City Art Guide: TaipeiByGrace Ignacia See
Image courtesy of Lonely Planet
With international art fairs such as Taipei Dangdai recognising the strength in Taiwan’s art market, blue-chip galleries are additionally flocking to Taipei for its inaugural edition. Taipei has also been cited by notable individuals in the art world as an “undiscovered market for collectors” on top of having an “underappreciated art scene”.
Historically, Taiwan’s incredibly rich past includes a 50-year occupation from the 1800s, accounting for some architectural structures that still stand to this day. Now officially the Republic of China, many galleries and institutions in Taiwan seek to bridge gaps between Taiwanese, Chinese, and by extension, international markets.
As Taipei prepares for a surge of international galleries and attendees in 2019, we home in on the galleries, museums and art spaces that constitute its growing arts scene:
Getting around One of the best aspects of life in Taipei is its metro system (MRT), whisking you around the city on the 6 major routes in the Taipei Metro Area. Tickets are also affordable, between NT $20 and NT $60 (about USD $0.65 to USD $1.95). It’s even cheaper if you by a day ticket, or what they call an Easycard. With trains running every 6 to 8 minutes from 6 am to well after 11 pm, the MRT is deemed the most efficient mode of transport around. If you fancy a car however, Uber, along with standard cabs, also operate in the city.
As for its climate, Taipei experiences lows of 8 degrees Celsius from December to February, and highs of around 30 from June to August. Because Taiwan is a relatively small island with a rather large amount of rainfall, be warned that it is susceptible to typhoons from July to September. If you find yourself visiting Taiwan during those periods, do remember to don weather-appropriate outerwear.
Image courtesy of Aki Gallery
Founded in 2002, Aki Gallery began as a multifunctional space that aimed to boost the careers of emerging contemporary artists, whilst hosting well-curated exhibitions. In 2008, Aki Gallery moved to its current location around the Taipei Fine Art Museum vicinity so as to be in closer contact with emerging artists.
Aki Gallery is also the main member of Taiwan Contemporary Art Link (TCAL), which seeks to build an international platform for Taiwanese contemporary art.
NUNU FINE ART
No. 5 Lane 67 Section 1, Jinshan South Rd, Zhongzheng District
Image courtesy of NUNU Fine Art
NUNU FINE ART is a gallery, which, from its inception, introduced many internationally renowned masters of art to Taiwan in an attempt to enhance the vision of contemporary art. NUNU FINE ART continues to exhibit such internationally renowned artists, additionally scheming out experimental projects that are unique to commercial galleries.
They have also since launched a new exhibition program platform called NUNU PROJECT, which does not limit the creation of media and forms, inviting artists to connect with local culture.
No.11 Lane 164 Songjiang Rd Zhongshan District
Image courtesy of Powen Gallery
Established by Po-Wen Lee in 2011, this gallery has since been devoted to discovering artists with great potential, aiding through the displaying of their works both in and beyond their gallery space. Powen Gallery prides itself on how they do not hold exhibitions discriminately, with every exhibition adhering to a careful selection process that seeks to showcase the highest caliber of art for their audiences.
No.47-1 Lane 53 Dongnan St. East District Hsinchu City 300
Image courtesy of UP Gallery
Founded in 2009, 絕版影像館Uniquephoto Gallery in Mandarin is Taiwan’s first gallery dedicated to exhibition photography and video works. Founder Yichia Liao is also an artist and photographer and felt the need for an unconventional space that acts as a platform that exposes photography in Taiwan. UP is also the first gallery that introduced the concept of editions to Taiwan.
5F No. 11 Songgao Road
Image courtesy of ESLITE Gallery
ESLITE GALLERY was founded alongside the eslite bookstore in Taipei. The first to dedicate itself to modern and contemporary Chinese art in Taiwan in 1989, ESLITE GALLERY continues to represent major international artists as well as young artists from Greater China. They also collaborate with overseas art spaces, with past collaborations including a Cai Guo-Qiang retrospective at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Lin & Lin Gallery
1F No.16 Dongfeng St
Image courtesy of Lin & Lin Gallery
Established as Lin & Keng Gallery in 1992, Lin & Lin Gallery has consistently focused on the development of Chinese art in its perspective of cultural identity. The gallery promotes but modern and contemporary art, whilst upholding Chinese Culture, continuing to champion the works of new generation artists on the international stage. Due to its active development in broadening the scope of Chinese artists, the art represented by Lin & Lin has found its way into important institutional and private collections around the world.
No. 32 Lane 2 Sec. 6 Zhongshan N. Rd Shilin Dist.
