拋爾控固力：島嶼現代性之夢 Power! Concrete! Let's Build the Island's Modern Dream!
名稱 拋爾控固力：島嶼現代性之夢 Power! Concrete! Let's Build the Island's Modern Dream!
時間 2023/02/25 10:00 ~ 2023/06/11 18:00
"Everyday Life and Landscapes of the Island: Betel Nuts, Bananas, Sugar Cane, and Palms", an exhibition previously held at the museum in 2020, attempted to reconstruct the concept of landscape in Taiwan's art history through local economic crops. This exhibition, "Power! Concrete! Let's Build the Island's Modern Dream!”, seeks to further discuss the industrial transformation on the island and its impact on Taiwan's lifestyle and artistic creativity.
Since the era of Japanese rule, successive regimes’ industrialization projects on the island have not merely fulfilled a given regime’s own needs; in fact, industrialization has driven Taiwan towards the process of modernization. From the infrastructure construction boom during the Japanese colonial period to the post-war Ten Major Construction Projects, Taiwan has transformed itself from being a weak economic power during the early post-war stage to one of the Four Asian Tigers. With the development of high-tech industry and the deployment of core infrastructure such as high-speed rail in recent years, Taiwan has become a developed country with high industrial and commercial growth.
However, when faced with the landscape changes resulting from such progress, how do artists in Taiwan challenge and depict the landscape and themes of industrialization? When residents of the island begin demanding speed and convenience, alongside bigger and taller buildings, is this concrete-imprisoned island still the Beautiful Formosa at which people would marvel?
“Power! Concrete! Let's Build the Island's Modern Dream" attempts to re-examine the process of industrialization and modernization in Taiwan from various angles. At the exhibition, we can see how senior artists such as Lin Yu-shan and Li Chi-mao used traditional media to depict Taiwan's industrial landscape; we can also see how the hardcore artists Chen Shui-tsai and Lu Hsien-ming translated Taiwan's industrial landscape into the artistic language of contemporary painting. On top of these recognized names, the exhibition features works by many contemporary artists showcasing their feelings — including satire and resistance — towards this industrial island.
Modernization and industrialization carry with them not only dust blotting out the sky; these forces equally influence the lifestyle and leisure activities of the people in Taiwan. From the bento boxes that fill the stomach during rail travels, to the international airports that allow us to travel abroad conveniently, these industrial constructions also harbor our fond memories of the past.
This exhibition is not about glorifying modern constructions, nor is it constrained to the beautiful scenery left unsullied by modern development. At the time of Taiwan’s transition into the post-industrial era, the exhibition attempts to rethink the industrial process that we have been through, and to reflect upon how these industrial memories reshaped our homeland and become the new scenery in our common memory.
Niu Jun-qiang, Li Chi-mao, Lee Yung-chih, Lu Yi-lun, Lu Fo-ting, Lin Yu-san, Hung Tien-Yu, Fan Yang-tsung, Hou I-ting, Ni-Hsiang, Hu Ke-min, Yuan Goang-ming, Chuang Shih-ho, Chen Shui-tsai, Chen Zong-ho, Tseng Pei-yao, Lu Hsien-ming, Liao Chao-hao, Tsai Cao-ju, Tsai Meng-chang, Pan Jen-song, Leo Liu, Han Shiang-ning, Chung Soon-long
Supervisor: Tainan City Government
Organizer: Tainan Art Museum
Special Thanks: National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Taiwan History, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, AKI Gallery
Curators: Chuang Tong-chiao, Nobuo Takamori
Assistant curator: Chang Hung-yen
Executive team: Chuang Tong-chiao, Chen Jia-xin, Chang Hung-yen
Graphic design: Hou Yi-syuan, Huang Hsin-I
Main visual design: Aaron Nieh∣Aaron Nieh Workshop
A Taiwanese Road Movie: Highway Piers and Tetrapod
Take a Hollywood-style road trip in Taiwan, and you will find yourself welcomed by express roads going all directions, alongside coastal tetrapods, plus cement breakwaters, and cement retaining walls in mountainous areas. For people in Taiwan, the familiar materials of cement and asphalt have become part of the usual road trip memories. Cement and asphalt — as well as the road landscapes themselves — symbolize the modernized space and material conditions of the island. Can these cold-feeling elements be a source of artistic creation, or a paintbrush for depicting memories? As photographer Chung Soon-long turns the highway piers into prehistoric monuments, is there an implication that these are the ruins of Taiwanese civilization? Artist Liao Chao-hao makes parody sculptures of the cement-based landscapes that pervade the island. Plus, through the lens of Han Hsiang-ning, we can see artist Shiy De-jinn running on the road of modernization. So let’s take this metaphor and embark on a magnificent but desolate, great but absurd, journey through the island’s modernity, driving all the way to where dreams and disillusionment merge.
A Dream of a Modern State: The Republic of China builds for Tomorrow
Although the foundation of Taiwan’s modern infrastructure was set during the late Qing Dynasty and the Japanese colonial period, following the Civil War, Taiwan was one of the poorest and most isolated countries in the world under the Republic of China’s rule. It was not until the Republic of China lost its seat in the United Nations in 1971, and the ensuing diplomatic crisis in the 1970s, that the government would refocus on Taiwan's infrastructure. Beginning in 1974 with foreign aid, the Ten Major Construction Projects incited Taiwan's transformation into an emerging industrial country. Some of the artworks in this section originated from the Ten Major Projects Ink Painting and Calligraphy Special Exhibition held at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in 1974, where pioneer artists such as Lin Yu-shan and Li Chi-mao were invited to submit work. These artworks demonstrate how ink wash and nihonga painters used traditional media to depict the new era’s industrialized scenes. This section hopes to break away from the traditional political propaganda about the great achievements of the Ten Major Construction Projects, and to focus on the challenges of the new era faced by artists during the process of industrial transition. Post-industrial contemporary artists are also invited to create mocking, ironic, experimental art pieces based on the ruins of industrial landscapes on the island.
Formosan Travel Agency: Leisurely and Nostalgia under Modernity
Various modernization and construction projects have not only pushed economic and industrial development, but also impacted people's lifestyles. During the Japanese colonial period, access to modern transportation such as railways and steamers fueled the development of leisure culture, with graduation trips and railway bento boxes as examples, bringing new concepts that did not exist in the agricultural era (e.g., travel for study, as well as dining out) into the Taiwanese people’s view of life. At present, when leisure travel and overseas travel have become very popular, it is hard for us to imagine how difficult it was to travel abroad during the martial law era. Despite this, theme parks with various publicity ideas appeared in due course to match the economy’s rapid growth. Constructions fueled the development of Taiwan while economic growth prompted more leisure activities, but these elements also contributed to an absurd scene on the island. The short video titled “Landscape of Energy” by Yuan Goang-ming depicts the fable-like landscape of tourists playing in the water on the beach next to the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant. For the new generation of artists, such as Ni Hsiang and Lu Yi-lun, their memories of experience are not about the opportunities and hopes created by rapid economic growth, but about the nostalgia and frustration following the overproduction and overexploitation of the island.