2021 ART TAIPEI: A Shift in the Exhibitor Structure

Oct 19, 2021 7:38AM

A Shift in the Exhibitor Structure, ART TAIPEI 2021’s Changes Corresponding with the Pandemic

Since 1992, ART TAIPEI has been held by Taiwan Art Gallery Association (TAGA) for 27 consecutive years (2021 will be the 28th year running). In the past 28 years, ART TAIPEI has been an important art exchange platform for Taiwan and even the Asia-Pacific region, constantly reflecting the international situations and the art market in the region and making corresponding adjustments and changes at each year’s fair. In 2021, when the globe is still facing the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, international travel remains difficult, and shipping transport costs have been on the rise. These changes have all been reflected on ART TAIPEI 2021, shaping a completely different ART TAIPEI.

For ART TAIPEI 2021, the first interesting change is the shift in exhibitor structure. Based on the success of ART TAICHUNG 2020 and ART TAIPEI 2020, Taiwanese galleries and those of neighboring countries felt that Taiwan was relative safe and stable, thus establishing a confidence on trading in the Taiwan art market. ART TAIPEI 2021 has 124 exhibitors in attendance, which is an important result for the Asia-Pacific region in the age of the COVID pandemic. The 92 Taiwanese exhibitors converging at the event also demonstrate TAGA’s power to call upon and bring together the Taiwanese visual art sector.

Selected attending galleries and works

In 1982, Asia Art Center was founded by Thomas, Duen Lang LEE in Taipei, Taiwan. Asia Art Center has broadened the field of “overseas Chinese” by digging out artists who left China during World War II; centered on the Fifth Moon Group and the Eastern Art Association that surged in Taiwan in the late 1950s, our managing realm of modern art has furthered to include Nanyang Style of Southeast Asia.

Chen LI is one of the renown Taiwanese artists from Asia Art Center. Lord of Wind is going to be exhibited in ART TAIPEI 2021 — its ink black body becomes an air bag, afloat and full of energy. It rides on the wind, travels as the wind breathes, and views the earth from above. Bringing significant transformation to the traditional impression of the Lord of Wind who holds an air bag, Chen LI has forged something outside the classical. Through contemporary sculptural qualities and shapes, he re-interprets the image of Lord of Wind whose atmosphere and spirit convey innate perfection beyond words.

Asia Art Center, Chen LI, Lord of Wind, Bronze, Sculpture, 2008

Double Square Gallery established in 2015, Taipei, is an art space that emphasis on the promotion of art, curatorial practice, publishing, research and art collection services as its core values. The name Double Square (in Chinese also meaning double sides) is taken from the two rectangular spaces configuration that created the Gallery space, it is at the same time, the expression of the physical space and the conceptual value of the gallery.

Double Square Gallery will exhibit the artworks of the artist, Yung-Hsu Hsu. His works combine with the heavy essence of clay into extremely light and soft lines and shapes. Hsu continues to challenge himself with the large and thin works that are rare in clay artworks and expects himself to surpass the boundaries on his life and art paths.

Double Square Gallery, Yung-Hsu HSU, 2015

In 1989, ESLITE GALLERY was founded by Mr. Robert C.Y. Wu along with the Eslite bookstore in Taipei. It was the first to dedicate itself to contemporary and modern Chinese art in Taiwan. Since the Impressionism, ideas and works in art creation are the extraction of contemporary cultural spirit or the cultural prophecy of the next generation. A series of displayed works are the artist in Photographic Realism, Yen-Wei LIN's portrayals of cement animal sculptures and plastic toy animals, which he captured by the camera, then depicted on the canvas to show their bulgy eyes, weathered bodies and protruding lines running down the center of their faces in extreme details. With his work, Lin proposes an amalgamated artistic language to engender a discourse on multiple levels.

ESLITE Gallery, Yen-Wei LIN, Is it You No.42021

Mind Set Art Center is honored to present the latest wok of 14 artists at the Galleries section of ART TAIPEI 2021. The artworks in the exhibit revolve around two themes, “imagination” and “representation”. From these two perspectives, the artists ponder upon the format, development and spirit of contemporary painting. They also explore the changing role of “human” and “object” in paintings in an effort to seek a deeper understanding of the imagination and representation, the real and the fictional.

Wei-Hsiang LIN portrays seascape on the coast of Yilan County and the Guishan Island in his 4-meter-wide landscape work, Clouds in the Past Moved Slowly. He has filled the frame with his memories, images and inner thoughts, and added hues, light and shades from different moments of the day and from different seasons. With his exquisite brush strokes, LIN managed to craft a familiar yet foreign landscape with multilayered atmosphere.

Mind Set Art Center, Wei-Hsiang LIN, Clouds in the Past Moved Slowly2021

InART Space, hidden in a historic alley in Tainan, has immersed itself exclusively in contemporary and modern art since 2007. InART Space is renovated from a historical building and it combines the past and the present by retaining architectural features and embracing modern aesthetics. In the booth of InART Space, the classic artworks of Tzu-Chi YEH are exhibited. The mountains and waters of Hualien touched him a lot. Tzu-Chi YEH uses his unique method and contemporary realistic imagery to depict the spiritual landscape imprinted in his heart.

InART Space, Tzu-Chi YEH, Mountains by Lao River, Hualien2014-2021

UP Gallery solely dedicated to exhibiting photography and moving-image works, established in 2009, Hsinchu. UP Gallery, in short of Uniquephoto Gallery, introduced the concept of editions and seek to enhance the value of photography in Taiwan ever since its establishment. The gallery believes the value in a photograph has unique potential. Uniqueness and progression lead to one direction: UP, which is the gallery’s core value.

The artist, Yi-Chia LIAO, utilized an autobiographical style, twenty-two important life events are presented as final images and produced digitally. Each theme in the images begins with analogue photographs. They range from when the artist was a month old (the first image that instills self-recognition), and extends to important figures: his classmates, coworkers, parents, wife and children. These photographs are then incorporated into an image of moving water passing through stones: the stones embed memories, and water represents the passage of time, a continuous flow that trickles through the analogue photographs.

UP Gallery, Yi-Chia LIAO, Learning, 2013

The changes in the exhibitor structure at ART TAIPEI not only reflect the general phenomenon in global trade and cultural exchange in the age of the pandemic, but perhaps also display the results of this phase as the Taiwanese visual art sector explores and ruminates. The awareness, understanding and appreciation, and even the consumption of art and culture are all long-term processes. While Taiwan accepts and accommodates the various cultures of the world, it has also absorbed the features of these cultures in the past decades, to bring about Taiwan’s unique culture style today. Through the exhibits put on by ART TAIPEI, the Taiwanese public can, in one go, get a summary of how in recent years, Taiwanese artists have expressed Taiwan’s unique aesthetic perspectives in the arena of international cultural exchange.