Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
16 Mar 1995 to 11 Jun 1995
Chang Yung-Tsun, Chen Hui-Chiao, Chen Hsin-Wan, Cheng Tsai-Tung, Chiu Tse-Yan, Chu Chia-Hua, Fan Chiang Ming-Tao, Hou Chun-Ming, Hou Yi-Ren, Huang Chih-Yang, Huang Chin-Ho, Huang Hung-Teh, Kuo Jen-Chang, Ku Shih-Yung, Lai Jun-Jun, Lee Ming-Tse, Lien Chien-Hsing, Lien Teh-Cheng, Lin Horng-Wen, Lu Hsien-Ming, Lu Mi, Margaret Shiu Tan, Mei Dean-e, Tsong Pu, Wu Mali, Wu Tien-Chang, Yan Min-Huy, Yang Mao-Lin, Yen Ding-Sheng, Yu Peng
Yang Wen-I & Dr Nicholas Jose
This exhibition of works by contemporary Taiwanese artists explored the complex political issues faced by the country in the early 1990s, and engaged with emerging social and cultural identities. It was the first major survey of Taiwanese art in Australia, an introduction to the dynamic and evolving cultural context of contemporary Taiwan. The rich complexities of the social and cultural references the artists drew on, and the newly-found independence of their visions, fostered a lively spirit of investigation in contemporary Taiwanese art.
Taiwan is a densely populated island of over 23 million people, across the straits from southern China. Its history and culture are rich and complex, influenced by pervading Chinese traditions, the impact of colonisation and the influence of the West, and relations with mainland China. Following several centuries of foreign rule from European and Chinese conquerors, martial law was suspended in 1987 and in 1988 the first Taiwanese-born President was elected, Lee Teng-hui.
This exhibition told many stories of Taiwan. The rapid changes of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including a new economic prosperity and political liberalisation, inspired Taiwanese artists to find new artistic forms and styles to express their experience of social change. Past and present stories were interwoven, investigating colonial history and the cultural impacts of the different colonising forces on contemporary Taiwanese identity. A new awareness of regional identity within Taiwan was also explored, and traditions in private and public life investigated and re-evaluated, particularly as related to gender identity and religion. Rapid industrialisation of the country, and a growing globalisation in politics, economics and the art world also had a big influence on artists of the time.
This exhibition was a joint project between the MCA and Taipei Fine Art Museum in association with the University of Wollongong. It was accompanied by the film program Confucian Confusions and Borrowed Lives, curated by Linda Jaivin.
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Qld: 23 June – 16 August 1995
Canberra School of Art Gallery, ACT: 29 September – 21 October 1995
Wollongong City Gallery, NSW: 8 December 1995 – 4 February 1996