amsterdam

View of “Taocheng Wang,” 2015. From left: Vlieland—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015; Terschelling—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015; Ameland—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015.

Taocheng Wang

Galerie Fons Welters

View of “Taocheng Wang,” 2015. From left: Vlieland—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015; Terschelling—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015; Ameland—A Home Made Travel MV Series, 2015.

In Taocheng Wang’s exhibition “A Home Made Travel MV Series,” a display case held a drawing at least thirteen feet long. Five Weathers, 2015, depicts the Dutch islands in the Wadden Sea from an unmistakably Chinese perspective, and is somewhat reminiscent of a famous scroll painting in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. That work, by an anonymous nineteenth-century Asian artist, shows a group of Dutch and Chinese people on Dejima, an artificial island off the coast of Japan. For nearly two hundred years, Japan was closed to the outside world under its sakoku policy, and Dejima was its only international trading post. The Rijksmuseum drawing depicts the Dutch through an exotic lens. That’s still an unsettling experience for many Westerners; it turns out to be surprisingly uncomfortable to see yourself as the object of an exotic gaze, even today.

In his book Infelicities

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