Taipei Biennial 2023 Features Works From 20 Cities, 58 artists, musicians

Wang Wei, Mirror, 2023, mosaic tiles. Courtesy of the Artist and Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

TAIPEI, Nov 18: The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) today opened the 13th edition of the Taipei Biennial, which will run till March 24, 2023 and feature works from 20 cities comprising 58 local and international artists and musicians under the title of “Small World”.

This will transform the museum into a space of listening, gathering, and improvising through life experience and aesthetic perception, a statement issued by TFAM on Friday said.

The event is co-curated by independent curator Freya Chou, director and curator of Beirut Art Centre Reem Shadid, and New York-based senior writer and editor Brian Kuan Wood.

The three curators explained the theme of “Small World” in the statement.

“During the pandemic lockdowns, residents of Jalandhar in northern India were suddenly able
to see the Himalayas after decades of traffic pollution dissipated from the air.

“The sight of nearby mountain peaks reflected what many were discovering in their private lives: in a
shrinking world, the nearest things can appear unfamiliar. It was as if a spell had been broken,
clearly exposing what had surrounded us the whole time, but also adding a strange new reality
where politics and technology switch places, emotion and automation merge, identity and space,
war and friendship, celebration and catastrophe, tension and release, death and life, all become
interchangeable in the small world.

“Small World,” the title of the Taipei Biennial 2023, suggests both a promise and a threat: a
promise of greater control over one’s own life, and a threat of isolation from a larger community.
Our world can become smaller as we grow closer to one another, but also as we grow apart, and
“Small World” takes place within such a suspended state.”

The three curators express that, ‘the small world asks if our fear and mistrust of each other is actually a hidden desire for something else.’

Spanning artworks on display in the galleries, musical performances, research and art projects
by artists-in-residence, workshops, public programmes, an online journal, a cinema programme
and a music room with live events across the duration of the biennial programmed by three
hosts; dj sniff, Julian Abraham “Togar” & Wok the Rock and TingShuo Hear Say, the “Small
World” is an invitation to reorder our relationship with our surroundings.

Among the artists, Beijing-based artist Wang Wei greets visitors to the Biennial with a large free-standing wall dividing the museum’s entry corridor in half with images made of mosaic tiles, each mirroring
the view that the audience sees behind them. Lai Chih-Sheng focuses enormous attention on a
public toilet on the second floor of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, rendering the large exhibition
space outside as a waiting room for the bathroom by adding a battalion of consumer fans, wildly
exaggerating the oppressive convenience and arctic air conditioning of museum spaces.

Hong Kong artist Nadim Abbas’s specially commissioned installation of a massive “semiconductor
sandbox” arises from his interest in issues of scalability and microchip and circuit board
architecture and their geostrategic imprint, and stands alongside philosopher Paul Virilio’s
famous snapshots of ruined Nazi bunkers along France’s coastline in the 1960s.

Pio Abad’s family is Ivatan, an ethnic group native to the Batanes islands of the northern
Philippines and related to the Yami (Tao) people of Taiwan’s Lanyu island, and his
commissioned work for the Taipei Biennial 2023 renders Ivatan poetry, known as laji, as a large
floor sculpture.

Ipeh Nur’s film reflects on the local communities of Indonesia’s traditional maritime culture and their tensions with the government’s large projects to protect the coastline from rising seas. ility of his own daily life.

Jun-Jieh Wang, Director of Taipei Fine Arts Museum described the Biennial as a significant platform that helps Taiwan to stay in sync with global contemporary art.

“The Biennial affords us a glimpse into the larger reality through the lens of refreshing and inspiring ideas. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, we are dedicated to connecting Taiwanese art with the world, and fostering the exchange and conversation between the visitors across the world through a series of diverse and open-minded presentations and public programmes.”

For more details on participants and the latest information on the Taipei Biennial 2023, please visit its official website, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram (Taipei Fine Arts Museum).