September 30, 2017 - National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts - Negotiating the Future
September 30, 2017

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

Meiro Koizumi, Rite for a Dream (Today My Empire Sings), 2016. 3-channel video installation, 27:30 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Annet Gelink Gallery (Amsterdam), MUJIN-TO Production (Tokyo). Photo: Shizune Shiigi.

Negotiating the Future
2017 Asian Art Biennial
September 30, 2017–February 25, 2018

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
No.2, Sec.1, Wu-chuan W. Road
Taichung City 40359
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 9am–5pm,
Saturday–Sunday 9am–6pm

T +886 4 2372 3552

It has been ten years since the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMOFA) launched the Asian Art Biennial in 2007. In addition to presenting diverse cultural facets of Asia, the exhibition content of the biennials to date have also explored changes in Asian society and the cross influence between Asia and the world through various themes proposed by its curators. In order to more comprehensively engage and connect with networks of contemporary art in Asia, three international curators have been invited for the first time to join the museum’s curator on the curatorial team for the 2017 Asian Biennial. Through a common theme and allocated research in the curatorial process, the concept of Asia will be clarified through diverse discourses and perspectives. Similarities and differences within Asia are combed through to propose universal issues confronting human society and art.

“Negotiation” is pervasive in our daily lives, especially in Asian societies where any tangible or intangible interdisciplinary integration is filled with agitation and contention within a complex historical, national and cultural context. With Negotiating the Future as its theme, the 2017 Asian Art Biennial aims to explore ways in which artists trigger and establish various relationships to gradually reverse inherent ideologies or social structures through the powers of individuals or groups, to shape our futures by creating key negotiations through practical action. As a matter of fact, it is truly an interesting negotiating process of decision-making from naming this biennial, structuring the exhibition to selecting participating artists and artworks. After numerous discussions, the four curators—Kenji Kubota from Japan, Ade Darmawan from Indonesia, Wassan Al-Khudhairi from Iraq, and Hsiao-Yu Lin of NTMOFA—put forth their individual viewpoints under a common concept.

Hsiao-Yu Lin explores ways in which contemporary art expresses concern for public affairs as an alternative action in opposition to society in order to create a forum for societal negotiations and to construct avenues for dialogue and communication. Kenji Kubota is concerned with the function of art in the East/Northeast Asian region in the political struggles between natural disasters and nations, and whether art can provide indications of an imagined future for contemporary society. Through an observation of developments in South/Southeast Asian contemporary art, Ade Darmawan points to the changes in social structures and the natural environment resulting from rapid urban and economic transformations in Asian cities; where various strategies proposed by artists are no longer mere artistic practice, but also social practice. Wassan Al-Khudhairi explores the definition of Asia with the geographical significance of the Middle East as a point of departure; and through selected works, presents ways in which artists challenge, interrogate and rewrite geography through various methods of negotiation.

Through the theme and artistic perspectives of this biennial, we hope to remind the audience that each of our actions in the present determines the outcome for the future. The restless atmosphere in Asian societies in recent years can be seen in the 36 sets of art works from 21 countries selected by the curators. These works also showcase the grass-root and positive energy of contemporary art, and ways in which art seeks out possibilities for balance and compromise within the social relationships and interstices of various complex and contradictory authorities. Moving forward, we hope that the Asian Art Biennial will build a window and platform offering a view of the world from the foothold in Asia, opening up multiple levels of cultural dialogue, with contemporary art as a point of departure. 

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
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