With the art world presumably gearing up for Art Basel Hong Kong not far down the road, Hong Kong’s nearby neighbour Taipei (it’s only 90 minutes away via plane!) also reveals itself as one of Asia’s best-kept art secrets. The Artling seeks out exhibitions not to miss this April, as you interweave freely among the hidden alley spaces and interdisciplinary creations that make up Taipei’s vibrant contemporary art scene.
Machines Under the Similitude of Men
2 March 2018 - 1 April 2018
London-based, Taiwan-born artist Ting-Tong Chang creates installation works that look to analyse the relationship between science, technology and society. Marking his first solo exhibition back in his hometown of Taipei, Ting-Tong has collaborated with Simon Schaffer- renowned professor of history of science at the University of Cambridge, on a series of works that reflects on the current state of our contemporary society through the mediation of mechanical sculptures from automata to avatars.
"Jean-Baptise-Andre’ Furet’s African Prince Mantel Clock 1784" by Chang Ting-Tong. Image courtesy of Yiri Arts.
"Pierre Jaquet-Droz Singing Bird Cage 1780" by Chang Ting-Tong. Image courtesy of Yiri Arts.
The War That Never Was
10 March 2018 - 29 April 2018
Born in Taiwan, Magnum photographer and artist Chang Chien-Chi now lives and works in Graz, Austria. Fascinated by the human conditions of alienation and connection, this exhibition features Chang’s new video and photographic works based on his research into the Cold War and an interview with his mother on her experiences of war. A set of sound installations created by appropriating George Orwell’s 1945 article You and the Atomic Bomb will also form part of the exhibition. In addition, Chang will be holding another solo exhibition 'AZMA and Burma: The Promise Betrayed', on view at the Chi-Wen Gallery in Taipei during the same time.
"The War That Never Was" (2017) Single-channel, 15’40” by Chang Chien-Chi. Image courtesy of the artist, Magnum Photos and Chi-Wen Gallery.
Azma and Burma: The Promise Betrayed
10 March 2018 - 29 April 2018
Taiwan's leading gallery for video art, Chi-Wen Gallery presents artist Chang Chien-Chi's documentation of the migration of refugees from Western Asia to Central Europe. The Syrians refer to this chaotic displacement of people as “Azma”, also the title of the video work, in which the artist records a human experience, a seemingly endless one, among the Syrian refugees on their travels to Greece, and then via Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, to arrive in Graz, Austria where the artist lives. In the accompanying work Burma: The Promise Betrayed, Chang mourns the passing of Myanmar’s symbol of democracy- Aung San Suu Kyi, now the 1st State Counsellor of Myanmar. The people of Myanmar had hoped she would bring peace and end the Rohingya tragedy, however civil war rages on and believers of human rights are left feeling betrayed.
"Azma" (2017) Single-channel video, 12' 34" by Chang Chien-Chi. Image courtesy of the artist, Magnum Photos and Chi-Wen Gallery.
Pursuit of Inner Self
24 February 2018 - 8 April 2018
Korean artist Park Seo-Bo is widely considered one of the leading figures in contemporary Korean art. Credited as being the father of the ‘Dansaekhwa’ movement, he is best known for his ‘Ecriture’ series of mixed media paintings which he began in the late-1960s. The first solo exhibition of his work in Taiwan, 'Pursuit of Inner Self' includes artworks produced during the 90's to his most recent paintings from 2017. In Park’s ‘Ecriture’ paintings, he eliminates any form of gesture, focusing instead on a sense of dynamic continuity through repeated pencil lines incised into the painting’s monochrome surface.
Artist Park Seo-Bo in front of his ‘Ecriture’ paintings at the opening of "Pursuit of Inner Self". Image courtesy of Peng Yi-hang and Art Issue Projects.
Sea’ Sand’ Sun’ and Sculptures
24 March 2018 - 29 May 2018
Japanese artist Toru Kuwakubo’s work seeks to question the nature of artistic practice. As a means to explore contemporary art through the medium of painting, Kuwakubo adopted the persona of a fictional painter “Kuwoud Bonet”- a character inspired by the work of the Impressionists. Toru Kuwakubo’s solo exhibition “Sand’ Sea’ Sun’ and Sculpture,” will showcase not only his classic ‘Artists’ Studios’ paintings but his latest ‘Sculptors’ Studios’ series. Toru Kuwakubo's stacks his canvas with vibrant pigments in the classical style of Impressionists, but the scenes he depicts are imaginary beaches filled with whimsical art artefacts inspired by past masters of art history.
