Art Taipei, Taipei World Financial Center
2012.11.09 Fri - 2012.11.11 Sun
Opening Exhibitions
Taipei World Trade Center (Area B C D) No. 3號, Sōnglián Road, Xinyi District Taipei City, Taiwan 110
+886 2 2585 0382
Opening Hours
Tingyi Chu

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Art Taipei Struggles to Play in the Big Leagues

Art Taipei has always had a certain allure for galleries as a fair which has the power to attract local collectors — the Taiwanese are known to be big buyers unlike their counterparts on the Mainland — and though Taiwanese galleries fared well this year, no-one else managed much traction.

This year’s offerings were characterized by a disparity in quality. Though the bad work was indeed exceptionally bad (see slide show) the good work was also very good. One particular bright spot was the curated exhibition “Mountain Winds and Ocean Waves: Expressions of Austronesian Artists in Taiwan,” which rather than being an ethnographical showcase instead included some challenging explorations of form including Ruby Swana’s “Countless Ties” (loofa fiber, 2012).

Yet overall, the fair lacked the interesting project booths we find in other fairs, and there seemed to be a bias towards painting. There was also a perplexing mixture of very contemporary work. For instance Hiroshi Shinno’s installation “2012.3.18, Kyoto” (synthetic resin, brass, acrylic, 2012; at YOD Gallery), a stunning work, could be found beside realistic oil portraiture, traditional ink painting, decorative paintings, or kitschy anime-influenced work. Art Taipei has strong potential, especially given the failing fortunes of  the SHContemporary and the overcrowding of ArtHK (now ArtBasel Hong Kong), but it remains to be seen if it can rise to the occasion of being a truly international fair.