Power, Haunting and Resilience

Exhibition sponsored by Minister of Culture of Republic of China (Taiwan).

Organized by Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University and Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Curators   An-yi PAN, Yung-jen LIU

Exhibition Date: 19 August – 17 December 2017

Venue: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University



The development of modern and contemporary art in Taiwan has indirectly reflected the social atmosphere of the times, just as society in Taiwan have experienced difficulties and endured hardships during Martial Law and its lifting. Looking back at the history of contemporary art in Taiwan, the artists have similarly felt the empathy, accusation, collision, introspection, and even submersion in their various creative activities to reflect the unrestricted manifestation of “resolve and dispute.” To resolve is to consider the unlimited possibilities in bursts of life. Life’s journey is fraught with perils that can only be resolved with the infinite creativity in weathering the storm. The growth of life finds its way along the paths moving away in resolving dangers, as the three decades of contemporary art after the lifting of Martial Law in Taiwan can also be observed in the shocking vitality of the artists.


        The lifting of Martial Law was an important starting point in the discussion of the development of contemporary art in Taiwan. Those lingering nightmares were the result of shadows casted down by politics where even the helpless and confused person could be sent out on a path in search of resolution. After Martial Law was lifted, democratization took its place in Taiwan and the ideological or political purposes were removed from art. Along with the rise in the awareness for nativism, the focus of artistic creation has moved toward a more liberal and open stance in diversity. The exhibition features a total of 14 Taiwanese artists and 19 of their representative works to encompass painting, sculpture, photography, recording, installation, and composite media. The selected exhibits transcend time and space, where the representative works in visual arts ranging between 1975 and 2014 created by modern and contemporary artists in Taiwan were selected to offer a discussion on the radicalism, dazzling totems, boycotts, high spirits, spiritual exploration, and painting of the dialectical truths.