press release

November 18, 2023–March 24, 2024
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
No. 181 Zhongshan N. Road Sec. 3
Taipei 10461

Taipei Biennial 2023
Small World

Organized by Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) and co-curated by independent curator Freya Chou, director and curator of Beirut Art Center Reem Shadid, and New York–based senior writer and editor Brian Kuan Wood, the Taipei Biennial 2023, titled Small World, is currently on view through 24 March 2024.

Following in the footsteps of Taipei Biennial 2020, which held an international collaboration with the Centre Pompidou-Metz, TFAM will showcase the screening program and selected video works from Taipei Biennial 2023 Small World at SculptureCenter in New York, where “Small World Cinema” will run from 25 January through 25 March and feature over 20 video works by several participants, including Taiwanese artists Li Yi-Fan, Su Yu-Hsin, Yin-Ju Chen, and Wang Ya-Hui alongside Taiwanese-American artists Jen Liu and C. Spencer Yeh.

Sound and music connect the “Small World” Music, in parallel to visual arts, plays an important role in Taipei Biennial 2023 as a medium for communicating and exploring intimate and vulnerable relations between our societies, and ourselves, and each other. By transforming one of the gallery spaces into the Music Room, three groups of musicians were invited to organize and host diverse programmes such as forums, screenings, concerts, listening sessions, and live performances. Segments of the events are recorded to play back between performance periods in the Music Room.

In an enormous world, the Music Room is designed as a temporary gathering space allowing intercultural exchanges and connections between different small groups of people who make significant contributions to their own fields. In December 2023, the first Music Room program, “ex-DJ,” was organized and hosted by dj sniff in collaboration with DJ Rex Chen, a Taichung-based turntablist; SlowPitchSound, a Sci-Fi turntablist from Toronto; and Mariam Rezaei, a turntable composer and performer from Newcastle. A limited number of mix tapes will be released in the future to showcase their musical practice during the residency and sources of inspiration.

The second Music Room program, “Hostbuster,” runs through 27 January 2024. . As musicians, artists, curators, and organizers active in Indonesia, Julian Abraham “Togar” & Wok the Rock have cultivated a practice of hosting and being hosted, listening and being listened to. During their month-long residency at the Biennial, they aim to explore and unfold the sonic connection between Indonesia and Taiwan by facilitating a series of gatherings.

The third and final Music Room program, “Sound Worlds Rotation,” will be hosted by Ting Shuo Hear Say from 21 February to 17 March. Based in Tainan, Taiwan, and run by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Nigel Brown, Ting Shuo Hear Say will invite ten artists for a series of rotating three-day residencies exploring new improvisational possibilities. Recordings, documentation, and other artifacts and traces of the collaborations will remain as “residue” within the space following the residencies.

Resonating with the Music Room programs are works in the exhibition that engage with music and sound within the exhibition Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork expands acoustical treatments of space into objects of heightened sensitivity and feeling. Her work Not Exactly (Whatever the New Key Is), 2017–ongoing, blasts resonant frequencies from an array of blowers which inflate a soft vinyl structure whose black color blurs into the darkness of the room. The complex effect of sonic immersion and spatial reconfiguration causes the room itself to appear emotionally responsive, transforming the private sensations into the ambient and reflective states of being shared with surrounding and sympathetic architecture. Nikita Gale’s GRAVITY SOLO III (HYPERPERFORMANCE), 2022, assembles readily available objects and ubiquitous consumer technologies, two large pieces of red calcite “play” a keyboard, producing a humming, droning tone that changes over the course of this performance without a performer. Patricia L. Boyd’s Operator , 2017–ongoing, was shot using a custom-built system of motorized camera rigs, which functions as an interrogation of the soundstage as a site of production. By equating the duration of the film for each presentation with monetary value from loan repayment scheme, Boyd also reflects the economic relationship between artist and institution.

Meanwhile, one of the participating artist groups, Hide and Seek Audiovisual Art, brings together a group of Chinese-speaking cultural workers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, ,Mainland China, and Malaysia, to explore how people with subtly different individual experiences can find a place for themselves in mainstream culture. Through collaborative writing, the participants will produce interpretations of some of the Biennial works, which will be recorded as audio guides and made available one month before the Biennial’s conclusion.