Taipei Dangdai 2023 Report by WHITESTONE Gallerist


Taipei Dangdai lobby view

Resurrected and reinvigorated, the long-awaited fourth edition of Taipei Dangdai Art & Ideas emerges. Presented by UBS, the event took place from 12 -14 May 2023 (VIP Preview and Vernissage Thursday 11 May) at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Whitestone Gallery gallerist, Naomi Tan brings an indepth report at the 2023 fair.

Taipei Dangdai Reflects a Captivating World of Art

Visitors with Robert Ventura’s Bobro Cone Ed. 2/3 (2022)

With a renewed spirit pulsating through its veins, this extraordinary event gathered an impressive ensemble of 90 acclaimed international galleries, transcending borders and continents to celebrate the captivating world of art. Out of the 90 galleries, an exciting inclusion of 30 galleries made their debut appearance. Noteworthy newcomers included Sarai Gallery (now operating out of Mahshahir, Iran), Eric Firestone Gallery (New York, East Hampton), and Nino Mier Gallery (Los Angeles, London, and New York). Additionally, fifteen local galleries showcased their exceptional talent and contributed to the vibrant art scene of Taipei.

Standing as a testament to collaborative brilliance, Taipei Dangdai embodies The Art Assembly, an alliance led by visionary figures - Sandy Angus, Tim Etchells, and Magnus Renfrew - who orchestrate a harmonious symphony of artistic expression, seamlessly weaving together the creative tapestry of Taiwan, Asia, and the broader global landscape.

In the captivating realm of Taipei Dangdai, I found myself immersed in a tapestry of artistic wonders. As I embarked on this exhilarating journey, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the diverse array of visitors, the pulsating energy of popular events, the allure of sought-after artworks, and the awe-inspiring installations that adorned the fairgrounds. Join me as I unravel the intricate threads that weave together the vibrant tapestry of Taipei Dangdai, sharing my personal insights into the captivating world of art and creativity that unfolded before my eyes.

TAIPEI DANGDAI Art & Ideas: Embracing Art, Bridging Asia and the Global Sphere

The public art from Taipei Dangdai

At its heart, Taipei Dangdai served as a vibrant hub for art collectors and enthusiasts across East Asia, fostering an international dialogue that fueled creativity. The dynamic 'Ideas Forum' presented a unique opportunity for attendees to glean insights from 15 local and international curators who shared their invaluable experiences within the art industry. Under the sign of 'The Extraterritorial', all of the 'Ideas Forum' talks were open to the public, located outside of the ticketed show floor of Taipei Dangdai.

Unveiling a realm of endless possibilities, the public 'Guided public tours' at Taipei Dangdai presented various sessions that provided audiences of all ages with immersive experiences and cross-border learning opportunities. Delving into the past, participants were treated to a tapestry of diverse perspectives and enlightening encounters.

Magnus Renfrew, co-founder and co-director of the fair, expressed in a statement, "Taiwan continues to hold an essential role in the growing Asian art market where regional fairs are increasingly important for sustaining the wider art ecology. At its core, Taipei Dangdai is an exceptional showcase of the quality of the local and regional art scene and a central meeting point in East Asia for internationally engaged collectors."

The art book space from Taipei Dangdai

Unveiling Unconventional Boundaries and Mesmerizing Installations at Taipei Dangdai

Becoming Horizon (2021) by Nick Dong, presented by Chini Gallery

Art enthusiasts were treated to an extraordinary experience at Taipei Dangdai as it unveiled three captivating exhibition areas that delighted the senses. The 'Galleries' section offered a tantalizing glimpse into the world of art through presentations by esteemed international galleries. Meanwhile, 'Edge' showcased the captivating solo exhibitions of emerging artists, providing a platform for their unique voices to be heard. Finally, thoughtfully curated shows in the 'Engage' section explored the profound significance of history, inviting viewers to ponder its impact on art.

A highlight not to be missed was the non-profit programme' Taipei Platform', which offered a comprehensive view of the local cultural ecosystem. Through captivating screenings, immersive workshops, and a pop-up library, visitors could connect with cultural practitioners and art publishers, expanding their horizons and deepening their appreciation for the arts.

Among the standout exhibits was 'Node', where traditional exhibition boundaries (e.g. the conventional white cube layout) were transcended. Four awe-inspiring, large-scale installations invited visitors to explore unconventional spaces. One such installation, Becoming Horizon (2021) by Nick Dong, incorporates over 100,000 mirror tiles accompanied by captivating motion, music, and light. This large-scale installation art is definitely a must-see highlight of this year. The medium of his creativity primarily incorporates meticulous handicrafts. Resembling a house or a bed with an elegant canopy, this metal structure embraced a platform adorned with countless movable mirrored fragments arranged meticulously in a symmetrical grid. A silver entity floated effortlessly at its center, rotating slowly in a mesmerizing dance.

Glistening lights, reminiscent of shimmering stars, played beneath the installation, casting their enchanting glow on the surrounding wall and ceiling. The moving images evoked myriad sensations - mirrored the flickering of distant stars and the graceful drift of pollen. Breathing with a life of its own, this captivating masterpiece, harmonizing with the rhythmic thump of the accompanying music, possessed a hypnotic quality. Its ethereal presence drew viewers into a meditative state of mind, inviting contemplation of the boundless mysteries of the universe.

Another fantastic piece was How to Fancy the Light of a Candle After It Is Blown Out (2018) by German Conceptual artist Olaf Nicolai, mesmerizing fairgoers and resulting in a lengthy queue of eager participants. The installation created a surreal experience within a dimly lit room using UV light and afterglow paint. In addition, the room featured a green screen along one wall, producing ephemeral and ghostly images that lasted only a few seconds, capturing the essence of whatever came within its proximity. Interestingly, this piece, priced at €140,000, was sold to a local collector by Galerie Eigen + Art.

Revealing the Beat of Taipei Dangdai: Visitors, Artworks, and Installations

Crowd enjoying Ronald Ventura’s works

The crowd that gathered at Whitestone Gallery, including adorable and inquisitive kids, was a diverse crowd composed of art enthusiasts, collectors, and curious visitors, all united by their shared passion for artistic expression. Among them were esteemed reporters, eagerly exploring the gallery's offerings and capturing the essence of the creative narratives that unfolded within its walls.

Guided tours conducted within the gallery added another layer of engagement and insight. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours provided a deeper understanding of the artwork on display, offering a narrative thread that connected the visitors to the artistic vision of the exhibiting artists. It was a delight to witness the attentive faces of participants as they absorbed the stories and interpretations shared during these guided explorations.

Crowd enjoying Philip Colbert’s works

See Art, Love Art, Buy Art

Taipei Dangdai

In the world of art, it is not always the grandeur of the crowd or the magnitude of the event that defines its significance. Taipei Dangdai, with its modest yet captivating atmosphere, has proven that art thrives in intimate spaces, where every brushstroke and sculpture can be explored and cherished. The genuine connections formed with fellow enthusiasts, and the shared moments of awe and inspiration, are what truly make an art fair memorable.

Within the labyrinth of exhibits, I found myself immersed in a world of artistic expression, where the boundaries between artist and admirer are blurred. Each piece spoke to me in its unique language, stirring emotions and provoking thought. From the bold and provocative installations to the delicate and intricate paintings, Taipei Dangdai showcased a vast spectrum of artistic talent and vision. The fair not only celebrated the works of established artists but also served as a platform for emerging talents to be discovered and celebrated.

As I reflect on my journey through Taipei Dangdai, I am reminded of the power of art to transcend boundaries and ignite our souls. It is a testament to the human spirit, to our innate desire to seek beauty and find meaning.

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