Asian Art Biennial announces theme of 2019 edition

Jiandyin, Leap into the Void, 2017, inkjet print, colour. Courtesy of the artists

The Asian Art Biennial, hosted by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, has announced the theme of this year’s edition. Curated by Singaporean artist Ho Tzu-Nyen and Taiwanese artist Hsu Chia-Wei, The Strangers from beyond the Mountain and the Sea is inspired by Japanese enthnologist Shinobu Orikuchi’s concept of ‘marebito’, an ancient Japanese word that describes beings that ‘come from afar with gifts of wisdom’. For Ho and Hsu, this concept includes ‘the migrant, the ethnic minority, the colonist, the foreign merchant, the smuggler, the partisan, the shaman and the traitor – figures that are conduits to an unknown outside, and who channel forces that test the very limits of our sense of self, our society and our species’. The 7th Asian Art Biennial will present both existing works and new commissions by 33 artists and artist groups. A series of conferences, workshops and performances will form part of the biennial’s program.

The initial list of participants includes: CHIANG Kai-Chun (Taiwan), CHIU Chen-Hung (Taiwan), Shilpa GUPTA (India), Jiandyin (Thailand), Hiwa K (Iraq), LIU Chuang (China), LIU Yu (Taiwan), Gilad RATMAN (Israel), Timur SI-QIN (Germany), Yuichiro TAMURA (Japan), Sawangwongse YAWNGHWE (Burma), Lifepatch (Indonesia) + Open-Contemporary Art Center (Taiwan), TING Chaong-Wen (Taiwan), and WANG Hong-Kai (Taiwan).

The Strangers from beyond the Mountain and the Sea is scheduled to open in October 2019.

7 May 2019