Taipei Biennial celebrates another successful edition and announces curators for 12th edition
March 7, 2019 – Taipei: The 11th Taipei Biennial by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), Post-Nature: A Museum as an Ecosystem, has been well-received since its opening in November 2018 and will come to an end this weekend. TFAM announced today that the 12th edition of Taipei Biennial in 2020 will be curated by prestigious French sociologist and philosopher Bruno Latour as well as independent curator Martin Guinard-Terrin. The two curators stated that the next edition will further probe into the geo-political and geo-historical issues based on the curatorial dialogue of the 11th edition, in hopes of opening discussions on how to establish a foothold on this land by bringing artists, academics and activists together inside TFAM.
The curatorial statements of the 11th edition center around the coexistence of human and ecology as well as the symbiotic relations between ecologies. Many problems we all face in daily lives are exposed in the form of exhibition. During the Biennial, discussions regarding these issues have continuously developed from local topics to international affairs, and the subject matter has extended from art and culture toward science and sociology. As the Director of TFAM Ping Lin put it, “This edition of our Biennial has successfully raised public awareness about extensive issues with its curatorial perspectives. Discussions with various circles, including art, popular science, agriculture, ecology and history have taken place during the exhibition; there has been wide media coverage in different fields of expertise. Such momentum in exchanges is unparalleled in the Biennial’s history.”
This year at the Biennial, walking tours and community participation activities have guided the participants to explore suburban hills, green spaces along the riverside as well as urban communities; it initiated critical thinking through artistic actions and facilitated transformation in ecological awareness about environmental issues. The issue- and practice-based exhibition has led to a fruitful result in terms of the number of visitors: as of the end of February, the exhibition had welcomed 170,000 visitors. Group tour reservations were popular, and visiting groups consisted of elementary and high schools, colleges and universities, social education institutions, major enterprises, and academic research units. Many major international art institutes also sent delegations to visit, including Tate Modern, Mori Art Museum and MoMA New York. Their engagement highlighted the characteristics of the Biennial this year: it not only serves the public audiences but also initiates discussions and discourses.
In a public interview, curator Mali Wu said that the exhibition involves a great variety of topics in order to make these issues visible and further put them into practice. TFAM as a platform would transform the “protests” in social movements into “advocacies,” and this is what both curators expected to witness and achieve. In response to the rich diversity of the content of the Biennial, curator Manacorda stressed that he hoped Post-Nature could further raise public awareness to environmental issues, which should not be restricted to a curricular topic but a civic mission for which all modern citizens should be responsible. At the same time, he was pleased to know that curator Latour will take the issues and discussions brought up in Taipei Biennial 2018 to the next edition, and that he will look forward to the execution of the curatorial themes for Taipei Biennial 2020.
For the very first time, Taipei Biennial is announcing the curators for the next edition at the end of an ongoing edition, and Director of TFAM Ping Lin believed that this change allows a longer preparation period and sets the foundation for curatorial themes to be discussed and passed down, which helps to develop a more mature and stable mechanism for exhibition. TFAM is more than willing to serve its purpose and responsibility as a platform for communication where curatorial teams of the two editions can share and discuss their perspectives to build connections and achieve coherence in curatorial themes. TFAM also announces that the 12th Taipei Biennial is planning to take place in October, 2020. With the curators being announced today, the next Taipei Biennial will enjoy a longer preparation period than the previous editions, providing the curators with more resources and support as well as more freedom and time to experiment together.
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