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2020 Taiwan Biennial 'Subzoology' adopts human-animal relationship as main theme

  • Date:2020-10-13
2020 Taiwan Biennial 'Subzoology' adopts human-animal relationship as main theme

The 2020 Taiwan Biennial will take place at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMOFA) in Taichung from Oct. 17, 2020 through Feb. 28, 2021.

Adopting "Subzoology" as its main theme, the 2020 Taiwan Biennial revolves around the international issues concerning the human-animal relationship addressed by the scientific, artistic and philosophical scenes. Based on the ten dharma realms in the Diamond Sūtra and treating the 'Buddhist path of reincarnation into animals' as the point of departure, the curator seeks to encourage reflection on the long-term human plunderage and domination over natural creatures, stimulate public rumination about ecological and environmental issues, investigate the relations between humankind and other species in the post-pandemic era, and embody the spirit of the biennial, treating the ecology and environment well, according to an exhibition introduction by the museum.

Bringing together 49 emerging artists and groups, the exhibition curated by Yao Jui-chung (姚瑞中) covers seven subthemes: "Sacrifice and Salvation," "The Sub-history of Wildlife Trade," "Portrait of Unknown Heroes," "Laboratory/Operating Room/Specimen Room," "Festivals/Sandbanks/Green Coverage Ratio," "Beast Mimic/Tortured Beastnoid," and "Habitat/Zoo/National Park." 

The subthemes serve as points of entry for this year's biennial, and are a reminder to the public to reflect on the devastation that confronts all of beings on Earth, the acclaimed artist said in his curatorial statement.

In addition to performances, lectures, talks, and forums, viewers will be able to enjoy 201 paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, videos, animations, and artworks applying new media technologies, all of which are created by artists or artistic groups that have involved in environmental protection activities or social movements.

This year's biennial will expand its exhibit area to include two venues located in the outskirts of Taichung – Taichung Museum of Marine Ecology and the Daan Matsu Cultural Park. A satellite event in Taipei City as well as four collateral events in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Tainan, and Kaohsiung will be held in line with the biennial.

The NTMOFA has hosted the Taiwan Biennial since 2008, showcasing the richness of contemporary Taiwanese art every two years. Over the years, the event has evolved from a themed exhibition to a broad-scope and versatile display anchored by two curators – a departure from the existing framework applied by national exhibitions in Taiwan.

'Subzoology: 2020 Taiwan Biennial'
Date: Oct. 17, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021
Venue(s): National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung Museum of Marine Ecology, and Daan Matsu Cultural Park

Satellite Event
Date: Sept. 26 – Nov. 21, 2020
Venue: VT Artsalon
Address: B1, No. 17, Lane 56, Sec. 3, Xinsheng N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist. Taipei City

Collateral Events
Zoo of Inverted Forms: The Ultimate Other for Imagining Humanity
Date: Oct. 24 – Nov. 15, 2020
Venue: Waley Art
Address: No. 6, Lane 322, Wanhua Dist., Taipei City

Biàn-Tài Routes
Date: Oct. 22 – Nov. 22, 2020
Venue: Acid House
Address: No. 10, Alley 4, Lane 52, Sec. 2, Yonghe Rd., Yonghe Dist., New Taipei City

Date: Oct. 17– Dec. 14, 2020
Venue: Zit-Dim Art Space
Address: No. 84, Sec. 2, Yungfu Rd., Tainan City

Technological Metamorphosis
Date: Oct. 23, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021
Venue: Henan 8
Address: No. 8, Lane 170, Henan Rd., Lingya Dist., Kaohsiung City