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Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Publication

Sanctuary
20180816181418342351Publisher: TFAM
Category: Exhibition Catalogs
Published Date: 2018/05/01
ISSN: 978-986-05-5878-4
Price: NT$1200


 

Contents

 
04 Preface
 
Essays
10 Rooted in the Landscape: Wang Wen-Chih and His Works —Fram KITAGAWA
16 An Escape from the World – On Wang Wen-Chih's Sanctuary —LIU Chu-Lan
34 A Humanist Interlude —Philippe COUBETERGUES
50 Tectonics, Weaving, and Sanctuary —HSIAO Yu-Chih
 
63 Work
 
157 Events
 
175 Exhibitions
 
210 Acknowledgements
 
 
Preface
 
After thirty-four years of continuously promoting innovative art exhibitions and programming,the Taipei Fine Arts Museum suspended operations of its main building in October of 2017 to repair the air-conditioning system, and now looks forward to enhancing its professional efficacy through this renovation project. The Museum is not merely a temple of art, but also a place in which the people can discuss, and a stage on which professionals can perform, various ideas. Therefore, during this period of revitalization, the Museum has continued its valuable social mission with a series titled Re-imagining TFAM that extends its programming in an open and accessible way. For the first segment, Wang Wen-Chih has created a woven bamboo landscape work titled Sanctuary, which transfers art to the Museum's public square, opens a dialog with its white cube architecture, and generates a viewing experience that differs from the one that can be had inside.
 
The creation of Sanctuary required six months of planning and two months of on-site weaving over two stages. Completion of the first structure, called "Dome", was celebrated with a magnificent opening ceremony at Nuit Blanche on October 7, 2017. Following this, the second stage commenced with the on-site construction of "Watchtower", during which the public was able to witness Wang Wen-Chih's creative process. The project's organic implementation and related events counter the static quality of the closed Museum and the limitations of its traditional exhibition spaces. This artwork woven of natural materials renews our connection to nature and demonstrates understanding of the diverse and broad thinking of a museum.
 
Wang Wen-Chih first exhibited work at the Museum in 1988 with his Nature's Accusation, a work composed of wood and an ax which compelled viewers to confront mankind's relationship to nature. This incisive work made it clear that Wang's thinking was primarily centered on nature. In 2001, Wang was invited by the Museum to exhibit work at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Venice
Biennale, and then traveled to many outdoor art festivals in Europe, Japan, and Australia where he developed his unique, organic architectural forms and spatial aesthetics in the context of
contemporary art. As a result, Wang was again invited to exhibit work at the Museum in 2017, but this time outdoors in the Museum plaza. As before, the project centered on his love of nature and experience of living in his hometown of Meishan, and he personally had a hand in all stages of the process, from sketches to leading his team of artisans in scorching heat, wind and rain. Through collective labor, his woven bamboo spaces fusing aesthetics and spirit were gradually constructed. The completed installations contrast one another in terms of character and visitor experience, and exceed his previous work in terms of scale and craftsmanship. Sanctuary manifests the artist's thirty years of accumulated skill working with natural materials, as well as his astonishing creative energy. Visitors, both old and young, can explore Wang's spiritual shelter that is built of bamboo, rattan, and wood, and suggests a mountain forest in a corner of the metropolis. It calls to all our senses, not just sight, with its lingering bamboo scent, delightful textures that massage bare feet, and spaces for sitting and lying that stir bodily sensations and spiritual thoughts. Overall, the perceptual language of these installations reestablishes our connection to the universe.
 
The notion of sanctuary, a home for the homeless, radiates warmth, especially in contrast to the neutral white-cube spaces of the Museum, and inspired the Old Clothing Collection Project, which was held in the Museum's public plaza. For the project, the artist asked the public to donate used clothing, which was then woven into a section of his installation, and with its variety of colorful fabrics, added a unique societal connection to the work. We also invited non-profit art groups to extend the installation by presenting experimental performances and workshops during the exhibition period. Sanctuary created over the course of human history, both permanent and temporary, symbolize the positive energy of social participation and suggests another level of reflection beyond the mere provision of protection from the elements.
 
Sanctuary rose up in the Museum plaza to become a platform for public gathering and exchange, and thus encouraged a multitude of interactions between the Museum and the public. I am grateful to Wang Wen-Chih, his work team, my colleagues at the Museum, and volunteers for completing this splendid and challenging artwork under present conditions. The experience has allowed us all to feel the warmth and safety of nature as a sanctuary, and created an opportunity for coming together as a more cohesive society.
 
Ping Lin
Director, Taipei Fine Arts Museum