The purpose of this blog is to invite you to travel east with us, specifically to Taiwan, a small volcanic island that has been colonized for centuries, but is suddenly coming into its own. Artists are mirrors and rebels, we speak a common language. Our hope is to experience, reflect upon, and create work about Taiwan from many perspectives, in its heightened moment of radical self definition.
Due East invites multidisciplinary artists from across the world to create new works that reflect issues of belonging and separation, to look within and without, while exploring Taiwan’s history and culture. For centuries, colonial powers vying for control practically destroyed Taiwanese culture and memory. Under the Qing dynasty rule, due to the dominance of the Han Chinese, the aboriginals were marginalized and killed; during Japanese occupation, Taiwanese culture was denied; after 1945 Taiwanese culture and history was suppressed by Chinese nationalism (KMT). Since the 1980’s, the society and especially the artists have slowly begun to seek and construct self-identification.
Special thanks to the wonderful and talented artists we met in Taipei and Tainan. In one collective voice, they echoed three striking words:
We are here.
Taipei artists: Joyce Ho, Liao Chien Chung, Ji-hong Lee, Wu Tien Chang, Chia En-Jao, I Ting Hou.
Tainan artists: Chen Yen-Yi, Huang-Ti Lin, Lin Shu Kai, Huang Yi-Min, Chiang Li-Ren, Lee Hsu-Pin, Chen Po-I
Special thanks to:
Dar Kuen Wu, Co-curator of Taipei Biennial 2016 and Head curator at TAF
Lee Hsiangling, Director of TAF and Jow-Jiun Gong, Culture Lab@TAF
Chen Yen-Yi and Huang Yi- Min, Directors of Absolute Art Space in Tainan
and to Hsu, Yuan-Ta, curator and professor who translated for us.
Due East is the third project in a quartet of volcanic island explorations. Due North (2014) explored Iceland, Due South (2017), Sicily. Due East (2020) explores Taiwan, from both insider and outsider perspectives.