ways. Sometimes, she toys with a little puppet of her own. On one white canvass, she is supine and apparently dead due to suicide; from her arm extends a rivulet of black ink, on which a tiny ship is sailing away.
■ Art Issue Taipei (藝術計畫), 1F, Ln 407, 32, Tiding Blvd Sec 2, Taipei (台北市堤頂大道二段407巷32號1樓), tel: 2659-7737, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7:30pm, closed on Mondays
■ Until Feb. 23
The National Aboriginal Children’s Painting Contest (原住民兒童繪畫創作比賽) is a drawing contest for Aboriginal children from preschool to the ninth grade. Winning works, on view now at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, include The Dancing Girl (跳舞的女孩) — a preschooler’s crayon sketch of a skipping Aboriginal child — and Let’s Get Ready for the Malahodaigian Festival (我們一起準備射耳祭), a junior-high school student’s depiction of the “deer-ear shooting ritual” of the Bunun people. Also at the gallery are the 86 winners of the Makapah Fine Arts Awards (Makapah 美術獎), a national competition for photographers and painters that work with themes of Aboriginal cultures.
■ Mei Ling Art Gallery (美齡藝廊), National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂), tel: (02) 2343-1100, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 6pm
■ Until Jan. 17
Three Masters of Art (閩臺三傑) is a show of calligraphy and ink paintings by Cheng Shan-hsi (鄭善禧) and the late Yu Chen-yao (余承堯) and Shen Yao-chu (沈耀初), three Fujian-born artists who met in Taiwan. Yu, who came to Taiwan in 1950, learned to paint through trial and error and developed a trademark technique of using broken lines to reproduce the visual texture of rocks on mountains. Shen, who arrived in 1948, was a sketch artist who became a feted calligrapher. Cheng is an outdoor sketch artist who works in temples, markets and railway stations — he uses vivid hues and feather-light brushstrokes to depict humorous moments in everyday life.
■ National Museum of History, 49 Nanhai Rd, Taipei (台北市南海路49號), tel: (02) 2361-0270. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. General admission: NT$30
■ Until Feb. 23
Last week I had an experience that I suspect has become quite common for foreigners living in Taiwan: talking to a Taiwanese who was an ardent fan of soon-to-be-former US President Donald Trump. As I was heading for the stairs to my apartment, my landlady stopped me, eyes alight, with an idea for what to do about storing my bike downstairs. The conversation eventually veered into politics, and for a full 35 minutes she held forth on the manifold greatness of world-savior Donald Trump. She’s neither unkind nor a fool. Pro-Taiwan, she detests former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese
Jan. 18 to Jan. 24 Viewers couldn’t believe their eyes when the Taipei First Girls’ Senior High School marching band appeared on television in 1981. None of the girls were sporting the government-mandated hairstyle for female secondary school students, which forbade their hair from going past their neck. Some even had perms. The students had been invited to perform in the US, which the government saw as an important affair since the US had severed official ties two years earlier. The idea was that sending a group of girls with the same permitted hairstyle would appear contradictory to
Benjamin Chen (陳昱安) didn’t know how intense a hackathon could be. “You literally work non-stop. You don’t eat breakfast, you don’t eat lunch because you really need to finish the product,” the 10th-grader from Taipei American School says. “You feel the adrenaline rushing… It’s refreshing, I was like a new person.” Chen became fascinated by these round-the-clock competitions to create technology or software products, and participated in 10 more before he decided to start one that focused on his twin passions of economics and technology. He says there are many hackathons that delve into social and environmental issues, but few have
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