National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts – Taichung City (Taiwan)

2022 Taiwan Art BiennialLove and Death of Sentient Beings arrives November 5. Diverse performance programs initiate all-new perspectives for the biennial.

The biannual centerpiece of the Taiwan art calendar, the 8th “Taiwan Art Biennial” (hereafter the Biennial), directed by the Ministry of Culture and held by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (hereafter NTMoFA), will have its grand opening on November 5. This Biennial invites Curator Manray Hsu, distinguished for his numerous international and local exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as Co-Curator I-wen Chang who specializes in dance, the body, and cyborg theory, to form the curatorial team. The title of the exhibition, “Love and Death of Sentient Beings”, comes from riveting lines of poetry; the exhibition aims to redefine human-to-human, human-to-other-species, and human-world relations under the digital age. The uncertain and fluid nature brought by “sentience”, will likely challenge the overall social order or else the progressivist historical view provided in the scope of nature or culture, through which the intertwined dynamic processes between modern technologies and the environment can be understood.

2022 Taiwan Art Biennial—Love and Death of Sentient Beings invites 32 groups of artists and collectives, to overturn Taiwan’s historiography under different contexts of subjectivity, presenting Taiwan to audiences through a multiversal perspective. The curators have proposed four sub-topics for the exhibition, respectively: “The Ecology of Modern Technology—The Lost Space as Metaphor”, “Re-Weaving the Cosmos—Presence of Contemporary Indigeneity”, Body as Battleground—The Discipline of History”, and “Love and Death of Sentient Beings—The Return of Animism”. The participating artists/collectives reflect on the curatorial concept through electrifying works; this Biennial features over 17 all-new works, with 8 live works specifically responding to and made for the conditions of the Biennial. Among these, there are 6 groups of Indigenous artists and collectives, as well as several whose projects center around indigeneity and postcoloniality and and in light of gender equality, there are 13 participating woman artists or artistic directors.

29 events and performances will be presented over the four-month-long exhibition period, including many artist forums, themed seminars, and other educational activities. Of note are Hsu Jung, who was awarded the Golden Nica, Interactive Art + at Prix Ars Electronica 2022, and Colombian artist Natalia Rivera, who was invited to present her award-winning work Resist like bacteria, specifically for the Biennial. The artist will also invite participants in online movements all over the world for an online workshop, discussing interaction and cooperation through online techniques and global social movements alongside the Museum audience.

NTMoFA Museum Director Liao Jen-yi expresses that the 2022 Taiwan Art Biennial has welcomed many performance works that defy Museum archetypes. Aside from the familiar visual artworks, there are diverse modes of performance such as lectures, discussions, workshops, sound/vocal works, performances, and performance art. In particular, owing to the ‘performative turn’ which, among other issues, sits at the core of the curation, many dancers and companies have been invited. Many performances and limited works have been planned during the exhibition period, including the Lost Spaces Project sound art installation, as well as a Parkour performance never-before-seen in an art museum. All these bring the static Museum to turn and to dance.