The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is pleased to announce that Yuan Goang-ming has been selected as the sole artist representing Taiwan in Venice, 2024. Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, will curate the exhibition.

Born in 1965, Yuan received his master’s degree in media art from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in 1997. He is now Professor at the Department of New Media Art, Taipei National University of the Arts. His digital photography series City Disqualified and kinetic light installation “Human Disqualified” were showcased in the group exhibition curated for Taiwan’s collateral event at the 50th Venice Biennale. His other major solo and group shows include Before Memory (TKG+, Taipei, Taiwan; 2011), An Uncanny Tomorrow (TKG+, Taipei, Taiwan; 2014), Memories through Cycle (Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan; 2016), and Tomorrowland (Hayward Gallery, London, UK; 2018).

While Yuan’s early conceptual video installations draw inspiration from his own experiences, since 2001 he’s expanded beyond his personal life to portray city conditions and globalization. In City Disqualified (2002), he creates collages of a deserted world using images from which he has removed all traces of cars and people. In “Disappearing Landscape” (2007), he posits a new form of moving images between video art and film via a micro-biographical approach, while in the video work “Dwelling” (2014), he questions how dwelling can be possible in relation to the living situations of the present world. He’s integrated some of his more recent works, like “Towards Darkness” and “Towards Lightness”, into immersive exhibitions with the intention of prompting the audience to reflect on perception and the existential nature of images.

It is indeed an honor to be able to represent Taiwan. The exhibition will focus on “politics of cartography”, “wars in everyday life”, and “the everyday in wars”, questioning issues of dwelling in relation to contemporary living situations. I would like to thank all the nomination committee members, Director Jun-Jieh Wang of the TFAM, and the curator Abby Chen for this opportunity.

Yuan Goang-ming

Abby Chen has previously worked with Yuan for After Hope: Videos of Resistance, presented by the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in 2021. Regarding their second collaboration, Chen states: “I am deeply touched by the story Yuan Goang-ming told about the song his father sang and his subsequent realization of its meaning later in life. We come to understand mysteries in our childhood only with time. By reliving aspects of time our parents lived, we come to know history not just as a mere chronology but also as real as a smell in the air. We are living through history today. What seemed unthinkable a decade ago has become not only conceivable but also a tangible reality. Our collaboration will delve into the realms of intimate anxiety and hope. Yuan will bring new commissioned works to Venice. We will explore time as a changing habitat, normalcy as a form of resistance, in another year of great uncertainty and division.”

The selection panel; with representatives including independent curators, art critics, and experts from diverse backgrounds and generations; remarks: “During Yuan Goang-ming’s nearly 40-year career, he has fully embodied a relentless exploration of new media art. A refined and poetic visual language is woven throughout his artwork, which not only reflects Taiwanese people’s common awareness of existence but also demonstrates a universality that transcends regional differences. In the post-pandemic times, it is deeply meaningful to showcase such an artist in Venice, whose work has profoundly portrayed changes that Taiwan has undergone.”