Gold Reflection Town (黃金反射町) is a group exhibition of six artists who are currently or have been participants in the Koganecho Artists in Residence Program in Yokohama, Japan. Koganecho is a riverside town that was once known for drugs and prostitution; since 2008, the town has been revitalized into a cultural hub that features fashion shops, cafes, bookstores and an annual art festival that attracts art lovers from around the world. The works featured in the show are all created at Koganecho and serve as “mirrors” that “somehow reflect an aspect of the town,” writes the gallery in a press release. By showing these works in Taipei, the show sheds light on the works by placing them in a new cultural and physical context. The exhibition includes five Japanese artists and one South Korean artist, including Fukuoka-born Yuya Obata who has lived in Koganecho since 2008. Inspired by local neighborhood scenes and natural landscape, Obata creates oil paintings that involve abstractions of his surroundings. Keiso Yo is a Japanese ceramicist of Chinese descent, who is interested in understanding humans from a biological point of view. Her ceramic sculpture Heart is a pristine white representation of the human heart.
■ FreeS Art Space (福利社), B1, 82, Xinsheng N Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市新生北路三段 82 號 B1), tel: (02) 2585-7600, Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 5pm, and Saturdays from 1:30pm to 9pm
■ Until Aug. 4
Photo Courtesy of Powen Gallery
Since 2015, Taiwanese artist Tai Hung-lin (戴宏霖) has been developing an ongoing art project that delves into the themes of sex and death. He adapts the idea of “private monogatari” from controversial Japanese photographer Araki Nobuyoshi, who used the term as title for his photographs based on his personal life. Monogatari is a traditional genre of Japanese literature that features a narrative style similar to the epic. Drawing on this storytelling tradition and Araki’s erotic interpretations, Tai’s photographs explore the realm of body consciousness, psychology and private photography. His solo show at Waley Art, Private Monogatari, features a selection of works from this project, including Intimate Monogatari, which depicts a cropped figure of a nude female half submerged in water with an octopus in her hand. Intimate Relationship is shot from a more distance angle; a topless Asian woman gazes at the camera, transfixed, as she lies in a pool of water grass and leaves. Fantasy Monogatari shows an office lady, half-dressed, leaning seductively to one side as she sits beside a water dispenser drinking machine filled with sea creatures.
■ Waley Art (水谷藝術), 6, Ln 322, Wanda Rd, Taipei City (萬大路322巷6號), tel: (02) 2301-1821. Open daily from 10am to 8pm
■ Until July 15
Photo Courtesy of Free Art Space
Powen Gallery presents Heterogeneous Orders, a group exhibition of paintings and sculpture that speak to ideas chaos and order in society. In a press release, the gallery quotes Japanese author Hiroshi Hara from his book 100 Ensenanzas: “If we define ‘lack of order’ as ‘chaos,’ then it is more difficult to present the chaos of things than to establish the order of things.” The challenge described here appears to be an impetus that drives the show, as according to the gallery, “the fascination of the world [lies in] its variability and unpredictability.” The exhibition features three young Taiwanese artists who share an interest in this theme through their disparate practices. Wu Chien-yi (吳芊頤) is a multimedia artist who often creates installations that draw from her reflection on social and cultural phenomena in daily life. Her painting, The Poem of Grilles in Dreamland 2, is a colorful composition of layered geometrical shapes and patterns that are held together by a gridded framework. Huang Fa-cheng (黃法誠) is a painter who creates pictorial narratives that speak to environmental issues and his personal reflections on society and politics in an urban setting. The artist prefers a working method that involves a bit of humor; through absurd and distorted visions, Huang hopes to encourages awareness and dialogue about the issues between humans and the world we live in.
