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Ting-tong Chang (張碩尹) wins Taipei Art Awards grand prize

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Photo by LRM
Ting-tong Chang, the winner of the Grand Prize of this year’s Taipei Art Awards.

By Yali Chen
Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) held an awarding ceremony on December 11 to unveil the winners of this year’s Taipei Art Awards. Taiwanese artist Ting-tong Chang (張碩尹) clinched the Grand Prize of NT$550,000 for his creation “Betel Nut House, Shansu Bed and Snail Trap” (檳榔屋、山蘇床與蝸牛陷阱). He also earned an opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the TFAM.
This year, 13 artworks stood out from 486 entries. The other 12 winners are Li Kuei-pi (李奎壁), Hsu Yi-ting (許懿婷), Chu Chun-teng (朱駿騰), Hsu Ching-yuan (許進源), Pu Shuai-cheng (蒲帥成), Yang Li (楊立), Lin Yi-chi (林羿綺), Yang Che-yi (楊哲一), Chang Chih-chung (張致中), Rexy Tseng (曾慶強), River Lin (林人中), and Wen Ching-hao (溫晉豪). All winning entries are going on display in the TFAM from now until February 28, 2021.
Taipei City Deputy Mayor Tsai Bing-kuen (蔡炳坤) and TFAM Director Lin Ping (林平) gave out the awards.
“The entries for this year’s Taipei Art Awards focus on global issues. They present the diversity and openness of Taipei City as an international capital” Tsai said. “Congratulations to the 13 winning entries and participating artists. Each of you has won our support and recognition.”
“There were many wonderful entries for this year’s art competition,” Lin said. “The TFAM strives to increase the global invisibility of Taipei Art Awards by inviting an independent curator and two editors of an international magazine to serve as international observers and exchange ideas with the jury.”
The international observers are the independent curator Olivia J. Anani, as well as “White Fungus” (白木耳) editor-in-chief Ron Hanson and art director Mark Hanson. “White Fungus” is the Taichung-based arts magazine.
The jury members included Huang Chien-hung (黃建宏), Wu Chieh-hsiang (吳介祥), Chen Kun-feng (陳崑鋒), Peng Hung-chih (彭弘智), Su Hui-yu (蘇匯宇), Sharleen Yu (余思穎), and Chen Hui-ying (陳慧盈). Huang served as chairman of the jury.
In this year’s competition, the graphic artworks accounted for 45% of the total submissions. The 3D artworks, audiovisual art composition, and others accounted for 17%, 22%, and 16% respectively.
According to the jury, the artistic styles and ages of this year’s candidates were quite diverse. Their creations explored a wide variety of issues related to history, geopolitics, government power, the human body, and gender.
The selected works also demonstrate that the Taiwanese art community is very active in field research, archaeology, and physical practice. In addition, nearly half of the 13 winning entries comprise on-site and documented performances, music and dance. Such results show that performances have been valued in contemporary art in recent years.
Ting-tong Chang is a Taiwanese artist based in London. He earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2011.
The themes explored in the artist’s installations echo his early life in the Taiwanese society of manufacturing, exportation and the materialism associated found in an industrial area. When Chang moved to the U.K., his artistic style evolved into one that addressed the wider issues of consumerism in Western society and the environmental damage that had stemmed from consumerism. He described his journey to the West as a move from one machine to another, from the production of products and the resulting pollution to a machine that generated profit and crisis.
Chang has exhibited and received a number of awards internationally. Recent solo shows include at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (2014), Manchester Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (2015), and Christine Park Gallery London (2016). His major awards include the Edinburgh Creative Initiative Award 2013, Bursary Award 2015 of Royal British Society of Sculptors, and RISE Award 2016 at the Art Central Hong Kong. His works can be found in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Embassy of Brazil in London, Noblesse Collection in Seoul, Jose Mauricio Sanchez Ruiz Collection in Mexico, and private collections in Europe and Asia.
Life in the mountains with local farmers

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TFAM Photo
“Betel Nut House, Shansu Bed and Snail Trap” by Ting-tong Chang.

