Taipei Cultural Center in New York opens [和heʼ] Contemporary Art Exhibition

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Taipei Cultural Center in New York opens [和heʼ] Contemporary Art Exhibition
For Lee Jo-Mei it is the wayfarer, caught in the chance encounter of a King Palm shadow that leads her onto a path of Japanese Imperialism and American Bombings in Taiwan.

NEW YORK, NY.- On view from May 18th to June 22nd, 2018, the Taipei Cultural Center at TECO-NY is presenting a group show, titled [和heʼ], 和 in Mandarin Chinese can be translated into, among other things, “with”, “harmonious”, “peace”, “unity”, and ”understanding”.

[和heʼ] presents a diverse collection of mediums including photography, videography, art installation, and sculpture. Curated by FOGSTAND Gallery & Studio, the contemporary art exhibition features 9 artists from five countries: Chang En-Man, Lee Jo-Mei, Lin Jin-Da (Taiwan), Joo Choon Lin, Chun Kai Feng (Singapore), Song-Yun Kim (Korea), Fiona Burke (Ireland), Samuel Weinburg, and Brandon Cramm (USA). These artists each put forward different reflections on different contemporary cultural issues such as geographical location, social environment and identity in response to the trend of globalization.

Artists Lee Jo-Mei, Song-yun Kim, Fiona Burke and Chun Kaifeng all practice the certain “aesthetics of disappearance” where fidelity is obtained at the cost of the artist’s visibility in the outcomes. For Lee Jo-Mei it is the wayfarer, caught in the chance encounter of a King Palm shadow that leads her onto a path of Japanese Imperialism and American Bombings in Taiwan. For both Fiona Burke and Song-yun Kim it is the environments of the pictorial image made possible by the alienation of the viewer from any sense of common/trained inhabitable cues, common to representational arts, resulting in a kind of iconoclasm. For Chun Kaifeng it is an embodiment of his home—Singapore—and the ways it is compressed into denser historical referents due to the lack of available expansion. In result, the work is cornered and, ultimately, becomes more about the properties of the corner than that which finds itself in such a location.

Both Brandon Cramm and Chang En-Man find vital commonality in the shared space of the Taiwan Academy. One being about the perpetuation of characterizing a mythological creature famous to Dungeon & Dragons (the Beholder) by the lack of any real, while the other concerned with a challenged sovereignty of indigenous Taiwanese by changing regulations and laws concerning accessing spaces (homeland) and enacting traditional practices (hunting). For example in Chang En-Man’s film, a single law passed that undoes the freedom to step on land otherwise home to a people for thousands of years or, in the case of Brandon Cramm’s film, a provisional anatomical feature made canon by the simple act of imagining into being so.

Lin Jin-Da “The Platform Movie” exists in its own space, relating less to any other artists work, and more to another environment it now finds itself in, specifically the large windows of the Taiwan Academy that look out onto another series of passing busses, people and clocks that adorn the nearby buildings. The only thing that remains consistent is the careful observation Lin Jin-Da makes on his viewers as they themselves wait to see what unfolds in his video installations.

Samual Weinberg and Joo Choon Lin, who both create sticky mythologies that invite their viewers to leave their current affiliations and enter into their labyrinthian visual systems that demands certain conformity to their ever shifting phantasmagoria. Choon Lin’s installation and video art work “The Blinking Organism X You SPLEEN Me” represent her philosophical interest in the nature of reality which might be summarized in terms of the philosophers’ longstanding investigation into the relations between appearance and essence. Samual Weinberg’s paintings depict strange, uncertain narratives where relationships are tentative and seemingly connected events refuse to acknowledge if they indeed are. Samual’s oil paintings that follow the travels and travails of the "Pink Man (Men)", are assisting elements that seem to have emerged from the painting’s world into our own and are ostensibly physical evidence of the painting’s events, while display the interplay between fiction and reality.

To end with a quotation by Yoko Ono—“Make less sense and you make more sense”—both Samual Weinberg and Joo Choon Lin recollect our vision under the shared strain to make sense out of what at first appears senseless. By transgressing the concept of nationality and the boundary of artistic discipline, the show [和heʼ] embodies the vigor of Taiwanese contemporary art, as well as highlight the multicultural, inclusive and innovative spirit of Taiwan in relation to its geographical position in East Asia.

FOGSTAND Gallery & Studio is a non-profit art space and creative education center located in Hualien, Taiwan since May, 2014. FOGSTAND aims to promote and exhibit rigorous creative projects that maintain the ability to channel into a broader emphasis on creative education throughout eastern Taiwan. Attentive to its unique context, FOGSTAND’s primary focus is on bringing contemporary creative practices into a reciprocal exchange with local aboriginal communities.

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