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2020 Taiwan Biennial

Organized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Taiwan Biennial convenes for the seventh time this year. This biennial event first launched in 2008 with the theme of “Home”, curated by Chia Chi Jason Wang; followed by two consecutive biennials entitled “Yes, Taiwan” that provided an overview of the status and development of Taiwan’s contemporary art and summarized developmental directions in the arts ecology in the span of two years. The 5th Taiwan Biennial departed from the “Yes, Taiwan” convention, with a curatorial theme to highlight characteristics of Taiwan’s contemporary art in a flexible and focused contemplation. In addition, curatorial staff at the museum began working in collaboration with a guest curator in an attempt to expand the research perspective and inject a more adept curatorial methodology. The 6th Taiwan Biennial continued in the mechanism of a curatorial duo, with an increased emphasis on curatorial formats based on research, experimentation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. This year, artist Yao Jui-Chung has been invited to take up the task of curating the biennial as it convenes for the 7th time. Through his curatorial creativity and methodology, and informed by his long-term commitment to contemporary issues such as place, history, and subjectivity, we hope to engage in a more intimate dialogue with participating artists, and to experiment with a different artistic experience and exhibition format for this year’s Taiwan Biennial.

Treating “Subzoology” as its theme and the “Buddhist path of reincarnation into animals” as its entry point, along with its reference to the ten types of sentient beings in the Diamond Sutra, the 2020 Taiwan Biennial seeks to cogitate upon the long-term human plunderage and dominance over natural creatures as well as to reflect on how humans can co-exist with other sentient beings in the post-pandemic era from the angle of the mutation of viruses and their transmission between humans and animals, insofar as to echo and extend the ecological and environmental issues in the Anthropocene that have come under the spotlight at many international biennials.