There were/are design oriented exhibitions and festivals presenting alternately in Taiwan in the second half of this year. We have introduced you some of them, such as TWDW and Sound of Design. In general, the design exhibitions are mediated by design items or works to seek for innovation, practice of concept, discussion about industry, and perspective of culture. To different extents, we engage in design for the solutions to the issues generated from daily life, culture, and environment. While there is an ongoing exhibition, which manifests itself not from the goal for solving problems, but discovering them. Accordingly, the art/design pieces present in the exhibition are not based on the practice (use or do) of design, but speculative ideas.
The exhibition, titled “Bio Apartment 3—Succession,” is held from October 1 to 31, in the area between MRT Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Station and Gongguan. It consists of 3 guide routes, 4 locales, 8 venues, 21 groups of artists, 2 crossover bio-tech performances, and dozens of art pieces. It links biology and design, scientists and artists, blurs the boundary between animal, plant, geological specimens and protocells, armpit hair, cats and dogs. If you feel anything bizarre or grotesque when being in the exhibition, then you are on the right track.
Getting off at MRT Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Station, you can reach one of main venues of “Bio Apartment 3—Succession”—National Taiwan Museum, Nanmen Park—in walking distance. Buying the entry ticket in the main hall of Red House, then you can access to the exhibition venue—The Goods Storehouse (referred as the White Palace)—where you encounter the ancient animal bones, plant seeds and geological material curated by National Taiwan Museum. While in between the ancient materials, you will run into wool dove bone (Li, “Dove,” 2016), or a thick growth of armpit hair (Paul Gong, “Sloth Effect: NO. 1, The Rainforest of Axilla,” 2016). In contrast to the animal bones, which connote death and solidity, the softness of wool and the ecosystem defined by armpit hair signify an alternative way of picturing life and aesthetics. By the same token, the odd huge block (Liu Je Rong, “Fun House,” 2012) and video installation which shows the unknown lab experiment (Pei Ying Lin, Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa, Luis Hernan, “Living Ashes II,” 2016) inquiry into the meaning of and the boundary between life and death, as well as many other art pieces. The exhibition embodies the state of not knowing, as an art of turning uncertainty into possibility.
《死灰復生 II / Living Ashes II 》 by Pei Ying Lin, Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa, Luis Hernan
一場為了「寵物性」的聯誼 In Solidarity with Pet’s Sexual Rights
Departing from the state of knowing and not knowing, you head off for studio √RADICALSIGN. There you find an animal (pets) oriented exhibition, which consists of 4 art/design pieces in relation to the debate of pets’ sexual life, speed dating app, graphic display on mating, and future scenarios. From image editing, computer science, architect design, the exhibition structured by technology, art/design, and animal science, rethinks animals’ sexual rights from non-human perspective. Though it’s easy to criticize the human subjective-dominant design of the exhibition, still, the essential point lies in the possibility and the space for all kinds of debates and imagination.
“Bio Apartment 3—Succession” inherits the spirit of “Bio Apartment Project” debuted in 2014, to connect art/design with various disciplines for the visions of the future. With this, this essay cannot cover all the art works and experimental spirits. It requires you to be in the scene, to feel the uncertainty and possibility. Play design Hotel is walking on a similar path, seeks to connect hotel and design, and even more. We are expecting to cooperate with the members of Bio Apartment in near future, looking forward to mutual inspiration and stimulation.