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Indepth Arts News:

"FACE TO FACE: Contemporary Art From Taiwan"
1999-09-07 until 1999-11-07
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Gold Coast, , AU Australia

Gold Coast City Art Gallery in partnership with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum on Taiwan will open the exhibition Face to Face: Contemporary Art From Taiwan, which will also tour to Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. This exhibition, curated by Ms. Sophie McIntyre represents the first of a series of exhibitions co-organized by these two sister-city galleries.

Face to Face showcases 30 mixed media works by 8 contemporary artists in Taiwan from the thirties-something generation. As the beneficiaries of Taiwan's Economic Miracle, this new generation of artists are facing the real effects of Taiwan's rapid economic modernisation and its impact on the environment and on local practices and beliefs. In this post-industrial society where urbanisation, commercialisation and westernisation co-exist, the self has become the focus of veneration, as people in Taiwan struggle not only to save face but to show face.

The artists included in Face to Face explore a wide range of contemporary issues which are relevant to Taiwan, but which also have global significance. Artist Yao Jui -Chung for example, explores the construction of national identity. In his most recent series titled World is for All, Yao has visited various cities around the world and photographed himself standing under the gate which symbolically marks the entrance to Chinatown. The title World is for All is adopted from the inscription on the gates and Yao uses it deliberately to examine the patterns of immigration and settlement by Chinese all over the world.

Other artists, such as Chen Chieh-Jen, Wang Jun-Jieh and Huang Chih-Yung focus on the mass media and the growing consumer market in Taiwan, to explore the relationship between reality, illusion, desire and detachment, life and death. For other artists the environment, family, and gender issues are of central concern, and transcend geographic boundaries.

These artists work in a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional media, including photography and computer-generated works, painting, drawing and textiles.

The majority of artists included in Face to Face will create a new work designed specifically for this exhibition, and at least two artists will come to the Gold Coast to produce their works. To further develop the opportunity for cultural interaction and exchange which is central to Face to Face, several artists will also participate in seminars, and artist in residency programs and other public programs which have been organized at Gold Coast City Art Gallery and at other participating touring venues in Sydney, Orange, Canberra and Melbourne.

This exhibition is the culmination of several years of research which the Curator, Sophie McIntyre, has undertaken whilst living in Taiwan. As a recipient of the Edward Weary Dunlop Asia Fellowship and the Australia Foundation's travel grant, Ms. McIntyre has been living in Taiwan and working as Curator-in-Residence at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum where she worked on this exhibition.

Entrance to this exhibition will be free, and Face to Face will be officially opened on September 7 1999 at 6.30pm, by the Hon Matt Foley MLA, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Arts. Special guest will be Lin Mun-Lee, Director, Taipei Fine Arts Museum. A comprehensive colour catalogue and an education kit will accompany the exhibition and will be available through Gold Coast City Art Gallery and other participating galleries. The exhibition will tour to the Orange Regional Art Gallery, Orange; Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra; the Sydney College of Arts, Sydney; and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne before it returns to Taiwan throughout 1999 and 2000.

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