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'Yes, Taiwan' kicks off

As part of the its ongoing commitment to document and promote the rich history of Taiwan's fine arts, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立臺灣美術館) is holding the third edition of “Yes, Taiwan — 2012 Taiwan Biennial” (台灣報到-2012台灣美術雙年展) from now until Jan. 6, 2013.

Serving as a platform for all Taiwanese artists to exchange views and discuss the current state of Taiwanese contemporary art, the 2012 biennial takes an inclusive approach, embracing diverse art practices by local artists of various generations and cultural backgrounds across a wide range of themes, styles, media and scales.

Produced by 39 Taiwanese artists and teams, the 103 artworks exhibited in the exhibition are classified into five categories: “Artists' Reflections” (藝術體悟), “Exploring the Everyday” (探索日常), “Addressing Social Issues” (社會對應), “Evolving Traditions” (傳統演繹) and “Interdisciplinary Collaboration” (集結聯動), embodying some of the key characteristics of Taiwan's visual arts in the past two years.

Among all the artists and teams, 22 were invited to exhibit their works, whereas the other 17 were selected from an open, nationwide call for submissions.

Asked about the selection process, curator Pan Hsien-jen (潘顯仁) explained that in addition to the nearly 2,000 visual artworks collected by the museum for research purposes, he also made an open call to artistic creators from all over the country for artwork submissions for the biennial. “By exhibiting various artworks produced by Taiwanese artists over the past two years, we seek to reassess Taiwan's artistic ecology and redefine Taiwanese art,” he said.

“Seeing young artists use different materials to create their artworks, I realized the importance of innovation. Rather than retiring from my post as an artist, I chose to join their conversation by creating new artworks in response to changes in the environment,” said 84-year-old artist Chu Wei-bor (朱為白). “To me, creating is like adventuring. Through making artworks, I discovered the freedom and truths of life.”

Artists' Reflections

This first exhibition area, “Artists' Reflections,” collects works, mostly paintings, which reflect the artists' individual stories as well as their long quest for the right aesthetics. While some of the artists seek to explore the form, pictorial structure and color tension of their paintings, others regard art as a means of pursuing spirituality, keeping their works simple and minimal.

Works displayed in this section include Shi Song's (奚淞) “Journey of the Heart” (心路), Chen Yin-huei's (陳銀輝) “Relishes of the Hindu Temple” (印度廟情趣), and Liu Keng-i's (劉耿一) “Liberty” (自由的飛翔).

Exploring the Everyday

As exploring themes of daily life and the ordinary has become one of the most important artistic trends in Taiwan over the past few years, artists address issues of social values, relationships and experience through their works. By revealing the visual complexities of the ordinary world, works displayed in this section keep contesting the boundaries between art and everyday reality.

“Having lived in Taipei for more than 20 years, I've seen the changes made to this city for its development. In order to present Taipei as the capital of Taiwan in different forms, I used high-power projectors to project on buildings and walls images in motion to symbolize the dialogue between the images and the urban environment,” said Ho Wei-ming (何尉民), whose work, “The Art-Qaeda Project,” (藝術蓋達計畫) is currently exhibited in this section.

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