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- Organizer : National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
- Contact Us : +886 4 23723552 #302
- Ticket Details : free
- Opening Times : 2023.04.15. 09:00-2023.12.31 18:00
Art in Our Time: NTMoFA Collection Highlights is specially curated for the NTMoFA’s 35th anniversary, featuring iconic works from different periods of the museum's collection and art history research topics. The displays and themes showcase the developmental trajectory of NTMoFA’s research preference, the history of the museum’s collection, and the curatorial perspective throughout the different periods of Taiwan’s art history.
This exhibition is sectioned into four themes, each displaying classic works from the museum’s collection from different periods: “The Roots and Transformation of Taiwanese Art,”“The Exploration and Experimentation in Taiwanese Modern Art,”“The Statements and Themes of Contemporary Art,” and “From Murmuring to Probing into History.”The topics introduce the NTMoFA’s stylistic research and trace the roots of Taiwanese art while showcasing contemporary ink art, iconic modern works and pieces from the Governor-General Art Exhibition, contemporary Taiwanese art, works by young artists, as well as the curatorial themes and issues on digital art form the museum’s collection. This exhibition series hope to guide visitors on a tour of the development and iconic works across the century-long history of Taiwanese art while encouraging a deeper understanding of the NTMoFA’s mission and role in art.
Theme I. The Roots and Transformation of Taiwanese Art
The NTMoFA’s collection focuses on constructing the subjectivity of Taiwanese art, as well as the various transformations of artistic styles throughout different periods of history. The museum started a series of thematic art research projects in the second year after opening to the public, and some of the results art further presented as exhibitions. These research themes align with the museum’s collection and are mostly separated by different historical periods and focus on tracing the stylistic origins of each art genres and (re)definition of Taiwanese art. . Notable projects and exhibitions include Four Decades of Chinses Landscape Painting in Taiwan, The “Regional Flavor” of Art in Taiwan During the Japanese Colonial Era, Transformation of Modernity–The Regional Vision of the Modernism During the Japanese Colonial Era, and The River of Art Meanders–Tracing the Origin of Taiwan Art from 1736-1969. These exhibitions feature the research topics about the art style studies on traditional Chinese calligraphy and paintings, Eastern gouache paintings from Japan, Western oil paintings, and its transformation of art forms and new contexts from the multiple perspectives of cross-cultural influences and dynamic experimentation by Taiwanese artists.
Theme II. The Exploration and Experimentation in Taiwanese Modern Art
The development of Taiwan’s modern art sprouted in the 50s. Different from the styles of traditional Chinese paintings, gouache paintings or oil paintings during the Japanese Rule, the artistic breakthroughs in terms of form, concept, and techniques of artists who advocated for Taiwan's modern art resulted in an emphasis on freedom and liberation. The New Art magazine of the 50s, as well as artists including Li Chun-Shan, Ho Tie-Hua, Ju Teh-Chun, and CHUANG Shih-Ho, all propelled the modern art movement, and the establishment of modern art groups such as the Ton Fan Group, Fifth Moon Group, and the Modern Prints Association during the late 50s also expanded horizons for the development of Taiwan’s modern art.
This area mainly features Modernism, abstract paintings, as well as modern art and early contemporary artworks impacted by Western styles between the 60s and 90s. Displays include two of NTMoFA’s representative modern art donations of Li Chun-Shan and Shiy De-Jinn, as well as iconic works of artists who were prominent figures in the development of Taiwan’s modern art and members of the Fifth Moon Group and the Ton Fan Group, such as Liu Kuo-Sung, Chin Sung, Shiao Chin, Hsia Yang, Lee Shi-Chi, Chu Wei-Bor, and Ho Kan. This section also showcases experimentations and innovations in the medium, form, concept, and technology in visual art during the 60s and 70s through the museum’s series of modern prints collection, research, as well as the NTMoFA’s opening exhibition Installation Art Exhibition: Media, Environment, Installation. Not only did these explorations on artistic form rose during the post-war 70s and 80s, but the breakthroughs and experiments on artistic concepts also fueled Taiwan’s contemporary art.
Theme III. The Statements and Themes of Contemporary Art in Taiwan
As the NTMoFA’s positioning went through a transition in 1999, the museum presented a large-scale performance art project: Bombing the Taiwan Province Museum of Art, an over-fifty-second-long explosion performance took place in the interiors and exteriors of the museum, declaring its determination of “no destruction, no construction.” Meanwhile, the museum started to include Taiwanese contemporary art in its collection. This was also the beginning of the NTMoFA’s new chapter of curators, as well as changes in the ecology of contemporary art exhibitions. These contemporary artworks took bold stances in directly challenging topics previously viewed as taboos, such as old systems, politics, society, and gender, critiquing, discussing, and making various statements on the issues and phenomena of Taiwan society. Compared with modern artworks, which experimented with style through the revolutions of form, contemporary art expanded its horizons to include more mixed media and multifaceted forms and subject matters, emphasizing social issues, individual declarations, and ideologies.
Featured in this section are important contemporary artworks from the museum’s collection, including Cai Guo-Qiang’s 1998 work "No Destruction, No Construction: Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art" , as well as works by artists including Guo Jen-Chang, Hou Chun-Ming, Yang Mao-Lin, Mei Dean-E, Chen Chieh-Jen, Yuan Guang-Ming, Wu Tien-Chang, and Ni Tsai-Chin. After 2004, the NTMoFA went through reconstruction and reopening. In 2005, the “Young Artist Collections” featured works by mid-career and up-and-coming artists. The museum also endeavored to link Taiwan’s contemporary art with the world by collaborating with overseas art institutions (overseas exhibitions), or by positioning the art of Taiwan amid the larger context of Asian culture, while art biennials and international platforms that appeared after 2007 also encouraged the multifaceted nature of the museum’s Taiwanese contemporary art collection. Art in Our Time: NTMoFA Collection Highlights gives a systematic curation and overview of these significant issues and research topics through the museum’s contemporary artwork collection, spotlighting themes such as “home-diaspora,” “border-geopolitics” and “biopolitics and humanism.” Not only do these central themes of Taiwan’s contemporary art reflect the historical pursuit of cultural origin and subjectivity in Taiwanese art but also universal humanistic values and artistic concerns.
Theme IV. From Murmuring to Probing into History
The development of the global internet has made it more convenient to obtain information and for more materials to become available for artistic creation. Since 2000, Art practices can no longer be understood in the past typological approaches, and breakthroughs in technology birthed “new media” and “interdisciplinary” art. The incorporation and application of different mediums thus became the center of attention for many artists. The NTMoFA is the first museum in Taiwan to advocate technology art and new media art, which can be found in the context of its collection. Apart from a serial of initiative support talents in new media and technology, the museum’s “Young Artists Collection Project” also documented a part of the development of Taiwan’s contemporary art, and the emerging artists have turned into backbone elements of Taiwan’s contemporary art scene. Works in this section were created after the year 2000 and mirror the changes in the museum’s collection strategy. Although the works showcase varying focuses and expressions, what they have in common is a sense of anxiety toward the world and their helpless, fatigued resistance. These sentiments resulted in works with a touch of absurdity or lightheartedness while maintaining a strong sense of critique toward social issues, while others directed their focus on everyday life and reflections on the self and identity. These featured subject matters echo the discourse trend in Taiwan’s post-2000 contemporary art scene, such as murmurings and “frustrations”. Hereafter, the group of artists turned to field research and used archival materials as their text, intervening, revisiting, or even reconstructing the writing of history, adopting methods rooted in historical research that led to multifaceted explorations and understandings of art and aesthetics.