MOCA Taipei Launches ‘Contemporary Art Ongoing’

‘Once Upon a Time’ curated by Kao Chien-Shi
By A&M

Dean-E Mei, ‘Youthful Taiwan’, 2019, object installation, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA Taipei.

Dean-E Mei, ‘Youthful Taiwan’, 2019, object installation, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA Taipei.

‘Once Upon a Time – Unfinished Progressive Past’, curated by Kao Chien-Hui, is the first exhibition in Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Taipei’s five-year curatorial project ‘Contemporary Art Ongoing’, conceptualised to celebrate the institution’s 18th anniversary. It opens on 20 July and runs until 31 October 2019.

MOCA Taipei was inaugurated in 2001, and is Taiwan’s only contemporary art museum. “As we turn 18 – a mark of ‘adulthood’, we are launching our five-year project ‘Contemporary Art Ongoing’ to look back at Taiwan’s contemporary art development as we look forward to the future,” says Yuki Pan, director of MOCA Taipei. “With the first instalment ‘Once Upon A Time’, we hope to provide insights into the birth of contemporary art in Taiwan and allow visitors to explore the relationship between art and society. As with all our exhibitions, ‘Once Upon A Time’ continues MOCA Taipei’s work in bringing to light the humanity in arts through quality curation, and to support local and regional artists with a platform to showcase their works.”

The exhibitions in this series will be entrusted to established curators in exploration of five areas: the development of contemporary art, spatial creation, the critical review of the social system, contemporary art in Taiwan, and the cross-disciplinary nature of contemporary art. The project in its entirety will situate Taiwanese contemporary art within both Taiwanese national history and global art history.

Beautiful Construction (Yu-Ting Lin, Jin-Ann Lin, Chien-Chih Lin, Chia-Hsuan Yang, Zong-Kui Ling, Wen-Long Xiao), ‘Ideal House’, 2019, mixed media, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA.

Beautiful Construction (Yu-Ting Lin, Jin-Ann Lin, Chien-Chih Lin, Chia-Hsuan Yang, Zong-Kui Ling, Wen-Long Xiao), ‘Ideal House’, 2019, mixed media, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA.

‘Once Upon a Time’ kicks off the ‘Contemporary Art Ongoing’ project by gathering artists belonging to three post-war generations born between the 1950s and the 1990s to present fresh works, including Dean-E Mei, who continues his two-decade long research and commentary on Taiwanese identity in the object installation ‘Youthful Taiwan’ (2019). The other artists are Chien-Chi Chang, Ruey-Shiann Shyu, I-Fan Wang, Kacey Wong, Chun-Yi Chang, Juin Shieh, Jun-Honn Kao, Hung-Yi Chen, Shake, Jun-Yuan Hong, Li-Ren Chang, Che-Yu Hsu, as well as Yu-Ping Kuo. The artist collective Beautiful Construction, comprising Yu-Ting Lin, Jin-Ann Lin, Chien-Chih Lin, Chia-Hsuan Yang, Tzung-Kuei Lin and Wen-Long Xiao, offers the mixed media work ‘Ideal House’ (2019). A work that similarly looks at space as a metaphor for identity is Yu-Ping Kuo’s ‘The House She Wants to Build’ (2019).

Yu-Ping Kuo, ‘The House She Wants to Build’, 2019, mixed media, painting, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA Taipei.

Yu-Ping Kuo, ‘The House She Wants to Build’, 2019, mixed media, painting, variable dimensions. Image courtesy of MOCA Taipei.

Through Kao’s curation, all participating artists have dug deep into memories from their childhood and youth to create fresh works that re-examine the motivations, historical context and changing visual art landscape that have contributed to the trajectory of art in Taiwan in recent times. From these emerge wider cultural memories that reflect shifts in the island’s identity as a result of their colonial past, territorial debates and social system changes. In this way, the show aims to take stock of how far Taiwanese contemporary art has come and where it is headed for the future.


Click here for more information about ‘Once Upon a Time – Unfinished Progressive Past’ and other exhibitions at MOCA Taipei.