Arts Archive

  • Hand in glove: Taiwan-born movie star branches out to chart his own course

    Hand in glove: Taiwan-born movie star branches out to chart his own course

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Ignacio Huang (黃勝煌) is a puppet master. But unlike Argentina’s political operators, he doesn’t pull strings. “It’s glove puppetry,” says Huang of budaixi (布袋戲, traditional Taiwanese puppetry), which in recent years has replaced the big screen as his bread and butter. Ahead of legislative elections in Argentina […]

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  • Fisherman’s friend? Film festival documentary fails to lift lid on industry abuses

    Fisherman’s friend? Film festival documentary fails to lift lid on industry abuses

    The following article was published by the News Lens on November 11: The Taipei International Labor Film Festival (TILFF) wrapped up on October 15 with minimal fanfare. Thanks to Covid – which saw proceedings switched to an online format – and a rather underwhelming publicity drive, this 15th installment of the two-week event slipped under […]

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  • En route to a brighter tomorrow (Médecins Sans Frontières-Magnum exhibition at Art Taipei 2021)

    En route to a brighter tomorrow (Médecins Sans Frontières-Magnum exhibition at Art Taipei 2021)

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Assorted political bigwigs turned out for the VIP opening of Art Taipei on Thursday. With projected foot traffic of 100,000-plus and a 30 percent increase in exhibitor participation, the event — which runs until Monday at the Taipei World Trade Center — was another opportunity to showcase […]

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  • Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Violence and oppression, we are told in the introduction to this collection of tales, are foundational to modern Taiwan, providing “a legacy that continues to influence its contemporary society.” It is interesting, then, that an anthology subtitled “Stories about the White Terror,” offers few instances of […]

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  • Taiwan entwined in WHO’s history (Review of Harry Yi-Jui Wu’s ‘Mad By the Millions’ for Global Asia)

    Taiwan entwined in WHO’s history (Review of Harry Yi-Jui Wu’s ‘Mad By the Millions’ for Global Asia)

    The following book review appeared in the September issue of Global Asia: Taiwan’s relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) has been problematic at best since the country was expelled from the UN agency in 1972.1 From 2009 to 2016, as then-President Ma Ying-jeou fostered a cosy relationship with Beijing, Taiwan was granted observer status […]

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  • Of pigs and prudery

    Of pigs and prudery

    Anyone who has lived in Taiwan long enough, or for that matter any place where they stand out in terms of appearance or culture, will probably have experienced Othering. In Taiwan, it’s rarely of the nasty, aggressive kind nor, necessarily, even of the intentionally discriminatory type– though, as I’ve made clear elsewhere, that obviously exists, […]

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  • The master of small things

    The master of small things

    The following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: But for a banana, I wouldn’t have met Chuang Hsin-li (莊新利). En route to the mountains of Yunlin County, I stop for sustenance at a fruit truck in Gukeng Township (古坑). It’s the second day of Lunar New Year; the vehicle is sparsely stocked: sprigs of lycees […]

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  • Razam! United with Belarus

    Razam! United with Belarus

    The following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Anastasia Kurlenia recoils in mock horror. Her daughter Sophie has broached the unthinkable. “Those are the Russian colors,” says the six-year-old, pointing at the red and white of the flags and traditional attire on the walls of Liuminzhan Bar & Bed, a cosy cafe on a backstreet […]

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  • End of an era: Cartier-Bresson and the cross-strait diaspora

    End of an era: Cartier-Bresson and the cross-strait diaspora

    The following essay appeared in the December issue of University of California Press’ Afterimage magazine. The pdf is embedded here as the piece is behind a paywall online. (Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side to flick through the pages). 

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  • Seeing past Taiwan’s identity politics: a review of ‘The Great Exodus’ for Global Asia

    Seeing past Taiwan’s identity politics: a review of ‘The Great Exodus’ for Global Asia

    The following article appeared in the December issue of Global Asia magazine: Many China watchers see it as only a matter of time before Xi Jinping makes his move against Taiwan. The Hong Kong crackdown, the coming Biden presidency and the distraction of the Covid-19 pandemic, not to mention Xi’s own statements on the matter: […]

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