In its 23rd year, Art Taipei 2016 focuses on increasing international cooperation.
Art Radar takes a look at some of the highlights from this year’s fair.
From 12 to 15 November Art Taipei 2016 will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center. This year, due to its collaboration with the Asia Pacific Gallery Association (APAGA), the fair is developing further cooperation with the art industry in the Asian-Pacific region.
This year there is a total of 150 galleries, 700 artists and 3,000 artworks. Attending Art Taipei are artist such as Japanese sculptor Katsuna Funakoshi, Indonesian contemporary artist Mangu Putra and Russian artist Zorikto Dorzhiev. In addition to the opportunity to meet numerous collectors, there will also be a number of lectures which will cover topics such as corporate collections and art sponsorship as well as private art museums and collections.
When asked in an interview with a.m. post if the fair was focusing more internationally, Rick Wang, Chairperson of Taiwan Art Gallery Association and Director of AKI Gallery, explained his thoughts on what it means to have an international perspective:
[Y]ou cannot regard something as ‘international’ by looking at the names of the galleries but by looking into the contents they present. In the last two years, there has been a year-to-year increase in the proportion of international art galleries participating in Art Taipei, and they have been judged by the content they exhibited. Therefore if galleries from Taiwan can match our expectation of international content, the number of local galleries will also increase.
Frontier and Future
The “Frontier and Future” section of the fair focuses on new media art and young emerging artists. There will be artists invited from a number of countries, representing innovative perspectives on art and creative practice.
One of the gallery highlights is Over the Influence, a Hong Kong gallery that supports radical and influential contemporary artists. At Art Taipei, the gallery will present Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda’s and contemporary street artist Invader’s works.
Invader’s work is influenced by the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, mosaics that create a distinct and recognisable style. According to the gallery, from 1998 Invader has been “invading” cities all over the world, placing his tiled pieces in certain locations and awarding himself points based on how difficult it has been to install the work. Invader explains that it is “the most addictive game I have ever played”.
Another gallery to watch is Vin Gallery from Vietnam. Founded in 2012 and led by Malaysian Curator and Director Shyevin S’ng, the gallery aims to spread awareness of modern and contemporary art from Southeast Asia. The Gallery is bringing Indonesian artist Heri Purwanto to Art Taipei.
Born in Banyumas in 1975, Heri Purwanto’s work portrays iconic objects with emotional complexity. While the seemingly escapist images create an attractive setting, Purwanto is also exploring challenges of contemporary society. He portrays this combined viewpoint when he asks, “When the earth is dead, shall we live in the clouds?”
Art Taipei 2016 is presenting a number of public artworks. These include Taiwanese contemporary artist Tzu-Kuey Hsu’s 12 Chinese Zodiac comical animal sculptures, brought by Lotus Art Gallery.
Another artist bringing life to strange creatures is contemporary artist Patricia Piccinini in her work The Welcome Guest. Piccinini, born in Freetown Sierra Leone and now based in Melbourne Australia, often creates seemingly realistic works that alter the natural being of her subjects.
In an essay by Basak Doga Temur Piccinini explains how artistic practice can change perceptions:
Something that art can do, and that makes it valuable, is that it can transport the viewer to somewhere new. It can create a new thing or experience that exists outside of the rules of global capital. I would like to make work that can be experienced as well as read. I believe that there is something out, a contemporary wilderness of some sort of hybrid natural/technological stuff, and I am interested in making art out of that. I try to create in my work a space that can pick up on a moment of compromised beauty, and enjoy the wonder of that without denying its flaws and fallacies.
Voice of Image
The newly established section “Voice of Image” explores the growing use of technology, photography and video in creative practices. “Voice of Image” features Korean photographer Seihon Cho’s black and white photography as well as Japanese photographer Kawashima Kotori and Japanese animator Tomoyasu Murata.
Japanese Gallery MoMo will be bringing Tomoyasu Murata’s animation works to the fair. The Gallery, established in 2003, is a space that encourages new young Japanese and international artists and curators. Principally, the gallery represents Japanese artists born in the 1970s and 1980s. Tomoyasu Murata is an alternative animator who specialises mainly in puppet movies.
CHINI Gallery Taipei is another gallery to watch that represents Taiwanese artists whose work merges eastern thought and classic western art techniques. From 2015 they have increasingly been focusing on the global art market. At Art Taipei, they will bring the work of Chinghui Chou, whose photographic work investigates the social realities around us. His vibrantly coloured images create vivid scenes and his work is influenced by his experience in documentary photography. In this way, he attempts to create stories with his pictures and explains that he wants “to make images that, just like words, relate stories by their very nature”.
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