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TFAM introduces participating artists for Taipei Biennial

By Yali Chen
Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) announced a list of 39 participating artists and groups from 18 countries for the 12th edition of Taipei Biennial. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TFAM postponed the event. It is set to run from November 21, 2020 until March 14, 2021.
Titled “You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet,” this year’s biennial aims to integrate political and diplomatic tactics into the realm of environmental discussions. The event was co-curated by French sociologist-philosopher Bruno Latour and Paris-based independent curator Martin Guinard-Terrin.

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Photo from TFAM
“Mass” (2020) by French artists June Balthazard and Pierre Pauze.
The two curators hope to transform the exhibition into a fieldwork. To do so, they invited Taiwan’s Mt. Project founder and director Eva Lin (林怡華) to join their team and take charge of this year’s public programs.
The TFAM unveiled the curatorial theme in September 2019. At that time, Latour and Guinard-Terrin did their fieldwork in Taipei. They also visited and exchanged ideas with a number of local scholars, including Daiwie Fu (傅大為), Wang Zhi-hong (王志弘), Sean Hsiang-lin Lei (雷祥麟), and Kuo Wen-hua (郭文華). Their conversations spanned across political science, sociology, geology, marine science, and the humanities. Such exchanges laid the groundwork for this year’s biennial.

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Photo from TFAM
“Présage” (2017) by Moroccan artist Hicham Berrada.
French artists June Balthazard and Pierre Pauze, Moroccan artist Hicham Berrada, Mexican artist Antonio Vega Macotela, Brazilian artist Daniel Steegmann Mangrane, London-based duo Cooking Sections, and Paiwan artist Aruwai Kaumakan (武玉玲) will take part in the event.

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Photo from TFAM
“Moment in Blossom” (2018) by Paiwan artist Aruwai Kaumakan.

The exhibition will be imagined as a “planetarium,” where each artist can represent a certain “pull of gravity.” Aruwai Kaumakan’s “Moment in Blossom” (2018) embodies the features of what the curator Latour called the “Terrestrial Planet.”
Kaumakan was a jewelry designer. After a typhoon destroyed her hometown in 2008, she decided to change her creations. Now her works are a marvelous example of Paiwan culture and art.
One of the highlights of this year’s biennial is the “Theater of Negotiations” (協商劇場). This collaborative project came from the teachers and students of the Taiwan Science, Technology and Society Association (臺灣科技與社會研究學會).