BAP TALK: LESLEY MA TAIWANESE AVANT-GARDE: ART UNDER MARTIAL LAW, 1950-1970
7PM | Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Bellas Artes Outpost
2/F The Alley at Karrivin
2316 Chino Roces Ave, Makati

Free and open to the public.

The lecture gives an overview of the postwar visual history in Taiwan, with a focus on the avant-garde practices in theater, film, publications, and photography. Taiwan, located on the “Great Crescent,” a string of countries in the Pacific from Japan and South Korea to the Philippines designated by the American military deployment strategy as the frontline against Communism, has received a mixture of cultural influences since the late nineteenth century, including Chinese, Japanese, American, and European. The co-existing cultural heritage and imports along with the geopolitical complexities during the Cold War created a unique environment for artistic productions on the island, especially when martial law dictated every aspect of civilian life. The avant-garde artists featured in this talk—Huang Huacheng, Chuang Ling, Chang Chao-Tang, and Chen Yao-chi—emerged in the mid-1960s when modernist abstraction dominated the local artistic discourse. I will give context to their explorations by outlining the local conditions for creative activities and the broader development of postwar art in East Asia. My analysis will show that this group of artists was the first postwar generation to directly and fully engaged in their daily experiences in Taiwan in their artmaking while being attuned to international currents.
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