Only on arrival and after entering the building did we realise that the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung is actually the largest art museum in the whole of Asia, if you include the outdoor garden displaying interesting sculptures (which of course, they do 🙂)
Unlike the other museums we had visited up until that point since our arrival in Taiwan, we found that the NTMFA is more focused on Taiwanese modern and contemporary art – but not solely – by showing permanent and temporary exhibitions. Knowing as much we decided to go, we wanted to see and learn more about the local Taiwanese art.
I think we couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit it, in fact the YES, TAIWAN – 2012 Taiwan Biennial was on together with other exhibitions that I particularly liked such as the TEA/Collective Wisdom— 2012 International Techno Art Exhibition.
The Taiwan Biennial was focused on promoting, exploring and exhibiting the current state of Taiwanese contemporary artists coming from different cultural backgrounds with different ages. They represented various themes by using different types of art expression, styles and media.
It was certainly interesting to see these artworks, all very young & fresh pieces having been completed only in the last two years.
Probably my favorite exhibition was the TEA/Collective Wisdom (TEA stands for Technology, Entertainment and Art) which focuses on how the messages are delivered into the modern era of social media and how artists take part in it. A very contemporary subject and super interesting which shows how art can be shared easily and be more accessible to a wider public.
As you know the more the technology improves, more the chances are that people can easily access anything, cultural/artistic activities included no matter where in the world they are also thank to the Internet and the massive world of social media. Such a sensitive and controversial subject, highly discussed nowadays.
There were different pieces exposed that caught my attention like ‘Twistori’ by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs which is a social experiment based on Twitter. It extracts tweets based on determined keywords (I love, I hate, I wish…) to stream them on its website. As you can probably imagine the result is a flow of emotions coming from different people and based on different situations.
‘Hello World’ is a video installation by Christopher Baker that shows how people want to be heard up & above the rest of the mass and the surrounding noises.
‘Shadowgram’ of which I took part myself like the rest of the people there who wanted to. They took a picture of my silhouette, printed it and asked me to placed it on the wall, together with a speech balloon with any of my thought/comment. The result was an entire wall seen as a big collective message open to interpretation. This artwork changes constantly and it is seen as a form of social brainstorming.
Even ‘Face to Facebook’ by Paolo Cirio was exposed there. You might have already heard and read about this work that demonstrates the privacy protection issue, a very appropriate artwork related to the theme of this exhibition.
For those that haven’t heard of ‘Face to Facebook’, you may have heard it mentioned in a different light on the news in 2012. In 2012 Paolo skimmed across Facebook and managed to download the private pictures of thousands of people calling into question, not only the strength of internet security, but also the ease of which people will display there personal details and pretty much their whole life for the world to see.
The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts isn’t an art showcase only, in fact it provides different other services and learning opportunities such as workshops, artists’ talks, film screenings and many other facilities for different audiences such as art-lovers, children, families, artists and schools.
Isn’t it amazing having the opportunity and the access to such structure that encourages, supports and spreads the love for art in many ways?
How To Find –
To reach the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts from the Taichung train station, take either the buses operated by Renyou number 59 or 89; or the 71 – Taichung Bus; or the 75 – U bus (Tunglien), or 5 – U bus (Chuang Hang).
Value For Money –
HIGH – How often do you have the chance to access to art without paying even a penny?
Location Address & Map –
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
No. 11, Wuquan W. Road,
View National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in a larger map
We both loved this Museum and, even if we didn’t like every single piece exposed, we thought it was amazing for the community to have access to all the activities that the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts offers. We would definitely take part of some if we were living there.