12th Taipei Biennial opens in France for first time

11/06/2021 10:15 PM
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Indigenous artist Aruwai Kaumakan
Indigenous artist Aruwai Kaumakan's "Vines in the Mountains" (in the far right cornor), which was created with Lemikalik" -- a Paiwan technique consisting in weaving in concentric circles is seen in the exhibition in France. CNA photo Nov. 6, 2021

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) The 12th Taipei Biennial opened in France on Saturday as a smaller version of the exhibition seen in Taipei earlier this year, giving it exposure to people outside of Taiwan.

The show, put together by French philosopher Bruno Latour and curator Martin Guinard, is called "You and I Don't Live on the Same Planet" and focuses on globalization and the worsening ecological crisis through the prisms of the humanities, history, geology, sociology and political science.

Guinard said at a press event Friday that the Taipei Biennial was one of the few exhibitions held last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was not accessible to overseas visitors because Taiwan had border controls in place.

The French edition of the exhibition, being held at a branch of the Centre Pompidou in Metz until April 4, 2022, will provide a wonderful opportunity for Europeans to enjoy it, he said.

People attending a preview of the event look at artist Chang Yung-ta
People attending a preview of the event look at artist Chang Yung-ta's "scape.unseen_model-T." CNA photo Nov. 6, 2021

The original exhibition in Taipei, held by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) between November 2020 and March 2021, showcased the works of 57 artists and teams from 27 countries, while the French edition will feature the works of 21 of the artists, including seven from Taiwan.

The museum said it was approached by the Centre Pompidou early this year to discuss the possibility of shifting the biennial to France. It is the first time that the TFAM has exported its Taipei Biennial exhibition overseas, according to the museum.

Hu Ching-fang (胡晴舫), director of the Cultural Center of Taiwan in Paris, which provided support for the show, said she felt "very proud" to have helped make it a reality and give European visitors a glimpse of the issues that have been prominent in Taiwan in recent years.

Meanwhile, Chiara Parisi, director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, said she was thrilled that the exhibition was re-imagined in France as it is one of the oldest and most prestigious biennials in the world.

(By Tseng Yi-hsuan and Teng Pei-ju)

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