Universes in Universe

For an optimal view of our website, please rotate your tablet horizontally.

13th Taipei Biennial 2023

News 2024:
The “Hostbuster” music program runs through 27 January 2024; “Sound Worlds Rotation,” from 21 February - 17 March at TFAM's Music Room. 
“Small World Cinema” in New York: Video works from Taipei Biennial 2023 at SculptureCenter, NY, 25 January - 25 March 2024.
more information

Small World

Organised by Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), Taipei Biennial 2023 takes place from 18 November 2023 through 24 March 2024. Curated by curator Freya Chou, writer and editor Brian Kuan Wood, and curator Reem Shadid, this year’s iteration brings together over 50 international and local artists and musicians, transforming the museum into a space of listening, gathering, improvising, and exploring alternative ways to perceive and apply what we learned from the recent pandemic. Nineteen new works and commissions are featured at the Biennial, alongside installations, performances, and musical and cinematic experiences that question promises of the simple and sensual amidst increasing tension and complexity.

The title "Small World" suggests both a promise and a threat: a promise of greater control over one’s own life, and a threat of isolation from a larger community following a global pandemic. Our world can become smaller as we grow closer to one another, but also as we grow apart. This "Small World" takes place within such a suspended state of being unable to join together nor completely separate. Through a series of presentations that comprise sound, music, moving images, photography, video, paintings, sculptures and installations, "Small World" presents audiences with the dilemma faced by us and our societies.

The three curators stated that: "The 'Small World' is a lonely and entitled place that we have lost parts of ourselves and our societies to, but it may also be a place that welcomes strange acts of refusing to scale up or down, to amplify, unplug, move, or stay put. It might lure us towards illusions of impossible permanence and simplicity, towards absolute primacies and intoxicating authenticities that surpass all influences, but it also encourages us to betray the need to translate and be understood, to please others for some eventual benefit that never arrives."

Jun-Jieh Wang, Director of Taipei Fine Arts Museum and Taipei Biennial 2023; Curators Reem Shadid, Freya Chou and Brian Kuan Wood; Tsai Shih-Ping, Commissioner of Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government (from left to right)
© Photo: Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Opening-week program

The Biennial held a two-day opening program on 18 and 19 November 2023, consisting of conversations, live music performances, and listening sessions presented by artists, musicians, and writers from the Biennial.

The conversation series of Artist on Artist invited groups of participants to share their work in the exhibition and exchange thoughts on their artistic practices in general including dj sniff, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Samia Halaby, Lai Chih-Sheng, Ellen Pau, Wang Wei, Alexander Provan, alongside special guest Terre Thaemlitz (a.k.a DJ Sprinkles).

Taiwanese artist Li Jiun Yang, together with the band Buddha, Tiger, Dog, performed as part of his presentation The Psychedelic Spiritual Ceremony, an installation on view in the exhibition that traces his artistic journey over the past few decades. Samia Halaby, a 93 year old New York based Palestinian abstract painter who is recognised as the pioneer of Kinetic Computer Painting, showed a series of kinetic paintings that she wrote on her Amiga computer since the 80s. The program transformed the keyboard of her computer to a piano keyboard for abstract paintings. The digital paintings were produced through a live performance of her interacting and improvising with other collaborators, and the vivid colour changed along the music melody. During the opening week, Halaby did a live performance on kinetic paintings together with Indonesian artist Julian Abraham (Togar) . Additionally, she engaged in a conversation with leading Hong Kong video artist Ellen Pau.

During the opening week Samia Halaby (* 1936 Jerusalem) did a live performance on kinetic paintings together with Indonesian artist Julian Abraham (Togar).

Music and ways of relating to music plays an important role in Taipei Biennial 2023 as a form of cultural energy and performative tension, but also as a counterpoint to the modes of attention and embodiment ascribed to visual art. The Biennial transforms a gallery into a music room, designed by AAU ANASTAS Studio, founded by Palestinian architects Elias and Yousef Anastas. During the opening program, Listening sessions focused on artist-run music labels took place in the Music Room and invited presenters to share stories, challenges, and most importantly, music from the various artist networks that the labels have nurtured over the years. Participants including Comatonse recordings by DJ Sprinkles, YesNoWave Music by Julian Abrahm ‘Togar’ and Wok the Rock, Ting Shuo Hear Say by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Nigel Brown, and Senko Issha Records by Chi-Guang Wang.

Throughout the exhibition period, the Biennial invited three groups of musicians and sound practitioners, including dj sniff from Los Angeles / Tokyo, Julian Abraham (Togar) & Wok the Rock from Indonesia and Ting Shuo Hear Say from Tainan to host programs dedicated to gathering, recording, jamming, and music programming. From 11 to 17 December, 2023, the Music Room will present its first program ex-DJ with a one-week open studio hosted by dj sniff featuring three experimental turntablists from around the globe: Mariam Rezaei from Newcastle, UK, SlowPitchSound from Toronto, and DJ Rex Chen from Taichung. They will present a series of performances together with dj sniff. Various programs at the Music Room will run through March 2024. 
more about the program 2024

Taipei Biennial

Being one of the most long-standing biennials in Asia, the Taipei Biennial held by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum has endeavored in driving Taiwanese contemporary art development since it was launched in 1998, facilitating a platform of interaction and exchange between local and international communities through its vigorous engagement informed by diversely cultural perspectives in Asian and global contemporary art networks. Through the multi-directional communication of exhibition mechanism, the biennial aims to proactively lead in discussions and respond to contemporary issues, encompassing global perspectives and regional individuality. In the recent editions, experts and professionals from various disciplines have been invited to participate in the biennial with the objective to spark and introduce multifacetedness of art, while engendering the energy of different artistic dimensions.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Established in 1983 in response to a burgeoning modern art movement, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is Taiwan’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Since its inception, the museum has shouldered its mission dedicated to the preservation, research, development and advocacy of modern art in Taiwan, while staying abreast of cultural productions that arise in the context of an expanding global contemporary art scene. TFAM has been participating in Venice Biennale since 1995 and has been hosting the Taipei Biennial since 1998, inviting renowned international and local curators and artists to participate in the exhibition.

CTBC Foundation for Arts and Culture

In 1996, the CTBC Foundation for Arts and Culture was established to stimulate the art and cultural environment in Taiwan and elevate cultural literacy among the general public. In earlier years, the foundation focused on theater operations. In 2015, it underwent a transformation and initiated a three-pronged approach to promote visual arts, supporting performance arts, and fostering arts and culture education. The foundation organizes the CTBC Arts Festival annually, to promote performance art between global and local communities. It also hosts Dreams Initiatives Project, inviting artists as mentor to conduct workshops at schools in rural areas, bridging the gap by making arts resources accessible to all cities and towns in Taiwan. Starting from 2021, the foundation holds the CTBC Painting Prize biennially, the only award focusing on contemporary painting in Taiwan. It encourages young artists to explore their creativity with contemporary approaches and support unique and innovative voices. Affirming the Biennial’s positive influence on society, CTBC Foundation for Arts and Culture sponsored the Taipei Biennial 2020, and will continue to be the lead sponsor of the Taipei Biennial 2023.

Organizer, contact:

Taipei Fine Arts Museum
No.181, Sec. 3, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist.,
Taipei City 10461, Taiwan
Website | Contact

TB23 official website

Follow Taipei Fine Arts Museum:
Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Media contacts:
Daisy Shiou
Jean Tzu-chin Kao

From press information.
Photo on top: Nadim Abbas, Pilgrim in the Microworld, 2023
© Courtesy of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

See also in UiU:

Back to Top