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Art Factory
New Taipei City Museum of Art Competition


 Softgrid’s entry for the New Taipei City Museum of Art Competition

WHAT IS ART today?
An attempt to perfectly define a rapidly changing and continuously evolving form of human expression would of course be futile. However, this fundamentally difficult question lies at the very core of possibilities for a unique and successful new Museum of Art. Traditional (including ‘modern’ art) has its place as a series of transplantable objects that travel from country to country and museum to museum. While this system has many benefits, including cross cultural pollination and exchange of intellectual ideologies, one has increasingly become aware that it is possible to go and see the same exhibition in London and New York, as it is in Shanghai or Taipei. As a reaction to this homogenisation of the experience of Art, several artists from a new generation have started to work increasingly with two approaches that engage the specificity of space and place as the starting point to creating meaningful experiential situations.

This engagement with place can be seen in some of the popular movements today including Digital Art, Installation Art and Temporal Art, where even the newer forms of networked artistic expression, often need a physical space in order to promote collective appreciation and physical engagement.

With the rejection of the generic ‘art space’ designed simply to hold art, the proposal aims to provide a series of specific moments where art is CREATED, and created specifically to engage with the particular spaces provided. In order to create this possibility of artistic experience, it is the ARTISTS who MOVE from place to place and must engage with a series of tall, short, light, dark, strange and practical spaces designed into the museum, merging the ‘identity’ of the museum and the art together in an inseparable interweave. In order to experience art of this nature, no matter how temporal, PEOPLE MUST COME to the museum itself, rather than waiting for the exhibition to travel to their city.

The term ‘ART FACTORY’ may beguile some, and yet is somehow appropriate in describing a place that is about production of specific situations and experiences rather than just display of moving exhibits. In order for the museum to truly engage visitors with art, it is also important to showcase parts of the process of making and allowing the public to engage with this behind the curtain viewpoint. In affect the program of display must be inverted in parts to become the program of creation. Where artists, live and work and become part of the exhibition itself.

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