There are only two days left for In the Matter of Color, a group exhibition by four Italian painters who have been active since the 1950s. The gallery ties the four disparate practices together by a central theme of color, describing their use of chromatics as “an identity and primary element” that has been cultivated throughout their careers. Color, according to curator Matteo Galbiati, is a tool of resistance that the artists use to “launch [themselves] into an autonomous independence [from academicism].” Through color analysis, interpretation and translation, the four artists present recent works that continue their pursuit of contemporaneity. Natale Addamiano’s I Cieli stellati, literally translated as “the starry skies,” is a series of abstract paintings of misty, layered atmospheres that resonate with a traditional sense of romanticism. Alberto Biasi’s Agli estremi depicts an interplay of three rectangular forms that continue the artist’s engagement with Programmed Art, an Italian art movement sparked by interests in technology and art. Turi Simeti’s oval paintings create distinct optical effects by manipulating the physicality of the painting surface. Pino Pinelli’s Pittura G is a yellow monochromatic painting that explores the tactility and form of color.
■ White Stone Gallery (白石畫廊), 1, Jihu Rd, Taipei (台北市基湖路1號), tel: (02) 8751-1183. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm
■ Until Sunday
Photo Courtesy of Chen Uen Studio
Indifferent Idols, currently on view at Taipei Contemporary Art Center, is a process-based exhibition that evolves over the course of two weeks. Organized by Singaporean writer and curator Wong Bing-hao (黃炳豪), the show is the first iteration in a long-term curatorial and editorial project called Indifferent Idols. The project regularly features thinkers and creators who address the concept of difference in the context of body, identity and representation. Through exhibitions, events and publications, the project “proposes a sobering indifference to the recent unexamined and excessive idolization of identity and cultural difference,” writes Wong. The Taipei exhibition presents the work of Victoria Sin, a London-based artist who explores ideas of “desire, identification and objectification within performance, moving image and writing,” writes Wong. Sin often engages with fictional narratives inspired by personal experiences and encounters. A selection of her works will be on view both at the art space and its Instagram feed, while a performance by Sin is scheduled for tomorrow. The show is part of a series of two week exhibitions centered around the space’s theme for this year, “Art Lab,” which explores the potential of performativity, narrative and multiple ways of seeing.
■ Taipei Contemporary Art Center (台北當代藝術中心), 11, Ln 49, Baoan St, Taipei City (台北市保安街49巷11號), tel: (02) 8501-2138. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 7pm
■ Until July 1
Photo by Anne Tetzlaff
Ikuhana Niiro is a popular adult anime artist who has in the past three years gained a rapid following through his regular contributions to Japanese adult comic magazines. Niiro’s drawings elaborate on the world of heterosexual desires, erotica and intimate psychological dynamics. He often creates complex characters involved in mundane and relatable daily events. Works from his recently published monograph Ikunichi is on view at d/art Taipei. The gallery’s press release quotes Taiwanese writer Vannzi, who describes Niiro’s cartoons as poignant illustrations of loneliness. Loneliness, according to Vaanzi, is an emotional response to one’s surrounding environment and social circle. “To have your love unrequited, to be forgotten by colleagues or to be complained by one’s family, [are situations] that produce loneliness,” writes Vaanzi. The Taipei exhibition features several female characters with disparate personalities. The furious, the shy, rebellious or the lively—these temperaments construct different imaginations of the female from a heterosexual male standpoint. This weekend, the artist himself will be present for a book signing and illustration workshop, which requires prior registration. Niiro’s monograph Ikunichi is also available for purchase at the gallery. This exhibition is open to visitors aged 18 and above.
■ 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 July 15
Photo Courtesy of Gaiart
Huang Po-hsun (黃柏勳) is a Taiwanese artist whose paintings are characterized by decorative forms, imaginative narratives and a pictorial flatness. Art writer Chen Kuang-yi (陳貺怡) ascribes influences of Japanese otaku culture to his distinct aesthetics, although Huang has not explicitly spoken of such references. According to Chen, Huang began his artistic career in a time when Taiwanese popular culture was influenced by comics, anime, toys, video games and movies. “The pink, sweet, fluorescent colors and the special shapes in his paintings are like the [special qualities] presented in anime, comic [and video] games,” writes Chen in a preface to Huang’s solo exhibition, Silent Dateline, presented at Gaiart. The show features a selection of new works on canvas that reveal Huang’s endeavors for a heightened sense of decoration. His new paintings draw elements from the 18th century Japanese painting and print style Ukiyo-e, patterns from Japanese craft paper, as well as organic form from natural life. Silent Dateline depicts an abstract landscape of geometrical shapes against a background of clouds and a dark, ultramarine sea. Shining Days, meanwhile, features two toy-like stores overcast by a cluster of pink diamond shapes.
■ Gaiart ?藝術), 9-4, Pucheng St, Taipei City (台北市浦城街9之4號), tel: (02) 2363-2000. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:30pm to 7pm.
■ Until July 22
Photo Courtesy of d/art Taipei
The National Palace Museum presents The Legacy of Chen Uen-Art Life and Philosophy, a retrospective of the late Taiwanese cartoonist Chen Uen (鄭問) who passed away last year. Chen began creating cartoons in the late 70s and rose to gradual fame in the mid 80s. He became the first internationally known Taiwanese cartoonist who received numerous international awards and critical praise, especially in Hong Kong and Japan. In his lifetime, Chen taught many cartoonists and game artists who have become active members of the animation industry. Chen’s distinct style draws upon both Chinese and Western drawing techniques. Incorporating skills from Chinese ink painting with Western acrylic painting, Chen produced unusually detailed and dramatic compositions, seeking to generate a new aesthetic for comics. His narratives are often inspired by historical events, legends and fictional tales. The museum retrospective features a rich selection of Chen’s original drawings and illustrations, character sketches, storyboards, handcrafted models, sculptures and documentaries about Chen’s craft. Chen Uen’s Three Kingdom is a series of over 100 original sketches for the Japanese video game company GameArts.
■ National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), 221 Zhishan Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市至善路二段221號), tel: (02) 2881-2021. Open daily from 8:30am to 6:30pm; closes at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays
■ Until Sept. 17
Photo Courtesy of Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Photo Courtesy of White Stone Gallery
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
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten