Inspiring Imagination, Moving the Future Official Opening of ‘Artist Making Movement - 2015 Asian Art Biennial’ September 19th at NTMoFA

2015 / 09 / 19

The 2015 Asian Art Biennial is set to officially open on September 19th of this year. Curated by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) curator Iris Shu-Ping Huang, this year’s theme is Artist Making Movement, reflecting on the restlessness and instability observed in Asia today and the trend with artists taking action via art to break away from current conditions. Artists are getting involved in society and engaging in more reflections and contributions on regional history, as proposals and feedbacks are made targeted at Asia’s current problems. Aiming to overturn institutions through self-actualizations driven by perceptual creativities, artists are using their individual values to actively respond to the new era. New turning points are embarked upon, signifying an ongoing process with reevaluation and innovation for Asia’s new cultural system. At the same time, the community in Asia is also projecting a sense of active anticipation and activism targeted at a collectively envisioned future.    

NTMoFA has always departed from a social perspective that deals with Asia’s reality in life, exploring the diversity, conflicts, compatibility in Asian culture and art. Art’s connection with our everyday life is understood from a realistic foundation, inspiring diverse discussions. Toda’s Asia is no longer merely a singular and rigid geographical region. Due to contemporary globalized socioeconomic developments, Asia has become a mobile cultural concept, with migrating population, fluid capital, and impacts from different cultures. With its moving boarders, Asia’s external relations and internal irony will continue to be self-challenged, revealing that Asia’s reality and cultural perspective are facing expansion and separation, with art shifting from its former static mode to a more active, dynamic process that deals with problems. Artist Making Movement is used to evoke possibilities of initiation, subversion, rearrangement, and construction, attempting to open up a possible space for actualization from cracks and fissures. Shifting from preexisting position, the next step taken is to use the imagination applied in art making to actively engage in discussions and contributions for future proposals.

This biennial includes 28 sets of contributing artists from 17 different Asian regions/countries, with artworks dealing with Asia’s current institutional, human rights, and other problems amidst its moving boarders. With increasingly frequent and intense socioeconomic developments and cross-border relations within Asian countries and transnationally, these shifting exchanges are drastically challenging preceding viewpoints and order, and a mobile state with aligning thoughts and actions has become an assertive approach for dealing with the current reality. Problems and the creative environment in Asia faced by artists are cross-cultural and exist in a cultural domain composed of a plethora of divergences. As seen in Singaporean artist Lee Wen’s Ping-Pong Go Round, the method of including multiple participants in the competition/dialogue is a metaphor for Asia’s complex multilateral political wrangling. Indian artist Rina BANERJEE’s art deals with cultural symbols and objects that have been relocated and rearranged within the global cultural landscape through the complex routes of colonialism, tourism, travel, and mass media. Banerjee’s sculptures are quite peculiar, and have come to form a spectacular way of presenting the cultural production process in today’s Asia with globalized features. Studio Revolt was co-founded in Cambodia by Japanese filmmaker Masahiro Sugano and Cambodian artist Anida Yoeu Ali, using poetry to examine issues of identity and boarders. The art created expands beyond traditional narratives, and included in this exhibition are collaborative works created with Pakistani and Cambodian poets on exile, publically voicing out issues that some are currently facing.

Indonesian artist collective Irwan AHMETT & Tita SALINA has custom created a new project, Salting the Sea, to echo with the theme of this biennial, Artist Making Movement, focusing on the relationship and the existing conundrums in Taiwan between Southeast Asian migrant workers and the local society. For this artwork, the artists have come into contact with many currently working or imprisoned migrant workers and also their families, with their stories documented in a perceptual manner. In addition to the artwork Salting the Sea, Irwan AHMETT and Tita SALINA have also expanded this project that examines migrant workers’ situations in Taiwan to a public level. We have seen in the recent years on news outlets many reports on migrant workers, including how the Taipei Main Station’s public lobby is used, social incidents with run-away migrant workers, labor rights issues, and topics on economic benefits. A space for public discourse is initiated by the artists through the project Agree/Disagree/Unsure, reevaluating how problems in Asia are dealt with based on the realistic conditions that these public issues have impacted Taiwan’s economic and cultural position in Asia.