Chang’s newest work “Betel Nut House, Shansu Bed and Snail Trap” documents his life in the mountains for two weeks and his collaboration with local hunters and farmers. His dual-channel video conveys the relationship between betel nut palms, shansu flowers, and giant African snails – the three species in the natural environment of Taiwan.
The artist tries to express human history the perspective of the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, and informed by political, economic, and cultural structures. He also experienced transforming his “artistic skills” into “survival skills” in the mountains.

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TFAM Photo
“Diamond Dream” by Li Kuei-pi.

Born in Tainan in 1991, Li Kuei-pi graduated from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2017 with a master’s degree in fine arts. She now lives and works in Taipei. Her creations focus on in transnational mobility and labor experience.
In 2016, Li stayed twice in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, to conduct field research and create art. In August 2020, she held her solo exhibition “Diamond Island – Li Kuei-pi’s Solo Exhibition” in Taipei.
Koh Pich is an island located in the east of Phnom Penh. It used to be the area settled by minority ethnic groups and served as the quarantine area for leprosy patients. Since the Cambodia government reached a development agreement with several investment companies in 2006, this island has become a hot spot for construction companies from Taiwan and China. This gave rise to an array of villas and apartments, with replicas of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore springing up rapidly.
“Diamond Dream” (鑽石夢), part of the “Diamond Island,” was created with images, installations, and texts. It describes the recent development of Koh Pich Island. Li tries to explore the new look of Southeast Asia under the imperialist expansion of neoliberalism in the past century. Through local colonial history and related myths, as well as the development of their language, the artist shows how local residents face the intricate political and economic network coexisting with the history.
Female body as an art perspective

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“Floating Body – On the Wall” by Hsu Yi-ting.

Hsu Yi-ting’s “Floating Body – On the Wall” (飄浮身體──上牆) is a 60-minute performance. One female performer sits high on a wall, eating peanuts constantly and throwing away peanut shells. The artist used the female body as the overlapping perspective of the performer and her viewers.
Born in 1982 in Taipei, Chu Chun-teng made a number of feature films and participated in international film festivals in college. After graduation, Chu changed his major to fine arts, working on installation art and videos. In 2010, he earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Chu’s creations explore the dilemma of individuals in modern society, within a social hierarchy, and amid political conflicts. They have been on display in many museums from Taiwan and overseas, such as the TFAM, Kunsthaus Essen in Germany, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Centre for Contemporary Arts in Scotland, and Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Israel.
​In his winning entry “And it Came to Pass” (而它來去匆匆), Chu created an immersive ambience with a five-channel video installation. Through fragments of everyday life, he outlined the flow of life for residents in Chongqing, China. His creation focuses on the difficulties individuals face in society and how to strengthen their inner spirits in difficult situations.
Taiwan amid global political wrangling

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Photo from TFAM
“Allegories of Ocean” by Hsu Ching-yuan.

After retiring from the construction industry in 2002, Hsu Ching-yuan led a team of his former coworkers to engage in image creation. His work “Allegories of Ocean” (海的寓言) discusses Taiwan’s fate amid international political wrangling and its people’s survival in what they consider an absurd situation.
Pu Shuai-cheng graduated from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2012 with a master’s degree in new media art. He held solo exhibitions between 2012 and 2020.
The interdisciplinary artist’s newest piece “Bugs in the Office” (辦公室有蟲--系統小疣) is the product of his observations and experience of conflicts within the social system. It includes three short stories and three kinetic video installations.
Multiple metaphors are seen in Pu’s creation to show the movement and change of individuals within social systems and groups. This year, his work not only won the Taipei Art Awards, but also received a grant from the National Culture and Arts Foundation (NCAF) in Taiwan.
In addition, all exhibition visitors are invited to vote for their favorite artwork from now until January 31, 2021. They can vote in person at the venue of the exhibition to decide who will win this year’s Audience Award.