Magical Limbo (喚．魅) is a solo exhibition by Wu Tien-chang (吳天章), known as Taiwan’s first artist to promote the abolishment of martial law and for developing photography inspired by taike (台客) aesthetics. Since 2010, Wu has worked with video, experimenting with long takes, skip framing and other techniques to create “fake-y visuals” — images of reality that are so risky or absurd that viewers prefer to believe it is false. His surreal film Unforgettable (難忘的愛人), set against a Teresa Teng (鄧麗君) folk song of the same name, is an exploration of what makes a lover unforgettable, a complicated blend that includes not just romance but also pain and the taboo.
■ MOCA Studio Underground (地下實驗), Zhongshan Metro Mall B30/32/34, near Exit R9 (捷運中山地下街，近R9出口), tel: (02) 2552-3721. Free admission
■ Opens tomorrow. Until May 4
Photo courtesy of NTMOFA
At solo show Short Fiction (短篇小說), Liu Chih-Hung (劉致宏) presents the concluding instalment to a series of rapidly-produced paintings depicting his experiences as an army conscript. Liu’s Short Fiction series include a grand, lonely view of a bathroom on Christmas Day, as well as other lows, highs, quotidian and dramatic moments in the life of a young freelance artist in Taipei.
■ Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM, 台北市立美術館), 181, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市中山北路三段181號), tel: (02) 2595-7656. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30am to 5:30pm and until 8:30pm on Saturdays. Admission: NT$30
■ Opens tomorrow. Until May 18
Photo courtesy of MOCA, Taipei
The cobbled streets of Paris and Taipei’s scooter-lined roads come together in solo exhibition Time in Between (時光間). Chen Yun-ju’s (陳韻如) filmed 24 Taiwanese walking in Paris and fused the footage to scenes of Taipei. These composite animations have been installed in a 360-degree theater, to immerse the viewer in the peculiar environment and to encourage continual questioning: “In this moment, am I in a pure and present moment in Paris, or is this accompanied by a complex accumulation of past experiences?”
■ Gallery 108, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMOFA, 國立臺灣美術館), 2, Wuquan W Rd Sec 1, Greater Taichung (台中市西區五權西路一段2號) tel: (04) 2372-3552, open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm
■ Until May 25
Master of Teapot (製壺達人阿萬師) is a solo exhibition of hand-made teapots by Tseng Tsai-one (曾財萬), an acclaimed potter in Taiwan’s ceramics capital of Yingge (鶯歌). Born in 1932, Tsai began working at the Yingge’s kilns when he was 13 and today runs the ceramics club of Wan-chia (萬佳陶藝社), which specializes in hand-molded and intricately carved clay pots.
■ Yingge Ceramics Museum (鶯歌陶瓷博物館), 200 Wenhua Rd, New Taipei City (新北市文化路200號), tel: (02) 8677-2727, open Mondays to Fridays from 9:30am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30am to 6pm, closed first Monday of the month
■ Until April 20
The Animal Awakens (獸醒) features Tsai Yi-ju’s (蔡宜儒) oil paintings about the relationship between beast and man. Some are fancifully theatrical, like the dinosaur who crumbles an airplane, while others depict bloody scenes of mutual hatred and the subjugation of one by the other. Tsai is an emerging artist from Taipei best known for work on potted trees and other plants — elegant and sensitive paintings with a preservationist’s message. These animal portraits are a distinct departure, in which Tsai embraces bold colors, a crude finish and outlines of figures that are difficult to distinguish.
■ MOT/Arts, 3F, 22, Fuxing S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市復興南路一段22號3樓), tel: (02) 2778-2908. Open daily from 11am to 8pm
■ Until May 18
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same
In his 1958 book, A Nation of Immigrants, then US senator from Massachusetts John F Kennedy wrote the following words: “Little is more extraordinary than the decision to migrate, little more extraordinary than the accumulation of emotions and thoughts which finally lead a family to say farewell to a community where it has lived for centuries, to abandon old ties and familiar landmarks, and to sail across dark seas to a strange land.” As an epithet, the book’s title is commonly associated with America and, in the face of the xenophobic rhetoric that has marked US President Donald Trump’s tenure,
Every time Chen Ding-shinn (陳定信) saw a liver cancer patient in his ward, it reminded him of his father, who died from the disease at the age of 49. Historically, Taiwanese suffered from an unusually high prevalence of liver ailments as well as cancer, and Chen was troubled by the number of terminal patients. After decades of research, Chen and other experts found that Taiwan had the highest percentage of hepatitis B carriers in the world, which often developed into cirrhosis and cancer. In the early 1980s, he served as a key member of the Hepatitis Prevention Council (肝炎防治委員會), which
It seems that even the filmmakers don’t know what happened in 49 Days (驚夢49天). After spending too much of the film building up the mystery and constantly introducing confusing elements, they wrap up the film in the last couple of minutes in the laziest way, with the protagonist actually uttering “nobody knows.” That is bloody annoying, having sat through over 90 minutes of disjointed and head-scratching storytelling. Billed as a horror flick featuring the chilling Taoist ritual of guanluoyin (觀落陰), or visiting hell, 49 Days was meant to scare the pants off viewers over Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Horror movies