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2023 13th Taipei Biennial “Small World”

2023 13th Taipei Biennial “Small World”

The 13th Taipei Biennial, organized by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, will be held from 18 November 2023 to 24 March 2024. Co-curated by Freya Chou (周安曼), Reem Shadid, and Brian Kuan Wood, the exhibition brings together more than 50 artists, musicians, and writers from Taiwan and around the world. Based on residency research and creation, the showcase includes 19 new works and commissioned pieces encompassing sound, moving images, photography, video, painting, sculpture, and installations. The event also features a series of musical performances, workshops, film screenings, and an online journal project called “Small World Journal”, which transforms the Taipei Fine Arts Museum into a space for listening, gathering, and spontaneous creation.

Themed “Small World”, this biennial will inspire hope while also revealing uncertainty. The global pandemic has impacted our control over our lives but has also raised concerns about isolation from the larger community. As the world shrinks, this can bring people closer together, yet it can also create a sense of emotional distance. The “Small World” hovers in a state of flux between gathering and separation, embodying the helplessness and inevitability of seeking closeness while being forced into isolation. The Taipei Biennial addresses our shared predicament and invites the audience to explore how to use the pandemic experience to envision new ways of life. It encourages reflection on whether, in times of increasing tension and complexity, our desires for simplicity and sensibility have become elusive.

Music plays a crucial role in this year’s biennial, serving not only as a cultural force and a source of performance tension, but also complementing other forms of visual artistic expression. One exhibition hall has been transformed into the Music Room for this biennial, hosting public projects centered around music from December 2023 to March 2024. Three groups of music creators have been invited to take part in this initiative: DJ Sniff from Los Angeles/Japan, Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ & Wok the Rock from Indonesia, and “Ting Shuo Hear Say” from Tainan. During the biennial, they will organize gatherings, recording experiments, improvisational performances, and musical compositions.

“In ‘Small World’, the three curators express the idea that, although isolation may lead us to lose some self and social intervention power, it also opens up a space in which we have the freedom not to fear assimilation. For example, we can refuse to be quantified, speak as loudly as we like, or fidget, but we can also observe quietly and enjoy moments of tranquility. Perhaps we have all passionately longed for the luxury of a simple life, but ‘Small World’ inspires us to stand firm, forgo the desire for recognition, and refuse to please others for the sake of gains that are ultimately elusive. 

Opening Week Events

This year’s Taipei Biennial will see public events on November 18th and 19th. Participating artists, musicians, and writers from the exhibition have been invited to participate in a series of dialogues, on-site music performances, and music label listening sessions. The “Listening session: Artist-run music labels” will showcase musicians hosted by music labels sharing their experiences in management and introducing works by represented artists. The “Artist on Artist” series brings together four guests to discuss their exhibited works and creative concepts. In addition, opening week will feature a special performance with Palestinian artist Samia Halaby, recognized as a pioneer in computer-generated art, who will take part in live improvised dynamic painting alongside Indonesian artist Julian Abraham ‘Togar’. Taiwanese artist Jiun-Yang Li (李俊陽) will also perform live in the exhibition space with the band Buddha, Tiger, Dog.

For the latest information on more participating artists and opening week activities, visit the official 2023 Taipei Biennial website or follow “Taipei Fine Arts Museum” on our Facebook and IG fan pages.

2023 13th Taipei Biennial “Small World”

Exhibition Period: Saturday 18 November – Sunday 24 March 

Venue: First & Second Floors & Basement Exhibition Rooms, Taipei Fine Arts Museum