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National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
5 October 2013 - 5 January 2014
Curator: Iris Shu-Ping HUANG
Exhibition Coordinator: Pei-Min HSIEH
On October 5th 2013, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts’ (NTMoFA) launched the presentation of the 4th Asian Art Biennial, with the overarching theme of the this year being Everyday Life. Curated by NTMoFA curator, Iris Shu-Ping Huang, the theme ofEveryday Life presents creative trends observed in Asian arts in the recent years, and it further focuses on the "everyday-ness" in daily experiences, and as well as the aesthetic development with the return to everyday life. Furthermore, the theme of Everyday Lifealso embodies another layer of meaning, as it anticipates to investigate and reflect on the emerging irregular social conventions and systems and to regain a genuine sense of self-esteem and consideration for the essence of life in a social setting.
Asia is blessed with richly diverse geography, ethnicity, culture, and history, and as artistic expressions seem to become more homogeneous due to globalization, the boundaries from one place to another and from private realms to public are undoubtedly becoming more ambiguous. As cross-territorial and cross-cultural impacts become tightly intertwined, various issues of homogenization and life’s transitions are challenging our comprehensions for Asia and also our customary thoughts.
As the features of everyday life are no longer ordinary and realistic, Everyday Life thus intends to reflect on this sense of ironic everyday-ness. It inches closer to reality to carefully experience life’s current conditions; however, it also needs to break away from conventions and to examine the unordinary aspects present in life.
In the midst of the rise of a cultural phenomenon which brands itself as the "new Asian experience" of the 21st century, traditional core concepts are being replaced by everyday trends, and the phenomenon also signifies that people’s everyday responses have gradually become the base for mainstream values, with "day-after-day recurrences" being fully re-examined. As the main structure returns to being comprised of the basic elements and with the return to individuals' internal values, people’s emotional capabilities are being re-examined, with thoughts returning to the core essence.
Asia is faced with the challenge of how to respond to reality, and "how to live the everyday life" is a situation that we must deal with on a daily basis. People are concerned with how to dwell in the everyday life, which includes ways to coexist with life’s different uncertainties and irregularities. Recent years have seen a growing trend in Asian contemporary arts to resort to the aesthetic language of everyday life in the efforts to reflect on the workings of the social mechanisms, with special emphasis on micro-actualizations, mundane knowledge acquirements, visual styles, social relations, and also changes in the society that one dwells in. Through concerns for life and creative language and aesthetical forms that have come from critical realizations, artists are replacing the grand narrative of history with individual styles, and the most ordinary aspect of everyday realities becomes the best mirror for reflecting the current conditions and also one's personal premises.
The objective of the theme of Everyday Life for this year’s biennial is to contextualize the chaotic and irregular life that we are facing in today’s time, with perceptual experiences and rational assessments of life’s minute conditions. The exhibition will include about 35 contributing artists from Asia presenting artworks of different styles and genres, and they will offer their unique viewpoints for the social landscape that is increasingly being made into a spectacle. The exhibition also intends to invite artists from Israel, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to produce new projects locally, and these artworks will present various aesthetic languages and personal social realizations through diverse perspectives and different reflections for life.
In addition to the exhibition, Asian art and curatorial symposiums will be held on the weekend following the opening, with scholars invited to conduct discussions on the subject of Asia’s cultural diversity.
(From press information)