Local Area Events

Taiwan’s VR, cinema, and music prowess to be featured by SXSW
Date:2019/03/08~2019/03/17 The Ministry of Culture has assembled a delegation encompassing digital media, cinema, and music to represent Taiwan at South by Southwest (SXSW), an international festival celebrating the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries that will take place in Austin, Texas from March 8 through 17.   First up are the three virtual-reality productions selected by the SXSW Virtual Cinema segment — "The Making Of (幕後)" by Midi Z (趙德胤), a pseudo-documentary with a "film within a film" metacinema approach to portray onsite filming and things that happen behind the scenes; "Gloomy Eyes," a Taiwan-France VR production featuring a socially awkward zombie and voice acting by actor Colin Farrell; and "Mechanical Souls (囍宴機器人)," in which a new-generation female android model is hired to play the road of lead bridesmaid at a rich Chinese wedding party.   Taiwan director John Hsu (徐漢強), who made his debut in 2018 with the quirky VR film "Your Spiritual Temple Sucks (全能元神宮改造王)" on summoning a personal guardian to resolve one's marital and financial problems, has also been selected for the SXSW Convergence Tracks segment. He will be attending the Austin event with support from the US cultural diplomacy program American Film Showcase.  Departing from Taipei, Deputy Culture Minister Celest Hsiao-ching Ting (丁曉菁) will also lead a delegation representing Taiwan's creative sectors to meet with SXSW organizers, Austin government officials, and local media representatives.   Six Taiwan bands — Elephant Gym (大象體操), My Skin Against Your Skin (激膚樂團), CHIU PI (邱比), EggPlantEgg (茄子蛋樂團), The Fur, and I Mean Us — will also help showcase the vibrant independent Taiwanese music scene in a March 13 concert in Austin. The popular Taiwan Beats night at SXSW is an annual affair organized by the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development.
NYC exhibit to take the prayer wheel on a conceptual spin
Date:2019/03/01~2019/10/14 Incense offerings, rice paper drawings, and mantra inscriptions by Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai (蔡佳葳) will debut in New York City as part of "The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel" exhibition running from March 1 through Oct. 14 at the Rubin Museum of Art.   "The Power of Intention" will bring together traditional and contemporary art to illuminate the ties connecting one's intentions and commitments with action. Inspired by concepts derived from the Buddhist prayer wheel — a ritualistic object containing thousands of written prayers and mantras, this group exhibition aims to demonstrate how self-empowerment can induce positive changes within one's self and in others as well.   Tsai's "A Supplication" is a watercolor drawing on rice paper that reimagines the prayer wheel by depicting the Guru Rinpoche mantra dispersing into space from a seed syllable at the center. Prayer wheels contain mantras written on paper that are rolled and inserted into cylindrical containers. When rotated in a clockwise motion, the whirling of each wheel releases the prayers into the world for the benefit of all. Her second work for the exhibition, "Spiral Incense with Mantra," will be created in a live demonstration of focused and contemplative labor on the opening day. Utilizing three spiral incense units that were made by commission in Taiwan, Tsai will inscribe a set of mantras on the custom-made incense that will then be hung at the gallery for display.   "We may not think of our intentions as sources of power; however, they are the driving force behind each of our actions," explained exhibition curator Elena Pakhoutova. Therefore, a conscious positive action will replace what might have been a habit or mindless act, reinforcing "our individual intentions and spark positive action."   Tsai will be joined by international artists Monika Bravo (Columbia), Alexandra Dementieva (Russia), Youdhistir Maharjan (Nepal), and Scenocosme's Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt (France).     ‘The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel’ Date: March 1 – Oct. 14, 2019 Venue: The Rubin Museum of Art Address: 150 West 17th St., New York, NY 10011 Site: http://rubinmuseum.org/events/exhibitions/the-power-of-intention
Taiwanese queer art exhibit to discuss gender, identity in LA
Date:2019/02/22~2019/04/06 The Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles will be hosting a multidisciplinary exhibition on queer art titled "Mulan, Make Up!" from Feb. 22 through April 6. By initiating dialogue on the appearance of gender in a contemporary context, the exhibition seeks to investigate the politics of the human body from a global mindset.   Hua Mulan (花木蘭) is a well-known figure from classic Chinese literature who famously took her father's place in the army by dressing up as a man. Artist Yu Cheng-ta (余政達) ― curator of "Mulan, Make Up!" ― notes that Mulan acts as a symbolic figure for opening up societal stereotypes and dispelling the traditional binaries of yin and yang, spirit and body, as well as hardness and softness, thereby pushing self-identity beyond the two-dimensional framework of gender. The phrase "Make Up!" was made popular by the Japanese comic book heroine Sailor Moon, who recites the catchphrase "Moon Prism Power, Make Up!" to transform into her crime-fighting alter ego. Like Sailor Moon, the ego can adopt an alternative identity by using makeup as an outward expression of inner desire. This is a process of capturing transitory and flowing states of gender, as well as a journey towards finding the illusory self, Yu added.   