The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — When we first meet Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, she’s wearing a green outfit, green shades and green earrings. It’s a striking ensemble that screams Maclean — for her, creativity and style is not only her vocation but also shapes the decisions of everyday life. Maclean is in Taipei, and she’s one of the artists at a group exhibition at JUT ART Museum. People are usually amazed by her colorful, grotesque and zany artwork. She presents ironic fairy tales, and they taunt the social system. “When I was working on the script of ‘Spite Your Face,’ investigating the British social class system and Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election inspired me,” Maclean said shyly. As part of the Venice Biennale, Maclean will screen her film “Spite Your Face” in an historical church, capitalizing on the strong contrast between lime architecture and her fantastical work, a critique of “post-truth” political rhetoric. Though majored in painting in college, Maclean eventually grew to feel constrained by the canvas. Her artwork evolved from graphic art to multimedia image creation, in which she occupied the roles of director, playwright, costume designer and all the roles in story at the same time. With a mind that bursts with different ideas, Maclean said she wouldn’t rule out making a full-length movie in the future.
Sculptures to Skate On
Australian artist and sportsman Shaun Gladwell’s creations abide by the precept of minimalism, the concept of “less is more.” “However, you won’t see any minimalism in my studio, it’s just a mess,” Gladwell said humorously. Gladwell regards himself as not only an artist but also a curator: He wants to curate a truly unique space for skateboarding, his favorite sport. To do it, he took inspiration from historical sculptures of the minimalist tradition. His idea seems nonsensical, but his sculptures are perfect to skate on. They are the fulfillment of his fantasy, the integration of the art museum’s high culture and the skateboarding subculture. After telling a rebellious skateboarder that he’s on a fake sculpture masterpiece, he or she becomes more aggressive, Gladwell said. He said he would make more subversive combinations in the future. “I’d invite Muslim women to skateboard with us in my next work,” Gladwell said. “It may be challenging for them to skate, but that moment they step on the skateboard would be significant.” His novel creation will be no doubt be worth the wait.
Works by Rachel Maclean, Shaun Gladwell and other artists are on view at JUT ART Museum from April 28 to Aug. 6 in Taipei.
The China Post intern Pessy Lee and Yvonne Huang contributed to this article