“What do you see?—Contemporary Art from Taiwan” opens in New York

The opening ceremony of “What do you see?—Contemporary Art from Taiwan” was held at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York November 30, 2017, ushering in two months of artistic treats from seven Taiwanese artists. Their work is part of the collection of Art Bank Taiwan.

“We are proud that Taiwan can now join Australia, UK, the US and others to further promote art and art appreciation through such innovative public-private partnership,” said Ambassador Lily Hsu, director-general of TECO.

Ambassador Hsu stressed that nowhere is it more befitting to spread the creative message than the public space in TECO’s office. She noted that cultural dialogue is the most welcoming way to engage local people and the community, and to bridge the peoples of Taiwan and the United States.

Ambassador Hsu drew the audience’s attention to the traditional chop art on the wall of TECO and the modern artworks of the current exhibition, noting that they reflect the diverse culture of Taiwan. She added that just as the traditional Taiwanese tea served side by side with its modern twist, bubble tea, at the reception, Taiwan preserves the old while constantly innovating.

Curator Yan-Huei Chen said the seven artists featured in the exhibition show consistency and maturity in their work. She added that the exhibition hopes to guide the viewer, through the way artists see the world, to change their perspective, and ponder on the phenomena, issues and reality in life.

“Through this exhibition, we hope that you will see our artists’ thoughts on the Taiwanese history, culture and their self-identities; their imagination for the future through their understanding of the current culture; the exquisite depiction of social relationships through their observation of people’s daily lives,” Chen said.

In addition to Curator Chen, artists Pei-Shih Tu, I-Ting Hou and Yu-An Liao were on hand at the opening reception to share their creative philosophy with the participants.

The reception was attended by more than 120 people from the arts community, Taiwan’s allies to the UN missions, consular corps, local communities, academics, and the media. New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried was also in attendance.

The two-month event showcases 19 pieces of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, as well as new media and installation art. This marks the first time that works from Art Bank, Taiwan have been shown in New York. A program under the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Art Bank aims to promote artistic creation and the cultivation of Taiwanese artists through a public collection program. It has acquired 1,795 art works for its collection since the program’s inception in 2013. Government agencies and private companies are encouraged to rent artwork from Art Bank for display in public places in order to raise appreciation for the arts, increase the circulation of artwork and invigorate the art market in Taiwan.

Art Bank Taiwan also engages in charity work by collaborating with hospitals. It organizes exhibitions and workshops, as well as recreating the hospital space to help bring patients a more comforting environment.

Art Bank also constitutes part of Taiwan’s efforts in broadening its cultural diplomacy and increasing understanding of its unique culture. To reach a wider international audience, after New York, the exhibition will travel to Washington DC to be displayed at the Twin Oaks Estate of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US.

Ambassador Lily Hsu (third from right), Director Susan Yu of Taipei Cultural Center (second from right), Artist I-Ting Hou (right), Curator Yan-Huei Chen (third from left), Artists Yu-An Liao (left) and Pei-Shih Tu

Ambassador Lily Hsu (left) explains an artwork to guests attending the reception.

November 30, 2017 to January 26, 2018
Venue: Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York
1 E. 42nd Street, New York
Opening Reception: 6:30 pm, November 30th
Curator: Yan-Huei Chen
Artists: Teng-Yuan Chang, Qing-Yao Chen, I-Ting Hou, Yu-An Liao, Pei-Shih Tu, Yi-Li Yeh and Goang-Ming Yuan
The exhibition is jointly organized by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Taiwan Academy and Art Bank, Taiwan.