Taiwan Pavilion opens at Venice Biennale

The Taiwan Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale opened May 11, exhibiting the works of Taiwan performance artist Hsieh Teh-ching.

Organized by Taipei Fine Arts Museum, this year's Taiwan Pavilion consists of a solo exhibition by the Brooklyn-based Taiwan artist at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, a former prison that once housed legendary lover Giacomo Casanova.

Titled Doing Time, the pavilion is showcasing two out of five pieces from Hsieh's One Year Performance series completed in the early 1980s, along with photographs from three other short performances.

In the first one-year art project, Hsieh photographed himself next to a workers' time clock every hour for an entire year. According to the artist, Time Clock Piece is an exploration of human existence through the medium of time.

For the second selection from the one-year series, Outdoor Piece, Hsieh remained outside on the streets of New York for a year without taking any shelter. TFAM said the performance questions the necessity of shelter, and the artist's fugitive-like state speaks both of the abjection and ingenuity found in the survival of those who have nothing.

TFAM Director Lin Ping said that Hsieh's works not only bear a visionary perspective, but also shed light on the rigid ways in which many people around the world live.

Adrian Heathfield, curator of Doing Time, said that the pairing of the two yearlong art pieces highlights the most pressing human issues of our time, such as poverty in a capitalistic society, migration and the law, how people interact with nature, and death.

The pavilion also displayed three other works by Hsieh including photograph series Road Repair and Jump, as well as Exposure, a film reproducing a repetitive photo exposure performance he crafted in 1973.

Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious cultural events in the world. Taiwan has been a participant since 1995.

Source: Taiwan Today