One of the great attractions within walking distance of Mono’tel, is Taipei Fine Art Museum. The museum has loads to offer, with both contemporary and older work exhibited in a wide range of media. There is also a great library, and a whole zone dedicated to children. Most of the museum is totally free to enter, with certain exhibitions costing a small entrance fee. On Mono’tel’s visit to the museum, the highlight was a solo exhibition by photographer Wang Hsin, and cost a minimal 30 NTD each to enter, which was well worth it!
Arriving at the outside of the museum there are a few sculptures before you even enter, including a grand bronze archway made to look like stone. We started in the basement where the focus was on the winners of the Taipei Arts Awards, along with some honorable mentions. It was surprising just how much there was exhibited, every time we thought we were getting to the end we discovered another exhibition. Some of the coolest pieces from this floor were some multimedia exhibition; including a piece made from beeswax and mosquitoes, a story told through the lens of a telescope, and a some incredible abstract paintings. After thoroughly exploring the basement we decided to skip on ahead to the top floor where the current main exhibition was being held.
Wang Hsin’s photography was mostly produced in black and white using an analogue camera, giving them an a sense of uniqueness and value that doesn’t always come from digital photography. The photography mostly explores different places in Taiwan during the seventies. It was incredible to see the changes that have happened throughout Taiwan in the last forty years. Our favorite collection was the photography entitled Orchid Island, which documented the lives of the indigenous people of this island during Wang Hsin’s visit in the 70’s. It was a breathtaking exhibition and very thought provoking thanks to the bio’s provided by Wang Hsin, available in Chinese and English.
Wang Hsin, Taichung, My Hometown. Gelatin silver print,1972. Collection of Taipei Fine Arts Museum
We thoroughly recommend this museum for a visit on your stay in Taipei, for the quality of artwork, the amount you can learn about Taiwanese history, and the fact that it is so cheap and easy to get too! To get there leave Mono’tel and head left towards the Jianti MRT station, when you arrived cross over to the path running along the left side of the station and follow this for a about 5-7 minutes, eventually being lead to an underpass and across the river. After crossing the bridge over the river you will see the building on the opposite side of the road, which you can access via an underground pathway.
Featured image: Wang Hsin, Farewell, Orchid Island