A contemporary art exhibition offering stories of Southeast Asian new immigrants will be held at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall from May 11 through Aug. 26.
As the population of new immigrants from Southeast Asia in Taiwan edges past 170,000 to bring cultural diversity and new energy to Taiwan, the exhibition hopes to offer the public a deeper understanding about the cultures and life experiences of new immigrants as well as encourage mutual respect among different groups.
Under the theme "Family Memo," the exhibition will present three sections featuring art installations, videos, and documentaries that tell stories of immigrants' lives in their hometowns as well as their new experiences in Taiwan.
The "Migration Island" section will feature installations by artist Kuo Yu-ping (郭俞平), who will reinterpret memories of female immigrants through sound poetry created by sculptures and audio devices.
The "Family Memo" section will present the story of Chen Han-yu (陳含瑜), who accompanied a friend to visit her homeland of Indonesia for the first time in 20 years since she came to Taiwan, through a video that integrates karaoke elements.
The section will also screen a documentary titled "Out/Marriage (失婚紀)" by Vietnamese spouse Nguyen Kim Hong (阮金紅) to narrate the marital challenges and family struggles faced by four Vietnamese spouses in Taiwan.
The "Landscape in Homeland" section will explore the relationship between the children of new immigrants and their mother's homeland as well as their bicultural identity through the documentary "See You, Loveable Strangers (再見可愛陌生人)" co-directed by Tsia Tsung-lung (蔡崇隆) and Ngyuen Kim Hong.
Curator Lin Yi-hsiu (林怡秀) noted that the number of Southeast Asian new immigrants in Taiwan started to increase during the 1980s following Taiwan's social and economic development as well as the impact of globalization.
Their migration patterns have changed along with the shifting of politics, industries, and history as well as personal choices. Today, new immigrants cannot be defined solely by the term "Southeast Asia" anymore as their original cultures, social relations, and personal memories have become part of Taiwan's society.
A series of events, including a play titled "Seeing Us (看．見．我．們)" by TransAsia Sisters Association, three post-screening forums on new immigrant-themed documentaries, and the "Floating Market- Vietnam in Waves (水上市場：波濤中的越南)" board game for learning about Vietnamese culture, will also be staged at the exhibition.
Additional books about Southeast Asia offered by the Taipei-based Brilliant Time: Southeast Theme bookstore (燦爛時光˙東南亞主題書店) will also be free to borrow during the exhibition.
‘Family Memo – Island of Memory and Migration’