TYPHOON: In the Eye of Taiwan’s New Artistic Whirlwinds

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  • Book Size: 220×280×40mm
  • Pages: 168+168
  • Printing: CMYK+Pantone Colors
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-87-971378-9-5
  • Publication Date: May 2024
  • Publisher: Tofu Collective, dmp editions

Situated in the westward path of what is known as Typhoon Alley, the coastlines of Taiwan are frequently plagued by hard-hitting hazards. While devastation has been left in the wake of the storm each time, the island has always managed to readjust and bounce back with vigour as changing winds has become embedded within its memory. Yet, to address a collective consciousness remains contested, unavoidably tied to the disruptions following cultural assimilation throughout history. As the island transitioned towards democratisation and global engagement, art became a way to restructure a cultural genealogy, functioning as a dual-wielded narrative that both sought to adapt to the flood of external influences, as well as define an artistic language that looked towards the essence of what it meant to be Taiwanese. 

Emerging from reclusion in demand of comprehensive restructuring upon entering a globalised art circuit, structures to support the new paradigm for contemporary art steadily took shape, while experimental movements pushed the boundaries of their newfound freedom through wildly progressive expressions, that raged against lingering oppression and looked towards a decolonised and queer future. The maintenance of liberty to consistently push societal boundaries has positioned Taiwan as a leading democracy in the region, exemplified in 2019 when it became the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. The hybrid identity of Taiwan is its unique quality, but it is the same complexity that also poses a string of challenges for the largely unrecognised nation-state and its meeting with the international art scene. The identity has remained a centripetal force that pulls artistic examination towards it, time and time again, and with each roundabout, the voices muffled by the storm grow louder. In the midst of the eye, a generation of trailblazing artists navigates the art scene that mirrors the dynamics and multifariousness of an island nation in flux, superseding cultural barriers, carving out interstice, and maintaining the continuous progression of identity.

Typhoon is a product of comprehensive research and forged friendships by Tofu Collective – compiled in collaboration with dmp editions and an esteemed board of advisors – airing an eclectic capture of the streams that flow, intersect, and diverge within the many layers of Taiwanese art circles, through diverse portrayals of both promising younger artists and heavyweight practitioners. From inside and outside perspectives, we move through the sheer depth and variety of identities, fluctuating between an abundance of dichotomies, between local and global, natural and artificial, body and mind, past and future. Planned as a double-release dubbed ME–WE, Typhoon is conceptualized as two parts of a whole negotiating between the layers of collective and personal identity in order to uncover some of the complexities and distinct voices of contemporary Taiwan. The ME issue explores artistic endeavors rooted in introspection shaped by personal narratives, whereas the WE issue widens the lens and encourages reflection upon a grander scheme of shared memory, cumulative experience and societal progress.


TYPHOON: In the Eye of Taiwan’s New Artistic Whirlwinds(颱風:在台灣新成形的藝術風眼中)




《Typhoon: In the Eye of Taiwan’s New Artistic Whirlwinds》奠基於丹麥藝術家組合 Tofu Collective 的全面性研究和友誼建立,與台灣藝術出版社 dmp editions 及本地藝術顧問團隊共同合作,透過對新銳藝術家與重量級創作者的多元描繪,呈現出對台灣藝術圈之間流動、交錯、發散的多層次脈動的精彩捕捉。從內部與外部視角,我們穿梭於身份認同的絕對深度與多樣性,遊走於在地與全球、自然與人造、身體與心智、過去與未來的二元對立之中。《颱風》 被構思為一個整體的兩個部分,以雙刊同步發行,命名為「ME–WE」,旨在探討集體與個人身份認同的層次,以揭示當代台灣的複雜性和獨特聲音。「ME」聚焦根植於內省的藝術創作,這些創作由個人敘事形塑;而「WE」則放寬視角,鼓勵對集體記憶、經驗累積和社會進展等更宏大議題的反思。