Taiwan in Full Bloom—Contemporary Arts of Taiwan


Taiwan in Full Bloom—Contemporary Arts of Taiwan

4-13 Oct 2019

SOTA Gallery

1 Zubir Said Dr, Singapore 227968

Taiwan’s distinct geographical location and geopolitical history have made it a land of freedom, openness, and diversity. Contemporary Taiwanese artists are getting inspiration from and expressing themselves freely on the island, doing exactly what the great Impressionist artist Édouard Manet said: “one must be of one's time and paint what one sees.” Freedom of expression makes it possible for artworks to address and to be interpreted from the aspects of social criticism, cultural roots-seeking, and reflection of the time—which were once deemed as taboos. That, along with artists’ bold exploration of new art forms and media, has given birth to diverse and exciting Taiwanese contemporary arts.


The diversity of Taiwan’s arts is embodied in the 31 pieces by 25 contemporary Taiwanese artists exhibited at SOTA Gallery. For example, Ho Huey-Chih’s Yushan, In the form of a still life, is a realistic and detailed depiction of the ecological environment of Yushan (Mount Yu). Full of bright colors and brimming with details, it showcases Taiwan’s ecological richness. However, Tang Jo-Hung’s Go Ahead! Make a Mess stands in stark contrast. In a liberating environment, chaos and noisiness are the norm, though they could sometime be disruptive to growth. The seemingly disruptive mass of restlessness conveyed by Tang’s disorderly representations of various cultures is actually a playful anticipation of recomposition and rebirth.



As Taiwan embraces diversity and tolerance, especially in a time when there are increasing exchanges all over the world, different cultures shine and thrive on the island. Meika Walis’s The Silhouette of Hunters, E-val Malinjinnan’s Mouth-harp Under the Moon, Liou Mei-Yi’s Ka’eso, and Iyo Kacaw’s Becoming a Real Ocean People? are the portrayal of these aboriginal artists’ cultural symbols and emotions and their reflections on the relevance of traditional indigenous cultures to the current world.


Global mass culture has also livened up Taiwan's contemporary art landscape. In his The Cleavage Development Program 1, Liao Yu-An creates pop-art, cartoon-like visual effect using washi tape and colorful acrylic paint. Expressions from pop culture are borrowed to convey people’s psychological complexes in contemporary urban life.


On the beautiful island amidst blue, vast oceans, there’s greenery, distinct seasons, and diverse cultures. Rich natural and cultural heritage and a social climate of freedom and democracy have endowed Taiwanese artists with the readiness to embrace openness and variety in their creation. In an era where differences co-exist, artists - with their sensitivity, unique life experience, creativity and determination to execute their ideas - have shown the world the Taiwanese way of life that is imbued with an incredible history and a vibrant contemporary culture.