Presents Two Exhibitions on 30 Years Post-Martial Law in New York 

Power, Haunting and Resilience
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
August 19, 2017 – December 17, 2017
Curators: Pan An-Yi, Liu Yung-Jen

History’s Shadows and Light
Taipei Cultural Center, TECO-NY
August 29, 2017 – October 12, 2017
Curators: Sharleen Yu, Liu Chen-Hsiang
Execution: The Green Team

The lifting of Martial Law (1987) was a turning point for Taiwan’s progression toward democratization and openness. This year, on the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law in Taiwan, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) has been invited by the Ministry of Culture and commissioned to curate two special exhibitions to commemorate the 30 years since the lifting of martial law through photojournalism and contemporary art. History’s Shadows and Light and Power, Haunting and Resilience will be held at the Taipei Cultural Center, TECO-NY and at the Cornell University Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, respectively. These two exhibitions aim to expound on the atmosphere of the historical moment when martial law was lifted, its effect on Taiwanese politics, and the ensuing surge of social movements that saw the fermentation of issues such as localized democratization, respect for human rights, and environmental protection. TFAM’s curatorial mission is to capture the various creative stances and artistic strategies of the artists as they attempt to present the process of the lifting of martial law before the public.

Executed by The Green Team, History’s Shadows and Light was jointly curated by TFAM curator Sharleen Yu, and Green Team member Liu Chen-hsiang. A press conference and opening ceremony have been slated to take place in the afternoon of August 28 (Eastern Time). This exhibition is an iteration of the special section “Shadows of History” from the popular recent exhibition Faint Light, Dark Shadows, which includes photographs of political and social movements from just prior and subsequent to the lifting of martial law (1986 until early 1990). The exhibition focuses on issues including political human rights, agricultural and labor movements, and environmental protection, as photographed by Liu Chen-hsiang, Huang Tzu-ming, and Hsu Po-hsin. The exhibition bears witness to photojournalism prior and subsequent to the lifting of martial law, as well as presents invaluable documentary footage from The Green Team. Taiwanese society encountered a period of rapid transformation around the time of the lifting of martial law. With the increasing freedom of speech; the rise of social issues such as environmental protection, political struggles, and self-reliance; and the publication of Chen Yingzhen’s Renjian magazine (1985), etc., the photographic lens no longer averted its gaze, and was officially inducted into the ranks of social reform movements. Political events and public rallies were the subjects of the “political photography” coordinated by oppositional political magazines in the 1980s. The critical photography that sought oppositional political views not only expanded the expression and appeal of aesthetics in photojournalism, but the act of demonstrations and rallies could also be regarded as behavior art performed in the process of living, taking a stride into the scope of contemporary art.

On a foundation of exhibition and an exploration of historical retrospection, TFAM and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University collaborated to create the exhibition Power, Haunting and Resilience, jointly curated by art history professor An-yi Pan of Cornell University and senior TFAM curator Yung-jen Liu. With the cultural lexicon of “martial law; lifting of martial law” as a point of departure, Power, Haunting and Resilience explores the lifting of martial law as an important demarcation and starting point for contemporary art in Taiwan, transcending temporal and spatial dimensions that span from 1975 until the end of 2014, issues of radical, dazzling, totemic, resisting, spirited, soul-searching, truthful, dialectical are expressed through a selection of representative works from modernist and contemporary artists. Nineteen series of works by 14 Taiwanese artists have been invited to exhibit, including Yuyu Yang, Tsai-Chien Lee, Ming Ju, Su-Chen Hung, Dean-E Mei, Tien-Chang Wu, Shih-Yung Ku, Tien-Yu Hung, Jin-Hua Shi, Cheng-Tsai Chen, Chao-Liang Shen, Hung-Chih Peng, Chien Chi, and Hai-Hsin Huang; with a range of genres that includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and multimedia, etc.

Ping Lin, Director of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum said, “Since its inception in 1983, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum has been planning and promoting national and international art exhibitions, ranging from visual arts to interdisciplinary cultural landscapes. The museum has also taken particular interest in the research and discussion of historical developments in modern and contemporary art. The professionalism of the thematic series of exhibitions have been well-received by the public and art circles in Taiwan. In recent years, Taipei Fine Arts Museum has also been actively working to establish collaborative relationships with art museums in Asia, Europe, and United State. The two concurrent thematic exhibitions in New York represent the fruition of our endeavors in recent years.”

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Director Stephanie Wiles concurred that “Power, Haunting and Resilience is the second collaboration between Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts. This year, Professor An-yi Pan of Cornell University, Taipei Museum of Fine Arts curator Yung-jen Liu, worked closely with curator of Asian Art Ellen Avril at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University to jointly present this important exhibition with the Asian Studies Department. This collaboration highlights the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art’s promotion of artistic originality combined with the interdisciplinary nature that characterizes research at Cornell University.”