WANTED DEAN-E MEI: A Retrospective

The exhibition title WANTED DEAN-E MEI refers to the artist’s dialectical search for his own identity through art practice.

Born in Taipei in 1954, Dean-E Mei is a highly respected and representative figure in Taiwan’s avant-garde art community. Mei graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Chinese Culture University in 1977, and received his Master’s of Fine Arts Degree from Pratt Institute in New York in 1985. He avoided traditional representational painting, opting instead for the rebellious spirit of Dadaism and its ready-made format. Relying on the rules of paradox and the notion of “seemingly so, but not so,” Mei created his visual language and artistic style. Mei also collects and transforms common objects, which he then uses in his long-term concern with identity and political ideology. While this may seem like weighty subject matter, Mei’s works are also full of humor and wit.

Art is a means of expressing concepts, and Mei’s solo exhibition WANTED DEAN-E MEI also extends the concept in Mei's artwork. Counting from his first at the Lung Men Gallery in 1980, this solo exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is the artist's twenty-sixth, as well as his first large-scale retrospective. The exhibition includes several hundred works in media ranging from oils, watercolors, prints, and giclée prints to ready-mades and large scale installations. Work in the exhibition spans from 1976 to the present and can be divided into several phases: his explorations before going abroad in 1983; his ten years of multicultural experience and creative awakening while living in New York; development and deepening in his works after returning to Taiwan in 1992; and his most recent explorations combining computer technology and images of old objects. This retrospective features Dean-E Mei’s unique and multifaceted style throughout his career.

  • Dean-E Mei

    The Artist’s Statement   Due to the unique historical background of Taiwan, her culture displays an enormous complexity. A cross of Takasago,Chinese, Japanese culture and American and Western European culture, she carries a strong political identity that has always been suppre...