The 2016 Taiwan Biennial organized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture will be presented from September 10, 2016 till February 5, 2017. This will mark the 5th presentation of this biennial held at NTMoFA. Co-curated by guest curator WU Dar-Kuen and curator of NTMoFA LIN Hsiao-Yu, the overarching theme of this year’s biennial is The Possibility of an Island, with 30 artists/collectives invited to take part in the exhibition, seeking to examine how contemporary Taiwanese artists go about witnessing the changes and shifts unfolding in this era and how art is used to depict the present, future, and past of this island.
The exhibition title takes its inspiration from the novel of the same name by Michel Houellebecq. The novel is told in the first person by the protagonists Daniel and two of his clones, Daniel 24 and Daniel 25, with the story unfolding in crisscrossing timelines, exploring the ultimate meaning of life. Extending from its narrative approach and the underlying theme of an island, this year’s Taiwan Biennial brings together overlapping times, spaces, memories, and perceptions and seeks to use space-time transcending rhetoric to examine the changes and contemporary issues happening on the island of Taiwan through continual inspection and reflection, while also proposing possibilities for the future world. The artworks on view include landscapes, imaginations sparked by geography and borders constructed with realistic and fabricated elements and expand to include profound considerations for the drifting and assured subjectivity for the island of Taiwan (both for the nation as a whole and applying to individuals). The exhibition revisits and interprets the history of Taiwan and also observes certain absurdities or chaotic conditions found in its contemporary society, which are closely connected to historical developments. As the environment that artists dwell in continue to shift and change, what kind of principles are being upheld in their artworks? Contemporary art seems to be providing hints about the future, with diverse creative methods and different issues discussed evoking a restless ambiance on the island, resulting in various unknowns and possibilities that are also exciting at the same time.
A total of 30 artists/artist collectives are included in this year’s Taiwan Biennial, and they are: Yu Siuan, Wang Yu-Ping, Lee Chia-Hung, Huang I-Chieh, Liao Xuan-Zhen, Wang Te-Yu, Ho Chia-Hsing, Wu Chien-Yi, Wu Tsan-Cheng, Li Cheng-Liang, Wang Shao-Gang, JUAN Sea, Lin Gieh-Wen, Lin Shu-Kai, Lin Hong-Wen, Chiu Chen-Hung, Chiu Chao‐Tsai, Hou Chun-Ming, Hsu Yung-Hsu, Chang Ting-Tong, Mei Dean-E, Chuang Chih-Wei, Kuo I-Chen, Chen Wen-Chi, Chen I-Chun, Chen Sung-Chih, Chen Chien-Pei, Chen Ching-Yuan, Chen Shiau-Peng, Huang Hai-Hsin, Xindian Boys, Hsieh Mu-Chi, and Su Hui-Yu. The artworks will be displayed throughout the ground floor of the museum, more than 30 possibilities are presented by these 30 artists and collectives, symbolizing surges of inner energy embedded in Taiwan. This year’s Taiwan Biennial anticipates to offer to the audience a different exhibition experience, and hopes that the audience can also find a sense of anchor on the map for themselves from this journey.