Taiwan's culture of freedom will be showcased through the arts at the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore from Oct. 28, 2018 through Nov. 1, 2019 as part of an ongoing cultural diplomacy initiative by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Offering 41 art pieces by 36 contemporary Taiwanese artists from the Taiwan Art Bank collection, "Taiwan in Full Blossom" is curated with the guiding principles of French impressionist artist Édouard Manet, who once said "one must be of one's time and paint what one sees."
Taiwan’s distinct geographical location and geopolitical history have made it a land of freedom, openness, and diversity. Freedom of expression makes it possible for artists to offer social criticism, explore their cultural roots, and reflect upon this era. That, along with artists' bold exploration of new art forms and media, has given birth to diverse and exciting development in Taiwan's contemporary arts.
For example, Ho Huey-chih's (賀蕙芝) still life "Yushan" is a realistic and detailed depiction of the ecological richness of Taiwan's highest mountain, while Tang Jo-jung’s (黨若洪) oil painting "Go Ahead! Make a Mess" celebrates the different cultures that shine and thrive on this island.
The exhibition will also pay tribute to Taiwan's indigenous heritage with Meika Walis' (美卡．瓦歷斯) "The Silhouette of Hunters," E-val Malinjinnan's (依法兒瑪琳奇那) "Mouth-harp Under the Moon," Iyo Kacaw's () "Becoming a Real Ocean People?" and Liou Mei-yi's (劉美怡) "Ka'eso." Their portrayal of aboriginal symbols and emotions can be seen as a reflection on the relevance of traditional indigenous cultures to the current world.
Expressions from global pop culture are also borrowed to convey the psychological complexity of contemporary urban life, as seen in "The Cleavage Development Program 1," where Liao Yu-an (廖堉安) creates cartoon-like pop art using washi tape and acrylic paint. Such commitment to breakthroughs in media, skills, and concepts now drive Taiwan's contemporary arts.
Lee Kai-chen's (李凱貞) "An Autumn Afternoon," Tsai Shih-mei's (蔡式媚) "Gentle Breeze," and Hsu Wen-te's (許文德) "Amidst The Reeds" are good examples of how artists depict Taiwan's landscapes and seasons with unconventional brushwork and composition, and how they are connected to locality. Meanwhile, Chang Yung-chung's (張永村) "Chinese Brush Painting Installation" and Hsu Chun-wei's (許君瑋) "Mimicry" give ink wash painting a new look by incorporating contemporary installation art and characteristics of this era.
Rich natural and cultural heritage and a social climate of freedom and democracy have endowed Taiwanese artists with the readiness to embrace openness and change. In an era where differences co-exist, these artists ― with their sensitivity, creativity, and determination ― are showing the world how the Taiwanese way of life is imbued with an incredible history and a vibrant contemporary culture.
‘Taiwan in Full Bloom—Contemporary Arts of Taiwan’