October 8, 2016 - National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts - 2016 Taiwan Biennial: The Possibility of an Island
October 8, 2016

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

Chiu Chen-Hung, MERANTI, 2016. Wood, neon tube, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.





2016 Taiwan Biennial
The Possibility of an Island
September 10, 2016–February 5, 2017

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


The 2016 Taiwan Biennial organized by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture opened on September 10. Co-curated by Wu Dar-Kuen and NTMoFA research fellow Lin Hsiao-Yu, the overarching theme of this year’s biennial is The Possibility of an Island inspired by contemporary French author Michel Houellebecq’s 2005 novel of the same title. While Taiwan is the designated “island” in this exhibition, an unknown utopia is also projected. The curatorial concept makes reference to the novel’s theme and content, presenting the artists’ thoughts on their own history and external reality. The curatorial approach seeks to pass through memories and perceptions of history, interweaving texts from the novel in the exhibition venue, with the words and phrases acting as guides inviting the audience to wander or immerse themselves in the museum.   

A total of 30 artists/artist collectives are invited to take part in this year’s Taiwan Biennial, as they guide the audience through space-times seeking to examine the developments and shifts in Taiwan’s contemporary art. “Devoting their attention and applying their knowledge on the matter, the artists have been closely observing Taiwan’s social and political situation,” stated Curator Wu Dar-Kuen. Many of these artists have been seeking to break free from ideological burdens imposed by colonialism and nationalism and to use art to convey their visions and imaginations for the future of this island. This is seen with Time Splits in the River by Wang Yu-Ping, Lee Chia-Hung, Huang I-Chieh, and Liao Xuan-Zhen. This semi-documentary invites their fathers to portray protestors in the '80s. With temporal and spatial settings crisscrossed and realistic and fictitious narratives intertwined, we see how two generations make different chooses in regards to national subjective identities in the film. Curator Lin Hsiao-Yu has analyzed recent Taiwanese contemporary art phenomenon into the following directions: Discovery and Representation of Taiwan, Self-dialectical Subjective Identity, Responses to Social Conditions in the Form of Portrayal, and Art as Ideal Projection of Real Life. From which HOMELAND III: Who? Offshore Island, Who? by artist Chen Chien-Pei takes an on-site survey of Taiwan’s offshore military facility and then further explores the many issues related to sovereignty. The curators recommend the audience to approach this year’s Taiwan Biennial as a map for understanding Taiwan’s recent course of development in contemporary art, with the artworks on view representing the island’s different cultural landscapes. A series of curatorial forums, artist talks, and art symposiums will also be presented by NTMoFA during the exhibition, with the objective of facilitating more in-depth discussions and interpretations of the biennial’s essence and content.        


For press enquiries, please contact
Emily Wang, PR Department
T 886(4) 23723552 #132 / emily.w [​at​] art.ntmofa.gov.tw

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
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The Possibility of an Island
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