"Alexander Calder's Studio, Connecticut" (2017) by Toru Kuwakubo. Image courtesy of NUNU FINE ART.
Even though the future may be far away,
Even though saying goodbye needs not be at an airport,
If only you could describe a future.
11 March 2018 - 6 May 2018
Luo Jr-Shin, Chen Ching-Yuan, Jian Yi-Hong, Wang Shao-Gang, and Kuo Yuping
The latest exhibition at Michael Ku continues the gallery’s interest in promoting emerging young Taiwanese artists. The group show will see works from five young contemporary Taiwanese artists — Luo Jr-Shin, Chen Ching-Yuan, Jian Yi-Hong, Wang Shao-Gang, and Kuo Yuping — all of whom share artistic sympathies and inspire one another. From their works, viewers will gain insight into the ever-evolving disposition of Taiwan’s contemporary art scene, with works on show that span a variety of different media — including painting, video art, installation art, photography, and ink and wash painting — making for a diverse and engaging exhibition.
"Angels Relieve No Violence II" (2017) by Jian, Yi-Hong. Image courtesy of Michael Ku Gallery.
"In Budding, in Blooming, in Withering" (2017) by Luo Jr-shin. Image courtesy of Michael Ku Gallery.
Tomorrowland — Yuan Goang-Ming Solo Exhibition
3 March 2018 - 29 April 2018
Combining symbolic metaphors with technological media, Taiwan-born artist Yuan Goang-Ming's work expresses the state of contemporary existence, and explores the human mind and consciousness. His most recent solo exhibition "Tomorrowland" attempts to project an imaginary future that pivots around German philosopher Heidegger’s concept of “being-towards-death.” Drawing from personal experiences, Yuan Goang-Ming transforms the everyday into different viewing experiences. Since 2000, Yuan Goang -Ming's has taken to exploring cities and globalisation, from individual to social and global issues. His practice continues to delve into the question that confounds humanity: Why do we live? Why do we exist?
Tomorrowland (editions), 2018 Video installation Editions 1, 2, 3 of 5. Courtesy of the artist and TKG+ Gallery.
Visible or Invisible Forms
16 March 2018 – 29 April 2018
Chen Yujun, Qin Qi, and Xu Xiaogu
Exhibiting new works by three mainland Chinese artists born in the 1970s- Chen Yujun, Qin Qi, and Xu Xiaogu, "Visible or Invisible Forms" considers the multiple possibilities of conceptual painting in the context of Chinese contemporary art. This new breed of Chinese painters continue to explore and evolve within the techniques of figurative and abstract painting, rendering their emotions in visible and invisible forms on their canvases, filling them with abstraction or absurdity as they step away from the “similitude” of realism.
"Temporary Home NO.250326" (2015) by Chen Yujun. Acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts.
"The Order of Experiences 3" (2017) by Xu Xiaoguo. Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts.
The Naked Woman in Gold" (2017) by Qin Qi. Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts.
The Rebellion of Moving Image
3 March 2018 – 6 May 2018
Hsu Chia-Wei, Isaac Julien, John Akomfrah, Wu Tsan-Cheng, and Yael Bartana
“The Rebellion of Moving Image” brings to the MOCA Taipei the works of Taiwanese conceptual artists Hsu Chia-Wei and Wu Tsan-Cheng, Israeli artist Yael Bartana, Ghanaian-British filmmaker John Akomfrah and British installation artist Issac Julien. Led by independent curator Hsiang-Ning Huang, works in the show were all created based on real spaces, incidents, and texts, juxtaposed with audio-visual components that reference recurring themes of power structures, capital flows, population migration, religion and national powers. Here poetic expressions intervene with reality, and images are turned into tools of political interference, as “the future of the past” is suspended, reorganised, and reimagined with multi-image narratives formed within.
Installation view of "Ten Thousand Waves" (2018) by Isaac Julien. Image courtesy of the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.
Still image from two-channel video installation: 40 min 30 sec, "Auto Da Fé" (2016) by John Akomfrah. Image courtesy Lisson Gallery, London/New York and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.
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