The 11th edition of the Taipei Biennial opened to the public last week at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Co-curated by Mali Wu and Francesco Manacorda, the exhibition will see a list of 42 individual and group participants from 19 countries until exhibition closes on 10 March 2019 . As for the theme? Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem focuses on the ecosystemic structures formed between humans and nature and aims to be a platform for socials experimentation and a myriad of interdisciplinary possibilities.
Ping Lin, Director of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, adds that “This year’s Taipei Biennial also considers imminent issues, including environmental and survival concerns for human beings that arise from recognising our past identities, the onset of political and global financial crises, as well as advanced information and technology developments.” Through speculation and experimentation in contemporary art, the participating individuals and groups can explore how humans can ensure the longevity of humanity in this current era.
The robust line-up showcases not only visual artists, but also activists, filmmakers, architects, NGOs, and other non-visual artists. Some names include Ruangsak Anuwatwimon, Martha Atienza, Au Sow-Yee, Ursula Biemann, Alexey Buldakov, Huai-Wen Chang+Mas (Micro Architecture Studio), Ting-Tong Chang, Laila Chin-Hui Fan, Futurefarmers, and Tue Greenfort. Highlight presentations include Anuwatwimon’s Anthropocene (2018), a rolling landscape comprising twenty coloured and overlapping mounds of polluted soil collected from across Taiwan — diving into issues of ethics and human morality regarding regional land.
Vivian Suter, who lives and works in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, has produced a new series of response paintings at a tea plantation in the Lala Mountain of Taiwan, influenced by rain, wind, mud, plants, and insects. Similarly, sound artist Laila Chin-Hui Fan will present Yuanshan Sound Walk, a sensory experience guided by herself along the original path of Scenery Near Yuanshan, a painting created in 1928 by Taiwanese artist Kuo Hsueh-Hu.
Malaysia’s Au Sow-Yee will exhibit A Love Story of Life and Death: Coconut Forest, Belle of Penang, and Intelligence Agent (2018), a three-channel video and sound installation that humorously mimics the Southern Pavilion from the 1935 Taiwan Exposition. Designed as a film set, the work charts Taiwan’s colonial history through an unlikely romance between a missing intelligence agent and the ‘Belle of Penang’.
In a new iteration of Inverted Tree (Reflected), Henrik Hakkanson’s ongoing piece at the entrance of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the artist has suspended a local tree upside down, appropriating the Duchampian concept of transferring non-art into art space. Here, the tree has become a sculpture, with its branches reflected endlessly in mirrors above and below its crown, looking into the human relationship to and exploitation of nature.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
No. 181 Zhongshan N. Road Sec. 3, Taipei
17 November 2018 — 10 March 2019