Curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, the Taipei Biennial 2014 was held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum 臺北市立美術館 in Zhōngshān District 中山區 from September into the early part of the new year. The theme is “art in the age of the anthropocene”, the current geophysical epoch defined by humankind’s enormous impact on the natural world. From the curator’s notes:
this exhibition is organized around the cohabitation of human consciousness with swarming animals, data processing, the rapid growth of plants and the slow movements of matter. I am no serious critic but I certainly appreciate thought-provoking art when I see it. Since I haven’t any expertise in this area I’m mostly going to let the photos speak for themselves, however incomprehensible that might be. Much like the Xu Bing retrospective it was an inspiring experience so I’d like to have a record of it here on my blog.
Pictured here is part of Golden Ghost (Reality Called, So I Woke Up), an installation by Surasi Kusolwong. A description of the work:
12 gold necklaces with symbol made and designed by the artist are hidden in industrial thread waste of 5 tons in the exhibition space. Neon work, mirror, photographs and works on paper.
By the time I visited all of the gold necklaces had been found—but the work continued to be exceedingly popular among Taiwanese youth. People were just hanging out, chatting and laughing, burying each other in yarn, and—of course—taking many, many photos of themselves.
If you find your curiosity piqued I suggest perusing the official guide book (PDF), this interview, or this review (with more photos) to get a sense of what it’s all about. The works range from the mundane to the inscrutable—and, this being modern art, there are plenty of outlandishly bizarre things I simply didn’t understand—but for the most part I found that puzzling out what was going on in each section was worth the effort. For a mere 30 NT (about USD$1) it feels almost criminal to experience such a wealth of creative talent.