A new exhibition focusing on LGBTQ issues due to open this autumn at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei (Moca Taipei), Taiwan, will be the first exhibition of its kind to open in a government-run museum in Asia, the organisers say.
Spectrosynthesis: Asian LGBTQ issues and Art Now (9 September-5 November) will include around 50 works by 22 artists including Ho Chun Ming of Taiwan; the Chinese artist Yan Xing; and Samson Young, who is representing Hong Kong at this year’s Venice Biennale. Last month, the constitutional court in Taiwan ruled in favour of gay marriage, making it the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.
Wang Liang-Yin, The Wanted Ones_A Sweet Afterlife (2014) (Courtesy of Lin & Lin Gallery)
The exhibition will explore the idea of the “spectrum of light”, a theme linked to the rainbow, a symbol of the LGBTQ community. Issues such as identity, equality, and mass media coverage of gay and queer themes will also be examined. Crucially, the exhibition “presents a slice of art history particularly looking at the life stories and related issues of the post-war Chinese LGBTQ community”, says a statement.
Asked if the organisers are concerned about the threat of censorship, a spokeswoman says: “Moca Taipei has been very autonomous in their curatorial decisions, and they respect the freedom of contemporary art. At this stage, all the exhibits have been approved by Moca Taipei.” Taipei Cultural Foundation, a government organisation, took over the management of the museum in 2008.
The show is co-organised by the Sunpride Foundation, an organisation founded by the Hong Kong businessman Patrick Sun Kai-yit, which campaigns for LGBTQ rights. Sun Kai-yit tells the South China Morning Post that he hopes to bring the show to Hong Kong.
Still from Ming Wong's The Life and Death in Venice (2010) (Courtesy of Ming Wong)
“The exhibition hopes to stimulate thoughts and challenge values and perspectives on human equality. All parties involved in the exhibition take love as their starting point and I hope this will be the beginning of an open dialogue on the topic,” says Sean Hu, curator of the exhibition. Four new commissions will be unveiled by Chuang Chih-Wei, Chen Chien-Pei, Jun-Jieh Wang, and Ming Wong of Singapore, who will present a performance piece at the opening.