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Announcing the Theme of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts “2015 Asian Art Biennial” Artist Making Movement, Engaging in Asia’s Progressing History

2015 / 07 / 12

The 5th Asian Art Biennia is set to officially open on September 19th of this year. Artist Making Movement is the overarching theme of this biennial, reflecting on the restlessness and the emergence of social energy observed in Asia during the recent years. This wave of commotions is leading to the formation of new Asian knowledge and art communities based on the ideology behind Asia’s self-awareness. As cultural awareness in Asia is being transformed, different phenomena are revealing the current state of Asian contemporary culture, which is in the midst of reforming its system of governance for the everyday life, with new order and relationships pursued and attempts exerted at subverting social power allocation. Facing these extreme changes in Asia, using art to examine today’s system of survival and taking part in the construction of the present history of life in Asia have become important discourses explored by artists.

As the theme Artist Making Movement suggests, the ability to make (create) and to move symbolizes Asian contemporary art is straying from how it was perceived in the past, as a static noun, and it is transitioning into a verb of assertive actions. This progression denotes Asian contemporary culture’s active function and the stance taken for the actualization of art, with actions exerted for creating a new chapter in Asian history. Artist Making Movement is used to evoke possibilities of initiation, subversion, rearrangement, and construction, and by moving away from prior positions, a route of actualization is formed, which prompts for opening of spaces, loosening of structures, and broadening of fissures. Under such conditions and trends for art making, the creative aspect defined by the role of artists not only entails creations based on art concepts and aesthetical objects; it further reflects them as mobile mediums. Artists engage in various social relations during their creative processes, resulting in them functioning as mediators or transformers. Through personal creative processes and social interactions, discussions are sparked and furthermore, through two methods based on art actions and creative mediums, intricate co-constructed connections are formed with dynamic developments in society. In the Asia today, an Asian reality is presently being formed which is based on construction and rearrangement of such multilateral relations.

Asia’s multilateral relations have resulted in many shifts in its social and cultural settings, and with more open sharing and exchanges of resources, it also signifies that more frequent and complex power plays are embedded within. As movements are made by artists, it signifies counterbalance and transformation between the self and the external system and environment. Through mediations created by art, public issues are discussed and responded, as artists use contemporary art to respond to the developments of Asia’s history of modernization, with emphasis placed on giving feedbacks and getting involved in Asia’s problematic conditions. With the building of knowledge based on personal life or local history concentrated on, various creative roles and potential analytical abilities played by artists in the progression of Asia’s history of modernization are enhanced. Realistic issues embedded in the colossal structure that have long been ruled out, overlooked, or suppressed are reevaluated, with personal perceptual experiences constructed, leading to visions on the possibilities and the relational contexts between individuals and the world that could surpass current conditions.

Under the overarching theme of Artist Making Movement, the biennial intends to invite 28 contributing artists/collectives based in Asia to explore the following three main subcategories: 

Crossover and Mobility:Moving Away from Confinement: Includes discussions on Asia’s diverse and booming mobile patterns, which has led to the culture of Asian diaspora, with transnational economics, environmental causes, international policies or wars which have resulted in the exile generation that encompasses immigrants, foreign workers, refugees, and undocumented rafters. The biggest variant imposed upon Asia’s regional relations and cultural structures is the frequent movements and shifts in the area, including shifts in its labor population, circulating capital, lifestyle, and cultural exchange. Internal social structural changes are prompted by these shifts and are aggressively pushing various regions in Asia to reevaluate their social mechanisms, beliefs, and values.

Archives and Memories:Reconstructing History, Truths and Questions: Archives and memories discussed in Artist Making Movement are dealt with based on Asia’s current conditions (via involvement and documentation), as the outdated power-centrism in Asia is strayed away from. With Asia’s past regarded as a reference point, through archive searching, examination, cross-referencing, and narrative reconstruction, turmoil and anxieties the self experiences in today’s political climate and social conditions are challenged by artists, reflecting on how the self can create future history. Included in the aesthetics of resistance in Asian contemporary art are reconstructions of old historical archives and the impacts from the truths and the questions raised, which are used by many artists to contemplate Asia’s modern history. The politicalness embodied in this type of aesthetics is also reflected in the memory narratives based on the artists’ reevaluations of their personal life histories, with unofficial histories used as supplements or to raise questions or to overthrow official histories.

Public Awareness and Micro-Movements: Ideological trends shaped by self-awareness and self-creation are rising in Asia’s generation of youths, with the creative direction for art in today’s Asia also reflected. As public institutions have failed, individual self-created forces are beginning to become more prominent. Such phenomena are enthusiastic responses demonstrating individual values that are arising in this new era. Through various micro-movements and social explorations organized by groups, artists are opting to use cultural actions to pave a route of actualization to respond to the aesthetic consciousness found in today’s reality.

Artist Making Movement - 2015 Asian Art Biennial will official open on September 19th, 2015 at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition will include diverse genres of contemporary art, including painting, installation, video, performance art, architecture, and creative workshop.

Exhibition: Artist Making Movement: 2015 Asian Art Biennial 
Exhibition Locations: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts 1st floor galleries, Outdoor Plaza, Main Lobby, and Gallery Street 
Exhibition Period:September 19th ~ December 6th, 2015
Media Liaisons:

Ms. TSAI Ya-Chuen yctsai@art.ntmofa.gov.tw  Tel:886-4-2372-3552 #132

Ms. Emily Wang emily.w@art.ntmofa.gov.tw Tel:886-4-2372-3552 #133

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts: http://www.ntmofa.gov.tw
Opening Hours:Tuesdays~Fridays 09:00 ~17:00,
Saturdays & Sundays 09:00~18:00, closed on Mondays.
Address:No.2, Sec. 1, Wuquan W. Rd., West District, Taichung, Taiwan, 403