Curated by Taiwanese visual artist Page Tsou, Visual Taipei is an impressive exhibition that brings together 61 visual artists, illustrators, and designers from around the world. Held in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park as part of International Design House, the exhibition has been proudly described by Page as a realization of his dreams. By inviting some of the most talented international communication artists together into one single exhibition in Taipei, he hopes to explore the relationship between the worlds of art and design, and the interaction between digital artworks and hand-painted artworks. Out of the 61 artists, 20 have been selected to present their unique vision of Taipei City through their art.
“I am really excited to show everyone the different works created by these 20 artists about Taipei. It’s interesting to see how these artists show Taipei in their own style,” Page says. “It’s hard to define what Taipei is, and it’s interesting to see how other people see this topic, not just foreigners, but also people from different cities in Taiwan.”
Browsing through the works of these twenty artists, some unsurprising elements make appearances, such as scooter bikes and Taipei 101. However, it’s fascinating to see the ways that these talented artists reinterpret these familiar aspects of Taiwan’s capital through their own means. For example, in graphic designer Martin Nicolausson’s The City, he presents the iconic Taipei 101 as a structure in an abstract landscape that’s seemingly self-contained within a person’s mind. Paul Blow’s Taipei Life is a vivid illustration of a lady racing by on a bright red scooter, with two dogs in tow.
瀏覽這20個藝術家的作品，有很多預想中的元素，像是臺北的101大樓和機車。儘管如此，還是令人驚喜的看到這些才華橫溢的藝術家，他們對於臺北熟悉的方面的重新理解。舉例來說，平面設計師Martin Nicolausson的《The City》，他把標誌性的臺北101放在看似裝在人腦中的抽像風景。而Paul Blow的《Taipei Life》生動地描繪了一位載著兩隻狗的女士騎著亮紅色的機車。
Besides the familiar cityscape where Taipei 101 looms over hordes of scooters, the city is also known for it’s accessibility to nature. In Hannah Warren’s City Lungs: Da’an Forest Park, she focuses on the famous Da’an Forest Park of Taipei and presents it in her lively and colorful illustrative style. Netsko Seki’s Taipei uses the green of Taipei’s mountains, the blue of the city’s skies, and lush reds of a sunset as the backdrop to her illustration, which is populated with famous Taipei landmarks and locals going about their day.
不僅是臺北101和成群的機車這樣熟悉的城市風光，這個城市也是被眾多的自然景點讓人熟知。在Hannah Warren的《City Lungs: Da’an Forest Park》中，她用她生動和多彩繪畫風格展現了的臺北的大安森林公園。 Netsko Seki的《Taipei》用臺北的山的綠色，天的藍色和夕陽的紅色作為她插畫的背景，描繪了城市中生活的人們和著名的臺北地標。
It’s also unsurprising to see traditional Taiwanese marketplaces and street food make appearances in the collection of artworks. Adrian Johnson’s Night Market presents his vision of a local food stall as geometric blocks of color. In Joohee Yoon’s vision of Taipei, the Korean artist shows a lady frantically preparing a bowl of shaved ice, one of the most beloved local desserts. Illustrator Tatsuro Kiuchi’s One Day in Taipei instead opts for a calm local street market scene in which a schoolgirl is idly browsing a selection of fresh produce.
也理所應當地在這些作品中看到了傳統的台灣市場和街頭小吃。 Adrian Johnson《Night Market》展現了他眼中用作為幾何色塊構成的本地小吃攤。韓國藝術家Joohee Yoon眼中的臺北，是一個女人瘋狂地製作著本地人喜愛的甜品刨冰。插畫師Tatsuro Kiuchi的《One Day in Taipei》描繪了本地街市，一個女學生正無所事事地看著一堆新鮮蔬菜。
Kaohsiung-based artist Croter Hung’s vision of Taipei also involves food stalls, albeit they only play a minor role in his contributed work; his Toa-ka-lak Taipei is a dizzying piece of artwork that blends temples, roads, congested traffic, and even Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building into a surreal and chaotic sprawl of fun, nuanced details. Similarly playful is Antti Kalevi’s submission, an abstract piece of work that’s filled with formless shapes, and umbrella-wielding pedestrians, which speaks of the rainy weather that Taipei is infamously known for.
高雄藝術家洪添賢眼中的臺北也有描繪到小吃攤，儘管只是他作品中的一小部分，他的《Toa-ka-lak Taipei》摻雜了寺廟，馬路，擁擠的交通，甚至有台灣的總統府，在他超現實的插畫裡充滿了微妙的細節，匯集成好玩又混亂的浮世繪。 Antti Kalevi的作品簡單有趣，充滿了不規則形狀色塊的抽像作品，撐著傘的行人，訴說著台北那街知巷聞的梅雨季節。
Despite the spectrum of artistic styles, the twenty artists have all managed to showcase Taipei for the diverse and multifaceted city that it is through their own unique vision. “I hope that people feel like the content is good enough to want to spend at least an hour there without feeling bored. It will be interesting and easy to understand, and not like some overly abstract or conceptual art. I hope that’s a way for people to learn something from some of these artists that have come from all over the world, including several very talented Taiwanese artists,” Page says. “Changing people’s attitudes takes some time, but the dialogue has started now in Taipei, which is important. I think the World Design Capital is making the city more lively and energetic, and also helping us to build our connections with other parts of the world.”