Taipei is known for being one of Asia’s most liberal and diverse cities and this is definitely reflected in the vibrant and ever-growing art scene. With its reputation as one of the continent’s cultural capitals, the city is home to many of the region’s most influential artists.
As one of Asia’s most gay-friendly cities, some of the galleries feature works showcasing the local LGBT+ community and culture. There tends to be multiple events focusing on queer people during the city’s pride festivals.
Much of the most showcased work in Taipei is contemporary and the art scene in the city tends to put an emphasis on modern pieces. Hosting numerous art fairs and touring exhibitions, there many fantastic galleries throughout Taipei which are all well worth a visit.
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Founded in 2002, the Aki Gallery specialises in showcasing the talents and works of emerging and innovative contemporary artists. The gallery works with both Taiwanese and international artists to create collections of the most exciting contemporary art in all mediums and forms.
The museum’s commitment to up and coming artists means that it’s highly unlikely to see famous artworks in the Aki Gallery, however, it does host travelling exhibitions and installations. Since moving to new premises in 2008, the Aki Gallery is now located close to the Taipei Fine Art Museum, meaning it’s perfectly situated for travelers to combine the two into one day of cultural exploration.
With the working mission of promoting Taiwan’s impressive relationship with photography and photographic artwork, the Contemporary Gallery showcases a range of artists whose photographs are both viewable and purchasable from the galleries shop.
Featured artists include Olivial Parker, Ansel Adams and Maeda Shingzo as well as a number of lesser-known individuals. The Contemporary Gallery is often home to art fairs and international showcases, so travelers should check what’s on at the gallery before visiting.
The gallery is open Monday to Friday and is free of charge. The premises boast a café and shop and are easily reachable by the city’s public transport networks, including the MRT.
Angel Art Gallery
The Angel Art Gallery was built and opened in 1999 in the wake of a devastating earthquake that shook Taipei. The gallery is located in the heart of Taipei, close to Daan Forest Park and is within walking distance of many of the city’s other top attractions.
The institution’s objective is to deliver art to the people of Taipei in a way that is accessible and unpretentious. Since its opening the gallery has become a multi-functional space, displaying world-class art and also hosting a range of cultural events throughout the year.
Angel Art Gallery is a community-run and focused space and this can be sensed when visiting the gallery. A popular hangout for locals, the gallery is often teeming with groups of friends enjoying exhibitions and creating their own art.
One of Taipei’s leading institutions for the collection of contemporary artwork, the Chi-Wen Gallery is an Art Basel affiliated gallery. The gallery is home to the work of some of Taiwan’s most recognisable artists and creators, focusing particularly on those working within the fields of video and photography.
Chi-Wen Gallery has been pivotal in launching the careers of many successful artists and visitors have the chance to be a small part of this mission through visiting and supporting the gallery.
The Gallery is located next to the Shuangxi Riverside Park – one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces that spans the banks of the Shuang River. Chi-Wen Gallery often displays installations in the park and travelers are encouraged to explore the area during their visit.
Elsa Art Gallery
Bringing an international collection to the sometimes locally dominated art scene, Elsa Gallery is one of the most trusted and popular galleries in Taipei. Elsa is popular with individuals seeking art to purchase for their own personal collections but is also welcoming and inclusive of visitors simply wishing to observe the impressive displays.
Each piece of art in the gallery has been selected by Elsa Art Gallery’s staff and are chosen for their aesthetic and cultural value. Some of the works on permanent display include those by Ah Lan, Wu Yian Yi and Ye Zi Qi, some of Taiwan’s most famous artists.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art was Taiwan’s first gallery to be solely dedicated to contemporary art and is one of the most heavily visited galleries in the city and the state. Housed inside a 20th century period building, the art inside is a stark contrast to the museums historical exterior, with the most cutting edge contemporary works on show.
The Museum of Contemporary Art recently played host to Asia’s first LGBT+ art show. The program featured over 50 works by 22 queer artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China. The show was considered a “political victory” and inspired a number of similar events throughout Taiwan.
Visitors to the gallery can take part in a number of exciting and well-led one-off art classes and week-long art camps.
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by George Pizani | On: Gay Taipei