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Art Taipei 2018 Ocula Report Art Taipei 2018 10 November 201810 Nov 2018 : Diana d’Arenberg for Ocula

'There is nothing more boring than the story of decline,' a journalist remarked at an art criticism panel I attended the evening before making the trip to see Art Taipei (26–29 October 2018). As I attended the opening night of Asia's oldest art fair, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, those words rang in my head. Wandering up and down...

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Charwei Tsai Ocula Conversation Charwei Tsai

Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai's memorising and compulsive writing of the Heart Sutra—a Buddhist scripture that distills the wisdom of impermanence—is at the heart of her practice. Over the past ten years, Tsai has moved from writing to drawing, photography, and film—a selection of which is being presented at the Centre for Chinese...

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Crush at Para Site: What if you couldn’t have it? Ocula Report Crush at Para Site: What if you couldn’t have it? 10 November 201810 Nov 2018 : Hera Chan for Ocula

Drawn on paper by Oscar Chan Yik Long in gestural black ink strokes, Cupid (2015) greets visitors with a sinister toothy smile as they enter Para Site. The strikingly fearsome figure is positioned on the wall of the gallery's entrance, near one of Chen Dandizi's vertical neon tube lights, part of the series 'Tick Away' (2015), along which a...

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Ernesto Caivano’s meticulously detailed ink drawings depict an ambitious narrative based on lovers’ courtship, separation, retribution and eventual evolution. Varying in format and scale from scroll-like panoramas to small detailed studies, Caivano drawing’s portray a timeless tale of Polygon and Versus who were torn apart upon the consummation of their union and transported into the woods, signifying an alternate reality and universe. Through time, Versus, clad in a knight’s armour grows congruent with his natural habitat while the dress Polygon wears transforms into a tardis representing advancement of intelligence and technological development. As João Ribas further describes: ‘A syncretist amalgam of folklore, fairytale, and scientific speculation, Caivano’s narrative serves as a search for meaning lost in our own abundance of information’.

Using the narrative as a generative tool, Caivano resists any chronological reading by switching between staged episodes of the lovers desperate struggle to communicate and find each other (aided by birds called the Philaphores) to more specific features such as the coded communication between the lovers, atmospheric debris and extinct species of flora that inhabit the woods. Together these provide a versatile compendium of Caivano’s unique Edenic world, rich in stylistic influences both archaic and contemporary; Renaissance literature, archaeology, medieval art, Albrecht Dürer, Japanese prints and screens through to more Modernist strands of abstraction and minimalism. Accumulating an expansive realm of sources and anomalies from nanotechnology, molecular physics to cosmology and mysticism, Caivano masters his own parallel universe and self-contained evolution.

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