2021 Asian Art Biennial in Taichung, Taiwan
“Phantasmapolis” is comprised of two Greek words, phantasma-meaning phantom, and polis- meaning metropolitan and city. As the center of the 2021 Asian Art Biennial, “Phantasmapolis” is based on the framework of a city that explores into the context of “Asian Futurism” and Sci-Fi themes in modern and contemporary Asian arts.

PhotoNational Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

TextBecky Tu

Sponsored by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, “Phantasmapolis - 2021 Asian Art Biennial” will start the exhibition on October 30, where Taiwan independent exhibition curator, Nobuo Takamori serves as the Exhibition Chief Curator. Organized by multiple curators, the exhibition invites curators from Taiwan, the Philippines, India, and Thailand to form a multinational curation team. The team expects to adopt the perspective of Asian artists to re-analyze the metropolitan, technology, conflicts, sex, and future imagination of Asia.

Adventure into “Phantasmapolis”
The Art Biennial features “Phantasmapolis” this year and emphasizes “Asian Futurism” and “Asian Sci-Fi Culture,” which reflects the past and presence of Asians through sci-fi viewpoints, inviting 38 groups of artists from 15 countries. The artists include innovative creators from Cambodia, India, Korea, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are also artists from Magnolia and Kuwait to expand the more diverse Asian cultural horizon for the viewers. 

The works of Taiwanese artist – HUNG Tung Lu reflects the avant-garde of Taiwan contemporary arts in the 21st century. His early works attempted to discuss the role and space of media through subculture, animation style, and multimedia. This time, the work will “replicate” his 2002 “Reddie” series. 

HUNG Tung Lu, The Birth of Xiao Hong, 2002, C-print, 90 × 120 × 4 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Taiwanese artist, LIN Shu Kai’s works link to his family history and build up the imagination for the future city. This work is based on his father’s Taiwan molding and cast factory that has been shut down. Lin corresponds the mold tools, painting, and images with the past glory of the factory and the imagination of the future city. 

LIN Shu Kai, The Balcony City Civilization Series-Molding Island City Adventure, 2021, video, 10 min. Courtesy of the artist.

Photographer Sharbendu De comes from India and his works contain profound philosophy towards humanity and all beings in nature. He believes that in a complex and diverse future world, humans will face new challenges in species ecology and survival environment. 

Sharbendu De, Fish in the River is Still Thirsty, An Elegy for Ecology, 2016, inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Bright White, 61 × 91 cm. Courtesy of the artist (Supported by grants from MurthyNAYAK Foundation and KHOJ).

Korean Artist KIM Ayoung has participated in the Venice Biennale shoots using different human face filters in the short film to link and appeal to the future diverse look presented in the exhibition theme. 

KIM Ayoung, At the Surisol Underwater Lab, 2020, single channel video, 17min 11sec. Courtesy of the artist (Commissioned by BusanBiennale2020).

New Vietnamese arts LÊ Giang’s works borrow the classic syntax and develop the unique style between truth and imagination, history and reproduction. In view of the pandemic situation, she imagines that the future world will reconstruct as a result of human desire for freedom and fear for the pandemic. 

LÊ Giang, Vestige of the Land, 2017, plaster, iron, 230 × 430 × 480 cm. Courtesy of the artist (Supported by Goethe Institut Hanoi).

Skilled at using motion image and individual body in theme material, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, the Thai new contemporary image artist practices the questioning of contemporary agenda and political ideas through satire. His works exhibit unique sensitivity between reality and surrealism. 

Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Give Us a Little More Time, 2020, 4-channel animation video, sound, color, 12 min. Courtesy of the artist and BANGKOK CITYCITY.

Lim Sokchanlina is one of the most important contemporary image artists of Cambodia, whose work materials cover a diversity of forms in an attempt to draw viewers’ attention to the international position, geographic politics, cultural, economic, and environmental changes of Cambodia under the global influence. 

Lim Sokchanlina, Wrapping Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, 2018, photography print (Ilford smooth cotton rage 310g), 60 × 60 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

2021 Asian Art Biennial
Exhibition Period: Oct. 30, 2021 to Mar. 6, 2022

Read More
Nanhui Art Project Invites to Forward from Here
East Rift Valley Land Art Festival- Stray Birds 197
Kengo Kuma: Place/Inspiration
Chiharu Shiota: “The Soul Trembles” Special Exhibition

2021AsianArtBiennial Phantasmapolis NobuoTakamori AsianFuturism AsianSciFiCulture UnknownCity FutureCity NationalTaiwanMuseumofFineArts