Upon invitation, featured artists Hou Chun-ming (侯俊明), River Lin (林人中), Luo Jr-shin (羅智信), Su Misu, and Sebastian Hernandez have created new works in which they use their own bodies to contemplate the conception of transformation ― namely the possibilities of transcending culture, historic traditions, gender identity, and the conventional image of the human body.   From film screenings and performances to visual arts, their collective works will also offer thought on how to maintain one's individuality in face of excessive mediatization of the body, and examine the meaning of existence in a consumption-driven society. ‘Mulan, Make Up!’ Date: Feb. 22 – April 6, 2019 Venue: Taiwan Academy in LA Address: 1137 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 Opening Reception: Feb. 22, 7-9 pm (RSVP) Special Screening and Performance Party: March 2, 7 pm-12 am Site: https://yuchengta.wixsite.com/mulanmakeup  
Choreographer to represent Taiwan at Vancouver’s PuSh Festival
2019/01/24~2019/01/26 Up-and-coming Taiwan choreographer Liu Kuan-hsiang (劉冠詳) has been invited to partake in the 15th PuSh International Performing Arts Festival from Jan. 24 to 26 in Vancouver. He will be staging three performances dedicated to the memory of his mother at Scotiabank Dance Centre.   Liu comes from a long line of artists and cultural professionals: his grandfather was a blind fortuneteller, grandfather was a jazz musician, and father was a photographer. The independent choreographer credits this background for bestowing an intuitive ability to translate human emotions to physical movement, and a music talent for composing original music to accompany his dance productions.   His upcoming performance, "Kids (我知道的太多了)," is an unorthodox and dazzling meditation on the eternal cycle of birth, life, and death. Three virtuosic dancers — Yu Wan-lun (余宛倫), Huang Yu-yuan (黃郁元), and Liu himself — veer from calm ritualistic movement to twisted, frantic physical extremes, yet this deliriously wild and undulating work is suffused with serenity and even joy. The luminous dance has deep autobiographical roots, as Liu draws on recordings of conversations with his mother prior to her passing to remember the exuberance of life in the valley of death. As the last gift that Liu could give to his mother, "Kids" won the 15th Taishin Performing Arts Award in 2017.   As the piece is performed to audio records of his mother during her fight against cancer, Liu has prepared English subtitles for the taped conversations to help Vancouver audiences circumvent language barriers. The choreographer has also modified the dance sequence to better reflect his most intimate, primal feelings and experiences, eliminating the need for viewers to rely on transcript to re-live Liu's road to catharsis.   Liu and his dancers will become the third act to represent Taiwan at the acclaimed PuSh festival in Vancouver, following Legend Lin Dance Theatre in 2018 and the Contemporary Legend Theatre in 2013.   An accompanying dance workshop will be held by Liu on Jan. 26 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. 
Lunar New Year prints to greet Moscow museum-goers
The Moscow-based State Museum of Oriental Art and the Ministry of Culture's Russian branch office have curated a special Lunar New Year exhibition offering Taiwanese prints from Jan. 23 through Feb. 17.   Featuring prints ranging from woodcut and lithography to silkscreens and digital creations, "Oriental Calendar" will feature over 20 works from the collections of the Taipei-based Yangxi Art Gallery (揚曦藝術空間) and the Taichung-based National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the latter of which holds an annual competition for printmaking on the Eastern zodiac animal of the coming year.   Several competition-winning works will be included in this exhibit, while other pieces were selected for their unique aesthetics, innovative printmaking techniques, and incorporation of auspicious symbols such as citruses and gold coins that represent wealth and prosperity.     Tatyana Metaxa, deputy director of the Moscow museum, noted that exhibitiongoers have demonstrated a deep interest in previous exhibitions featuring the 12 animals of the Eastern zodiac, and that Taiwanese art of such quality is rarely made available in Russia.   Keng Chung-yung (耿中庸), Taiwan's representative to Russia, added that Lunar New Year celebrations will soon be held all across Asia, and extended an invite to all exhibitiongoers to experience the festivities in Taiwan, as Russian tourists can now enjoy visa-free entry for visits of up to 14 days.     Spearheaded by the Moscow branch office, exhibitions featuring Lunar New Year prints from Taiwan have recently graced the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum in eastern Russia, and the Novosibirsk State Art Museum in southwest Siberia.   After Moscow, "Eastern Calendar" will next be displayed in the National Museum of the Republic of Buryatia in Ulan-Ude from Feb. 7 through March 15. «Восточный календарь» Date: Jan. 23 – Feb. 17, 2019 Venue: Государственный музей Востока Address: 119019, Москва, Никитский бульвар, д.12а Site: http://www.orientmuseum.ru/exhibitions/archive/-item=640.aspx