Wednesday, 14 May 2014 02:24

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art

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YAO Jui-chung, The Disruptor of Subjectivity, 2000, 398 x 850 x 300 cm x15 pieces YAO Jui-chung, The Disruptor of Subjectivity, 2000, 398 x 850 x 300 cm x15 pieces Photos courtesy of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Exhibits

Spring 2014 heralded the arrival of new exhibitions at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art (NTMoFA), Asia's largest art museum. Complemented by workshops, seminars, and even a treasure hunt for children, exhibitions running from February to late May showcase Taiwanese art and illuminate the diverse artistic media used by today's Taiwanese artists.

From abstract paintings to mixed media installations; with March came the unveiling of “Tomorrow Comes Today,” winner of the 2014 Digiark Curatorail Exhibition. The exhibition (2014/3/8 – 2014/5/25) has been curated by Taiwan's Lee Yen-Yi, and features Japanese artists Hikari Fujii, Kosuke Ikeda, and artist collective Chim↑Pom. It begins with Japanese nuclear scientist Koide Hiroaki's words that: “what has occurred cannot be altered, but we can change the future,” and featured works form a dialogue between the destruction caused in Fukushima by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and the responses of Japan's government and people. Hikaru Fujii's “3.11 Art Documentation” charts artistic works created since March 2011 to explore art's response to unprecedented situations, while Kosuke Ikeda's “Ecosystem of Objects” finds art in the responses of ordinary people and the alternative power sources created from their tools.

Digital art took center stage in Wu I-Yeh's “Falling” exhibition (2014/3/22 – 2014/6/8). Wu I-Yeh is the second winner of NTMoFA's 2014 Digital Art Creation Competition Program, and his work was exhibited in the museum's Multi-Screen Display. Twelve televisions have been programmed by Wu to broadcast images of other television screens falling; when the virtual, falling televisions pass the base of the actual television, sound effects convey to observers that the televisions continue to fall. This is followed by a crash and shattering noise as, in the observers' mental picture, the televisions hit the ground. Utilising alternative forms of space – from the two dimensions of the actual screen, to the three-dimensional, virtual space of the televisions falling on-screen, to the “real space” of viewers – Wu creates digital art in the mental images of his audience.

“Days in Jiufen 1963-2006,” celebrates the Wong Ting-Hua's photographs of the landscapes of Jiufen (Ruifang district). The 1960s which marked the beginning of this artist's career also witnessed a realist movement in Taiwanese art; the effects of this movement and Wong's contribution to it are clear in the naturalistic camera angles which characterize Wong's portrayal of Jiufen. His photographs capture ethereal mountainous scenery, shrouded in mist, but also the inhabitants and people that over the decades came in increasing numbers to the originally isolated settlement. More than just aesthetic pieces, Wong's photographs form an unusual record of Taiwan's modern history.

The “Wonder of Fantacy: 2014 International Techno Art Exhibition (奇幻視界:2014國際科技藝術展) will be held between May 17th and August 3rd, 2014. This exhibition demonstrates a new social relationship created by digital art from the perspective of “Wonder of Fantasy.” Digital images are inextricably linked with us and the exhibition’s participating artists illustrate how our world approximates to a fantastic reality by overlapping, mixing and representing digital images. Chih-Yung Chiu and Alf Chang curate this exhibition, which leads us to a fantastic art world and reflects on the contemporary reality of the rapid mutual-infiltration of technology and life.

If one thing connects the diverse artists celebrated in the 2014 exhibitions, it is that they are all pioneers in their respective fields. Tying together various forms and subjects is “The Pioneers,” a series of exhibitions which, arranged by decade of the artist's birth from the 1930s onwards, highlights both the work of Taiwanese artists and the changes in Taiwanese style throughout the last century. March 22nd 2014 marked the “fifth grader” in the series of Taiwanese pioneers, or those born between 1961-1970. It is with the fifth graders that the contemporary period of Taiwanese Art History flourished, as these artists, beginning their careers in the 1980s and 90s and still active today, became part of the drive which brought new philosophies, aesthetics and forms to the Taiwanese art world. “The Pioneers” exhibition has been complemented by a series of talks under the same title, aimed at narrowing the gap between artist and audience. These talks (2014/04/13; 05/03; 05/25) invite leading figures in the Taiwanese art world, including curators Peng Jia-Huei and Chang Nicholas Cheng-Lin, and academics Sheng Kai (National United University) and Chiang Po-Shin (Tainan National University of the Arts), to speak to and answer questions from attendees.

The NTMoFA has twin aims: one eye focused on outstanding works of the last century, one eye remains trained on the provision for art in the future. The museum promotes education about the arts through workshops and training sessions including the “Young Art Ambassadors-Training Program” and “Gallery Workshop Program,” and encourages aspiring artistic talents through generous competition schemes including the “Young Artist Collection Program.” The museum is therefore as much a contributor to the future of Taiwanese art as it is an exhibitor of works already created.  

For more information, see the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts website at:

WONG Ting-Hua, A Diligent Life 1963, Silver Halide Photo Paper 59.8x40.7 cm

 KUO Tong-Jong, The Changing World, No.71 50F 2013

“Tomorrow Comes Today,” winner of the 2014 Digiark Curatorail Exhibition: Japanese artists Hikari Fujii, Kosuke Ikeda, and artist collective Chim↑Pom


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