Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Exhibit at MOCA Taipei: Finding India

I strongly recommend that everyone with even the most remote interest in India or in modern art head down to Taipei's Museum of Contemporary Art (Chang'an Road, just south of MRT Zhongshan Station in the old Japanese colonial City Hall building), also called MOCA.

MOCA has rotating full exhibits, so you'll see something different every month or so if you care to visit that often. Admission prices seem to remain at around NT 50 per person, though I swear I heard somewhere that it changed by exhibit. Tickets are provided by exhibit so you get cool different tickets if you visit different ones...which you can do if you go a few times a year to see what's showing, as I do.

The current exhibit is called "Finding India", and it features works of modern art by contemporary Indian artists (not always from India - the bar seems to be set at being ethnically Indian with some cultural connection to India).

The exhibit allows non-flash photography.

The art on display is not necessarily Indian-themed or influenced, though much of it is (huge photographs - the one at the top of this post is a newspaper photograph blown up to the exact dimensions of Picasso's Guernica and decorated - and of Mysore dolls ringed with garlands of world monuments, below...various short films and moving artwork to name a few). Some of it, like "Grow More Food" above has Indian thematic components but is not Indian in and of itself.

Others, like "Dead Smile" below, have no connection to Indian culture but are presented because they are by artists of Indian descent.

Another interesting point is that a huge number of the artists exhibiting as part of the greater exhibit are female: possibly a majority of them, in fact. This is heartening, considering how much the fine art scene is dominated by men (in that way in which women do most of the world's decorating, but men get accolades for 'high art', and women do most of the cooking but men become 'famous chefs'. Grr).

I highly recommend spending the NT 30 on the English-Chinese guide for the exhibit - some of the works (like various interspecies copulating animal pairs, below), are utterly mystifying without a guide prompt. Others, you can muse on yourself.

Do excuse the bad photos - I wasn't prepared for the museum to allow non-flash photography so all I had was my iTouch.

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