As youth movements rise to the fore with labor and wage related issues taking up news headlines, Filipino artist Stephanie SYJUCO’s MONEY FACTORY: Economic Reality Game is an onsite project that focuses on this social phenomenon. The exhibition space will be transformed into a factory of labor production, using a playful yet critical approach to explore the economic predicament faced by the younger generation in Taiwan. Part reality game and part communal crafting space, visitors are invited to join in at this factory to produce the Taiwanese currency, with their working time equated to monetary income. At the end of the game, participants can freely choose and think about what kind of realistic goals can be achieved by the youths today with their annual income? Can today’s economic policies, industrial developments, and social conditions satisfy people’s hopes and dreams for attaining a good life? The artist has made available a practical space for public involvement, sparking reflections through the participatory process.     

The theme Artist Making Movement seeks to explore how contemporary art uses perceptual experiences and creative processes to respond to realistic problems; it is not just a mere depiction or representation of social reality, but further examines how art can evoke different possible movements and breakthroughs in reality. Forming a domain composed of diverse perspectives open for cross dialectics and impacts, art is no longer just an object or concept of aesthetics, but also an incident, medium, action, involving in the exchanges, connections, and transformations between the Self and society. Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan is a social investigation consisting of real images and solid documents and has been executed for over 5 years by Taiwanese artist YAO Jui-Chung and a group of art students. It is a critical micro-action group that uses art and group action to tangibly engage in society. The images and documents created by the group have exposed a course of public development lacking in core content and value, and at the same time, it is also devoted in proposing reforms for the absurd polices. Australian artist Raquel ORMELLA is showcasing a new work, Wealth for Toil #4 in this exhibition, continuing to advocate individual social engagement that can evoke changes in the social consciousness. She continues to weave poetic possibilities into faith shaking flags, with each piece created calling out for different possible reforms for identity and nationhood, and through her treatment of each flag, new possibilities of meaning are opened for extended exploration.

Using their imaginations to portray the future, these artists are also continuously seeking to provide a participatory space of realization, inviting the audience to join in and also encouraging the participants to use the possibilities provided by art to think about the reality and also collectively engage in building a better future. This biennial is comprised of a wide range of genres, including painting, installation, video, performance art, architecture, and interactive workshop. Thai artist Sutee KUNAVINCHAYANONT has created desks imprinted with stories, offering the audience the opportunity to personally rub out the images and hidden codes within. Filipino artist Alwin REAMILLO’s artwork of hand altered piano is also made available at designated times for the audience to sign-up and play, anticipating for each performer to interact with the artist’s story through their unique sounds. The museum’s normally visual arena will be enhanced with audio enjoyment, creating dialogues that cross over different media and transcend cultural barriers. Artist Making Movement - 2015 Asian Art Biennial will officially open on September 19th at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, inviting the audience to join us to boldly use their imagination to move the future.



Exhibition: Artist Making Movement - 2015 Asian Art Biennial



Exhibition Dates: September 19th ~ December 6th, 2015  

Venue: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts outdoor plaza and 1st floor exhibition space  

Media Liaison: Emily Wang  Tel: 886-4-2372-3552 #133

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts(
Opening Hours: Tuesdays ~ Fridays 09:00~17:00, Saturdays, Sundays 09:00~18:00, closed on Mondays
Address: 2, Sec. 1, Wu Chuan W. Rd. Taichung 403, Taiwan

Asian Art Biennia Official Website



‘Artist Making Movement – 2015 Asian Art Biennial’ List of Participating Artists  

Irwan AHMETT & Tita SALINA(Indonesia)

Ayad ALKADHI(Iraq)

Poklong ANADING(Philippines)

Brook ANDREW(Australia)

Rina BANERJEE(India)

CHOU Yu Cheng(Taiwan)

DAAR(Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency)(Palestine)

Atul DODIYA(India)

HU Xiangqian(China)

Anurendra JEGADEVA(Malaysia)

Teppei KANEUJI(Japan)

Sachiko KAZAMA(Japan)


Jompet KUSWIDANANTO(Indonesia)

Sun K. KWAK(Korea)

LEE Kai Chung(Hong Kong)

LEE Wen(Singapore)

NGUYEN Trinh Thi(VietNam)

Okin Collective(Korea)

Raquel ORMELLA(Australia)

Alwin REAMILLO(Philippines)

SU Wong Shen(Taiwan)

Studio Revolt(Cambodia)

SUN Xun(China)

Stephanie SYJUCO(Philippines/USA)

Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL(Thailand)

YAO Jui Chung + LSD(Taiwan)

XHANG XU Zhan (Mores Zhan)(Taiwan)

 (In alphabetical order by last name)