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Island Tales: Taiwan and Australia, Taipei - Perth

20200227105308483424 (1)Publisher: TFAM
Category:Exhibition Catalogs
Published Date: 2020/01
ISSN: 978-986-54-1262-3


The present exhibition arose from the long-standing sister-city relationship between Taipei and Perth, of which we celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2019. In October of this year, I traveled to Perth for a week as a representative of Taipei, visiting the Perth City Government, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and local Taiwanese trade and friendship associations. Showered with enthusiastic hospitality, I met many new friends and artists, and I came to sense the special bond of fate that connects the two cities, despite the vast ocean that separates us. ­e tie has entwined us. And through two different exhibitions in Perth and Taipei, we were able to speak to one another and interweave our visions, gaining greater cultural understanding and familiarity.
In the autumn of 2019, PICA hosted Unfolding Acts: New Art from Taipei and Perth. Following this exhibition, which afforded the people of Western Australia a glimpse at "new art" from Taipei, we took a different tack at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, exploring ancient "history" and related concepts. Story and history are like an object and its mirror image. ­is exhibition not only searches for a sense of history, but also muses on the very idea of history, pondering the double-sided dialectic between the imaginary and the real. We all know that history is often fabricated; fiction, art, supernatural tales or oral traditions may actually be more real. The interpretations and narratives in Island Tales: Taiwan and Australia introduce us to a wide variety of ordinary people in all shapes and colours. Their writings, speeches and chants take us back to the depth of memory, compelling us to grasp a new recognition of ourselves, and to understand our neighbours and others. Placing myself in the fictional yet also real milieu of these works, I sense that the exchanges between two cities can take place not only at the concrete level of economics and industry, but more importantly through history and mutual interaction, finding commonality with others and resonating with both the present moment and the era.
Th­is act of connecting and inspecting the historical memories of our two lands is reflected in the exhibition's visual design. In the center of the image floats a white outcropping of land, as if an unfamiliar and unexplored newborn island. On closer inspection, what appears to be an island sandwiched between two black oceans from the above and below, is actually the ocean that divides Taiwan and Australia, with the upper and lower edges being the coastlines of southwestern Australia and northeastern Taiwan, respectively. In other words, even though Taiwan and Australia, Taipei and Perth, are separated by a great ocean, a solid bulwark of land seems to be raising between them, symbolizing the beautiful friendship between Taiwan and Australia that has been going on for 20 years and the sturdy ties that will surely continue hereafter.
Like a newly risen land generated by friendship, this exhibition could only have reached fruition through the collaboration with our Australian counterparts and the assistance of people from many walks of life. First of all, I would like to thank the governments of Taiwan and Australia, the Perth City Government, and the Taipei City Government, for their pioneering eorts and support, which have allowed this marvelous exchange project to take place. I am particularly grateful to the Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director of PICA, to curator Eugene Viola, who was involved in the early stages of this project, and curator Charlotte Hickson, who succeeded him. Likewise, I thank the artists from both lands for their outstanding works and wonderful presentations, as well as Ms. Ashley Chang, who traveled back and forth between the two cities facilitating this cultural exchange. As this exhibition comes to a splendid conclusion, the abundant, profound dialogue between our two cities has given birth to many sparks of brilliance.

Ping Lin
Director, Taipei Fine Arts Museum


└ Ping Lin, Director, Taipei Fine Arts Museum
└ Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

└ Resistance in the Name of Island Tales: Taiwan and Australia | Taipei Perth / Chien Cheng-Yi, Exhibition Curator
└ A Story not yet Named / Miranda Johnson, writer and curator

└ Chang Wen-Hsuan
└ Chihhung Liu
└ Chiu Chen-Hung
└ Kao Jun-Honn + Abbot Lin + Master Hsin-Miaw
└ Wang Ding-Yeh
└ Yang Chi-Chuan

└ Dan McCabe
└ Eva Fernandez
└ Gregory Pryor
└ Jacobus Capone
└ Olga Cironis
└ Pilar Mata Dupont
York Noongar Community with Community Arts Network