Photo Credit: NIU Chun-Chiang

KE Tzu-Chein

KE Tzu-Chein's Exhibition Photo
KE Tzu-Chein's Exhibition Visitors
KE Tzu-Chein's Art Work
KE Tzu-Chein's Exhibition

KE Tzu-Chein

Location USA / New York, NY
Residency International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)
During my 5-month residency, what stood out to me the most was the multitude of the art market and art scene in New York City. The system for the art market in NYC enabled artists to focus on creating works instead of being concerned about making a living. The market mechanism energized the opportunities for art exhibitions. The society’s value on the arts combined with the public’s interest in the arts, and the complete market mechanism help to create the international center for the arts here in New York City.

To reflect on the condition of the arts in Taiwan, government intervention became one of the main problems to the development of the arts. Most of the prestigious exhibition spaces and alternative art spaces were all managed or sponsored by the government. It was clear that the Taiwanese government intended to vitalize the art environment in the country, but the root of the problem lied in the education in the arts. For instance, contemporary art had become the mainstream art form in Taiwan, but it has not been properly introduced to the public in our arts education. How many people really understood contemporary art? How many people could truly appreciate contemporary art? And how many teachers were capable of teaching students about contemporary art?

In New York City, I had met many artists that had also exhibited in Taiwan before. Their main concerns for exhibiting in Taiwan were the limited time provided for the installation of their artworks, and the hastiness of the entire planning process. The significance of their exhibitions to the development of the arts in Taiwan was never fully understood.

New Yorkers considered visiting galleries in Soho or Chelsea a habit, or even a must, in their lives. On the contrary, there was no such environment in Taiwan and art museums were usually relatively empty and deserted. The absence of the appreciation for the arts was not only an important challenge for the arts field, but also a serious issue for the arts education in Taiwan. This remains a problem if training and education for the arts were still not valued in Taiwan, despite our abundance of excellent artists, quality museums, and large-scaled exhibitions. Like any upright table, 4 steady legs are required to be able to stand tall.