Tu Xi (涂曦)

Mountain Ranger No. 1 (2016) is the most moved I've felt from a painting in as long as I can remember. If it wasn't already sold, I probably maybe possibly might have purchased it. I saw it at Art Taipei and later learned that 涂曦 (Tu Xi) is an artist working out of the 798 Art Zone in Beijing. 

涂曦 (Tu Xi) / Mountain Ranger No. 1

I love the thick paint and apparitional appearance of the rangers. 

涂曦 (Tu Xi) / 起航 No.2 (Set Sail No.2) [2016].

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Daily Life Portrait I (2016) by Lai Yi-Chih. Photographs accompanied by six audio recordings of villagers in the community nearby the Mailiao Naphtha Cracking Petrochemical Industrial Zone in Yunlin. Take a wild guess as to whether or not the petrochemical industry has polluted their environment and left villagers feeling helpless.

Section of garden behind hundreds (maybe thousands) of riot shields. You can walk through the garden and keep an eye on the world outside without outsiders seeing you or the garden inside, and without you actually experiencing the outsiders or their world. Seems like a pretty basic message of perception and empathy.

Line of Vision: Photography of Wang Hsin

Taipei Fine Arts Museum is less than a dollar (30 NT) and it's one of my favorite places in Taiwan. During my first visit to the museum, in 2011, there was an exhibition celebrating 100 years of Taiwan.

Wang Hsin was born in Lugang (1941) and grew up in Taichung before moving to Tokyo, where she first studied animal breeding before becoming a documentary photographer. 

Wang today is in her 70s. Reflecting on her career in advance of this exhibition, she wrote that photography's value "lies in its ability to document and report," and "whether or not it qualifies as personal art means little," and that she has "never been willing to reduce photography to some personal form of expression," all of which is interesting because the curator wrote that, "for [Wang] the camera is not merely a documentary device, but a tool of expression." LOL.

Wang's focus was to photography indigenous peoples, documenting people and places before they disappeared. Most of the work displayed was from the 1970s and 1980s, mostly black and white, and mostly from Taiwan but some from India, Nepal, Kashmir, and Tibet too. 

Wang Hsin. I think this is from Orchid Island.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin.

Wang Hsin. This looks like it could be New England or Mid-Atlantic America or maybe the Pacific Northwest. I think it might actually be somewhere in Japan. I can't remember.

Wang Hsin. I think this is from Tibet.

Vegan food in Taipei

Traveling almost anywhere from California usually results in disappointment when looking for vegan or vegetarian options, since almost everywhere lacks the quality and options of California; but Taipei has an impressive selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, because so many Taiwanese practice Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, or some combination of the above mixed with local folk religions. I had been warned that more traditional vegan restaurants in Taiwan avoid garlic and spices, so for the most part I avoided those places in favor of spicier options with more flavor.

Vege Creek. Probably my favorite place to eat in Taipei. Build your own meal from scratch. My only knock on Vege Creek is that most of the vegetables you choose are packaged in plastic.

Vegan noodle dish from a local restaurant near Jiantan MRT (or maybe Shilin MRT). Fresh but almost no flavor. Incredibly hot temperature. Difficult to enjoy.

Herban Kitchen and Bar strikes me as a place almost certainly owned by a foreigner. Decent beer selection, high prices, hit or miss quality, but fantastic vegan burger.

Miss Green. Surprisingly good, or even great (considering it was inside a mall). 100% vegan.

Tofu scramble from Herban Kitchen and Bar. It was supposed to be spicy but instead was dull. I didn't see any jalapeños and certainly didn't taste any heat.

More from Vege Creek.