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"FACE TO FACE: Contemporary Art From Taiwan"
2000-06-19 until 2000-07-22
Monash University Gallery
Clayton, VI, AU Australia

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.

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.

A comprehensive colour catalogue and an education kit will accompany the exhibition and will be available . 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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