The 11th Taipei Biennial takes the title of “Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem”.

The Taipei Biennial 2018, opening on 17 November, will explore the ever-changing nature of an ecosystem and how this is reflected in artistic and institutional practice.

2018 Taipei Biennial Co-Curators, Mali Wu (left) and Francesco Manacorda (right). © Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

2018 Taipei Biennial Co-Curators, Mali Wu (left) and Francesco Manacorda (right). © Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Experimenting with the notion of an ecosystem and its model, the co-curators will reconsider the museum and how it functions, as well as how the physical space of an institution can be transcended and transformed through an exhibition expanding beyond its architectural space and conceptual framework. While exhibitions, in their most conventional form, grow quickly, occupy a limited time frame and have a limited reach, museums instead develop slowly, and attempt to respond carefully to their environment (and audiences) in order to preserve their longevity.

The Taipei Biennial 2018 explores ways in which exhibitions can function as a catalyst for growth and expansion of a museum beyond its architectural and conceptual boundaries, leaving them open to “constant ecosystemic transformation, osmosis and growth”. The Biennial, focusing particularly on the notion of “reciprocal dependency”, will engage with different ecosystemic models to understand how this form of working leads to a “holistic common good”.

Huang Hsin-Yao, 'Contact Prints of Pai-leng Canal', 2018, single channel video. © Huang Hsin-Yao. Image courtesy the artist and Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Huang Hsin-Yao, ‘Contact Prints of Pai-leng Canal’, 2018, single channel video. © Huang
Hsin-Yao. Image courtesy the artist and Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), serving as the node of the Biennial, will transform into a “platform for multi-disciplinary discussion”, reaching outside of the architectural limits of the exhibition, and integrating works of art with media and approaches from other disciplines. “Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem” will feature new commissioned artworks and existing works,  as well as documentary film, the sciences, urban planning, architecture, pedagogy and activism. The Taipei Biennial will also generate new knowledge through workshops, events and research forums. As the curators explain in their statement,

The idea of engaging with the museum as an ecosystem can be deconstructed into three key levels: at its most basic, the museum is a building which can optimise its use of energy and manage its relationship to immediate environmental issues; it is also a social actor, which can engage with and become integrated in its local community and culture; and on a global level, the museum can work to promote interdependency and collaborative efforts between divergent fields and institutions alike. It is the assertion of the curators of Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem that, in the spirit of the avant-garde, museums are well placed to offer new models and holistic ways to rethink their systemic alignment. […] Engaging in an institutional critique and forming innovative solutions to new and developing problems through its very structure, this biennial aims to investigate how the museum as an institution exists as, and within, a social, cultural, economic and political ecosystem.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: biennials, museum exhibitions, art in Asia, events in Taipei, curatorial practice, news

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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