press release

The Taipei Biennial is the first large-scale international art event organized by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. Following its successful beginning in 1998, the 2000 and 2002 editions confirmed the Taipei Biennial’s importance and expanded its scope internationally. The first edition entitled Sites of Desire, curated by Fumio Nanjo from Japan, initiated the biennial with a focus on contemporary Asian artists. The 2000 edition, The Sky is the Limit, co-curated by Jerome Sans from France and Manray Hsu from Taiwan, followed by the 2002 edition, Great Theater of the World, co-curated by Bartomeu Mari from Spain and Chia-Chi Jason Wang from Taiwan, evinced out the Taipei Biennial’s international ambition. For the 2004 edition, Belgium curator Barbara Vanderlinden has been invited to curate the exhibition with the Taiwanese curator Amy Huei-Hua Cheng.

Entitled Do You Believe in Reality?, the 2004 Taipei Biennial responds to an urgent call. Everywhere artists, filmmakers and intellectuals are grappling with decisive transformations in contemporary society. Instead of yearning for abstractions or grandiose ideals, the forty participants in Do You Believe in Reality? see another task possible: as citizens they turn toward reflecting the reality in which we live. With their eyes wide open they welcome us to back to reality.

The exhibition will privilege works grounded in contemporary human experiences and reflections on everyday life, with Asia as a crucial paradigm for a radical changing society. It will demonstrate artists’ practical engagement with witnessing, documenting, archiving and, finally, translating their observations into aesthetic form. There are both poetic and documentary qualities to many of the works that retrace and commemorate the state of things. The artists’ engagement with reality will not only show itself through individual artistic practice and image-making, but also through collective practices, filmmaking, installation, and art artistic activism that respond to a situations both local and international. The complexities of first grasping then representing the real will resonate throughout the exhibition, accompanying publication and conference.

Barbara Vanderlinden is an independent curator based in Brussels and founding director of Roomade, an independent art organization responsible for initiating projects in collaboration with artists. She curated a major exhibition at the 1998 World Exhibition in Lisbon and was one of the co-curators of Manifesta 2 held in Luxembourg in 1998. She initiated and co-curated Laboratorium in Antwerp, co-editing its accompanying publication. Author of numerous essays on contemporary art and exhibition practice, she has initiated several long-term projects, including most recently, Revolution/Restoration an exhibition series at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, co-curated with Dirk Snauwaert.

Amy Huei-Hua Cheng , who divides her time living and working in Vancouver and Taipei, is active as a freelance writer and art critic for various magazines published and distributed in Taiwan and China, including Modern Art and ARTCO. Most recently she curated as independent curator Invisible City, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Taipei Biennial 2004 "Do You Believe in Reality?"
Kuratoren: Barbara Vanderlinden, Amy Cheng
Assistenzkurator: Elena Filipovic

mit David Claerbout, Jeremy Deller, Naoya Hatakeyama, Rem Koolhaas / Elia Zenghelis, Steve McQueen, Jean-Luc Moulene, Yoko Ono, Pratchaya Phinthong, Martha Rosler, Anri Sala, Agnes Varda, Yang Fudong ...