Image courtesy of Chi-Wen Gallery
Founded in 2004 by Chi-Wen Huang, Chi-Wen Gallery is one of Taiwan’s top galleries with a focus on photography and video. It dedicates itself to supporting emerging artists, alongside curatorial projects that explore cutting-edge subjects. Over the years, Chi-Wen Gallery has successfully fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established.
Double Square Gallery
No.28 Lane 770 Beian Rd, Taipei City 104
Image courtesy of Double Square Gallery
Double Square Gallery was established in 2015 with an emphasis on the promotion of art, curatorial practice, publishing, research, and art collection services as its core values. It takes its name from the special configuration of the gallery, made up of two rectangles, expressing both its physical space and its conceptual value of the gallery.
Tina Keng Gallery
1F No. 15 Lane 548 Ruiguang Rd, Neihu District
Image courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery
With its roots derived from the Lin & Keng Gallery, Tina Keng Gallery continues to support its tradition of supporting Greater China’s contemporary art along with Asian classical masters. An unwavering believer in the essence of Asian modern and contemporary art, the Tina Keng Gallery attests to the singular panorama of a changing Asia.
1839 Contemporary Gallery
B1 No. 120 Yanji St, Da'an District 10696
Image courtesy of 1839 Contemporary Gallery
Established in 2009, 1839 Contemporary Gallery is named after the year in which photography was found. They seek to provide direction on the future of photography, whilst pursuing ideas through unique exhibitions. The only gallery with a focus on photography works in Taiwan, they are also the organiser of TAIWAN PHOTO, a fair initiated in 2011. This fair’s sole focus is on photography, setting them apart from the other fairs in Taiwan. For more information on TAIWAN PHOTO, click here.
Fish Art Center
No.137 Jihu Rd Jhongshan District, Taipei City 104
Image courtesy of Fish Art Center
The first gallery established in the Dazhi Redevelopment Zone in 2003, Fish Art Center is located in the Taipei Art District. Fish Art Center organizes and presents eight to ten exhibition a year, representing artists from Taiwan and China. You can also find them at international fairs, having exhibited at ART16 and START Art Fair in London.
Project Fulfill Art Space
1F. No.2 Alley 45, Lane 147, Sec. 3 Sinyi Rd, Taipei City 10658
Image courtesy of Project Fulfill Art Space
Project Fulfill Art Space was established in 2008 as a platform of exchange for contemporary art. By integrating temporal and spatial relationships as a guiding principle, artworks transcend beyond simple objects in a room but are rooted within the space, echoing the notion of the here and now.
Image courtesy of MOCA
Originally the building of Jian Cheng Elementary School that educated Japanese Children during the Japanese Occupation, this infrastructure has since been the office building of the Taipei City Government and is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (MOCA)
Since its inauguration in 2001, MOCA is the first institution in Taiwan that dedicates itself to contemporary art and is one of the most visited museums. It contrasts its location by featuring contemporary works across a span of genres, including visual art, architectural design, media, and fashion, in an effort to exhibit artists not only from Taiwan but around the world.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM)
No. 181 Section 3, Zhongshan N. Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 10461
Image courtesy of TFAM
Founded in 1983, Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) seeks to promote the preservation, research development and popularization of Taiwanese modern and contemporary art.
TFAM’s conception and construction is uniquely creative and symbolic and combines a unique architectural plan with a natural courtyard. Its infrastructure is infused with elements of traditional Chinese architecture presented through the structure of piled brackets in the form of suspended corridors that form a tubular-shaped composition. This tube shape is identical to the Chinese character for ‘fountain’, which further fosters the museum’s analogue as an active source of culture.
Ju Ming Museum
No.2 Xishihu, Jinshan District, New Taipei City, Taiwan R.O.C. 20842
Image courtesy of Ju Ming Museum
Spanning 11 hectares, the Ju Ming Museum was never intended as a museum but rather a storage space for the artist’s large sculptures. Inspired by the natural surroundings of Jinshan, Ju Ming, a renowned master sculptor, decided that it would be an ideal setting for a sculpture park. The Ju Ming Museum not only displays his unique works of art, but also serves as a venue for the cultivation of artists’ creativity.
Independent Art Organisations + Artist Run Spaces
Image courtesy of TheCube Project Space
TheCube Project Space, founded in 2010, is an independent art space devoted to artistic production, research, and the presentation of contemporary art. It is located In a 50-year old apartment building next to a traditional market in South Taipei and has held programs since its opening such as curatorial art projects, individual and collective works, public forums, screenings and publications.
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