Taipei

Zheng Bo, Pteridophilia 2, 2018, 4K video, color, sound, 20 minutes 30 seconds. From the Taipei Biennial.

Taipei Biennial 2018

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Curators Francesco Manacorda and Mali Wu titled this year’s Taipei Biennial “Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem.” The theme was not exactly a startling choice, given that the Anthropocene is the art world’s issue du jour—though locally it feels like less of a cliché, as environmental activism played a key role in Taiwan’s democratization process in the 1980s and ’90s. Up until 1987, when the country was under martial law, criticizing the government directly was impossible. Staging pro-environmental demonstrations, however, was a subtle way for citizens to protest the dictates of the ruling elite. Green thinking has endured there to this day, arguably playing a more mainstream role in society than elsewhere in East Asia—which does not mean that Taiwan’s Edenic natural environs are unendangered. New conflicts between corporate interests, with their murderous disregard for environmental

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