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May 06 2019

Title, Curators And Artists Announced For 7th Asian Art Biennial

by Ophelia Lai

(Left to right) HO TZU NYEN and HSU CHIA-WEI are the curators of the 7th Asian Art Biennial, titled "The Strangers from Beyond the Mountain and the Sea.” Portrait of Ho Tzu Nyen by Amos Wong, courtesy the artist. Portrait of Hsu Chia-Wei courtesy Liang Gallery, Taipei.

The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) in Taichung has released the title, theme, and a partial list of participants for the 2019 Asian Art Biennial. Helmed by multimedia artists Hsu Chia-Wei and Ho Tzu Nyen, the seventh edition will explore the intersections of history, geography and politics across Asia under the title “The Strangers from Beyond the Mountain and the Sea.”

According to the press release dated May 6, the titular “stranger” is drawn from the ancient Japanese folkloric figure of the marebito, explained by ethnologist Shinobu Orikuchi as a “rare visitor,” often with spiritual powers, who delivers gifts of wisdom and good fortune. Hsu and Ho reimagine the marebito to “take the form of the migrant, the ethnic minority, the colonist, the foreign merchant, the smuggler, the partisan, the shaman and the traitor—figures that are conduits to an unknown outside, and who channel forces that test the very limits of our sense of self, our society and our species.” Additionally, the curators will consider human histories in parallel with non-anthropocentric conceptions of time, exploring contemporary issues such as “the unfinished project of decolonization” in the context of broader ecological concerns. 

The Biennial’s lineup consists of 33 artists and collectives, including:

Chiang Kai-Chun (Taiwan)

Chiu Chen-Hung (Taiwan)

Shilpa Gupta (India)

Jiandyin (Thailand)

Hiwa K (Iraq)

Liu Chuang (China)

Liu Yu (Taiwan)

Gilad Ratman (Israel)

Timur Si-Qin (Germany)

Yuichiro Tamura (Japan)

Sawangwongse Yawnghwe (Myanmar)

Lifepatch (Indonesia) + Open-Contemporary Art Center (Taiwan)

Ting Chaong-Wen (Taiwan)

Wang Hong-Kai (Taiwan)

The Biennial is slated to open at NTMoFA in October 2019.

Ophelia Lai is ArtAsiaPacific’s reviews editor.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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