■ Powen Gallery (紅野畫廊), 11, Ln 164, Songjiang Rd, Taipei (臺北市松江路164巷11號), tel: (02) 2523-6009. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 7pm
■ Until Aug. 12
Photo Courtesy of The General Association of Chinese Culture
Sappho Loh (駱麗真) is a Taiwanese artist and educator who teaches at Shi Hsin University and National Taiwan University. She was the curator for last year’s Digital Art Festival and now heads the newly reopened Digital Art Center in Taipei. Loh’s artistic practice is mainly based in video art, installation and new media art. Her current solo exhibition, I never tell the truth, I don’t like this place at all, at VT Art Salon takes its name from the award-winning indie film Long Time No Sea, which tells a heartfelt story about youth, courage and identity on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼). Loh’s emotional connection to a line in the film largely determined the direction of her exhibition. It reflects “a status that is always in my mind,” writes the artist. “It contains the process of time and the buildup of anger.” The artist refers to a state of limited agency in which complex layers of pressure develop to add further pressure on the individual. The show features new works that will be unveiled at tomorrow’s opening. Here Loh offers an inviting clue, “When you enter, you can start a conversation with an unknown person, which is also my way of leaving this place.”
■ VT Art Salon (非常廟藝文空間), B1, 17, Ln 56, Sec 3, Xinsheng N Rd, Taipei City (台北市新生北路三段56巷17號B1), tel: (02) 2597-2525. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11:30am to 7pm, and Saturdays from 1:30pm to 9pm
■ Until Aug. 4
Photo Courtesy of Waley Art
The General Association of Chinese Culture is currently hosting Local Hero, a group show of Taiwanese comic artists who share an interest in history. Many of the authors combine elements of culture, science fiction and faith in their development of fictional heroes that are grounded in the locality of Taiwan. “The works we have chosen are specifically Taiwanese and feature iconic heroic figures,” says the association in a statement. Chiu Row-long (邱若龍) is known for his realist drawing style and his long-term devotion to Taiwanese Aboriginal history. In 1990, Chiu created Taiwan’s first Aboriginal history comic, Musha Incident. His works later inspired the celebrated film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale by Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖). Au Tui is a legendary science fiction comic artist whose detailed, fine drawings often pushing aesthetic boundaries. Since the 80’s, Au Tui has been a pioneer of the Taiwanese cartoon scene, creating award-winning books that have become collectable classics.
■ The General Association of Chinese Culture (中華文化總會), 15 Chongqing S Rd, Taipei City (台北市重慶南路二段15號), tel: (02) 2396-4256. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm
■ Until Aug. 19
Photo Courtesy of Powen Gallery
In Taiwan’s foothills, suspension bridges — or the remnants of them — are almost as commonplace as temples. “Suspension bridge” is a direct translation of the Chinese-language term (吊橋, diaoqiao), but it’s a little misleading. These spans aren’t huge pieces of infrastructure. The larger ones are just wide enough for the little trucks used by farmers. Others are suitable for two-wheelers and wheelbarrows. If one end is higher than the other, they may incorporate steps, like the recently-inaugurated, pedestrians-only Shuanglong Rainbow Suspension Bridge (雙龍七彩吊橋) in Nantou County. Because torrential rains hammer Taiwan during the hot season, the landscape is scarred by
With his sugarcane juice stall at Monga Nightmarket (艋舺夜市) floundering due to COVID-19, things took a turn for the worse for Lin Chih-hang (林志航) when he was furloughed from a part-time job. The crowds are trickling back to this nightmarket in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), but Lin is now so busy that he has hired a friend to run his stall. As the sole driver of the night market’s delivery service, established on April 12, Lin takes on an average of 20 orders on weeknights and over 60 on weekends, with his father helping out when he is too busy.
May 25 to May 31 Three months before his 90th birthday in 2015, Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政) woke up shortly after midnight and experienced a inexplicable sense of clarity. “Suddenly, my mind started going all over the place. There were some recent memories, but also many that I thought I had long forgotten. They would appear and disappear from my brain one after another, and they were so clear, so lucid. Even the memories from 70, 80 years ago felt like they happened yesterday. I suddenly thought, if I still remember so much, why don’t I write everything down?” Despite his solid
Eslite Gallery will hold an open house at their new gallery tomorrow in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The doors to the new space will open at 4pm and will feature works by local and international artists. As a nod to the ongoing pandemic and Taiwan’s handling of it, the gallery also announced a project called Artivate, calling on 12 of its artists to emblazon details from their artwork on cloth masks. Participating local artists include Jimmy Liao (幾米), whose illustrated books with simple stories about people coping in the modern urban world have become hot sellers across Asia, and