Taiwan Biennial kicks off, puts human-animal connection in spotlight

2020 Taiwan Biennial(The China Post)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The 2020 Taiwan Biennial (2020台灣美術雙年展), featuring a total of 49 artists/groups and 201 artworks, kicked off on Saturday at the “National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts” (NTMoFA,國立台灣美術館) in Taichung.  

The biennial, which is running until Feb. 28, 2021, boasts a variety of art forms ranging from paintings, installations, videos and performance art.   

Curated by Taiwanese artist Yao Jui-chung (姚瑞中), the 2020 Taiwan Biennial, themed “Subzoology,” (禽獸不如) centers around international scientific, artistic and philosophical issues related to the human-animal relationship.

Based on the ten dharma realms in the Diamond Sūtra and treating the “Buddhist Path of Reincarnation into Animals” as the point of departure, the curator seeks to encourage a reflection on the long-term human plunderage and domination over natural creatures.

WatdanWuma, an Atayal performance artist, creates “Water World” through a bodily demonstration, reflecting on the fact that climate change is forcing human beings to face continuous disasters. However, it is actually caused by the harm we do to the environment, and the work aims to urge people to treat the Earth well. (The China Post)
With her work “The Blood of Plants Is All Green,” Sun Yi-jou expresses a new interpretation of life, in which all forms of life should be treated equally.

A “Flash Mob Performance” opened the annual exhibition on Saturday in Taichung’s coastal area, featuring local performers including WatdanWuma, Sun Yi-jou, Yeh Tzu-chi, River Lin, Fu Ya-wen+Chou Shu-yi, and Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel.  

Through ‘bodies’ and ‘actions,’ the live art performance aimed at creating a reflection on the deterioration of the ecological environment.

WatdanWuma uses his body as a tool to create ‘Hetero embryo‘ in an art performance full of life. (The China Post)
River Lin explores the fluidity and definition of gender through his work ” Je suis Huxian.” (The China Post)
Yeh Tzu-chi’s performance “Invalid Regret” interprets human’s life. (The China Post)

In response to the ecological and environmental issues the exhibition concerning, the flash mob performances took place at the Taichung Museum of Marine Ecology surrounding area in Qingshui District, the Da’an Port Mazu Culture Park, and finally back to the NTMoFA.

Taichung Museum of Marine Ecology surrounding area (left) in Qingshui District, to the Da’an Port Mazu Culture Park. (The China Post)
Through her performance titled ” Hetero embryo”, artist Sun Yi-jou expresses her reverence for everything in the universe and calls for respect for life and multidimensional thinking. (The China Post)
Under Tension, 2020 version at NTMoFA–Artists of Creative Collaboration: Fu Ya-wen + Chou Shu-yi (The China Post)

The exhibition comprises seven sub-themes “Sacrifice and Salvation,” “The Sub-history of Wildlife Trade,” “Portrait of Unknown Heroes,” “Laboratory/Operating Room/Specimen Room,” “Festivals/Sandbanks/Green Coverage Ratio,” “Beast Mimic/Tortured Beastnoid,” “Habitat/Zoo/National Park” and “Performance & Live Art/Multimedia Installation & Performance.”

Time flies while staring at Red Arowana by Sun Pei-mao (The China Post)

Seven subthemes serve as points of entry for this year’s biennial and are a reminder to the public to reflect on the devastation that confronts all of the beings on Earth. Being kind toward all life is the key to our longevity and a blessing to all our descendants. 

Golden Horse by Hsu Yin-ling (The China Post)

How to Get There? |  No. 2, Section 1, Wuquan West Road, West District, Taichung City, 403 
Date: Oct. 17, 2020 – Feb. 28, 2021