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National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
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Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan
Date: 27 Aug - 25 Nov 2012

Supervised by the Ministry of Culture and organized by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Architect / Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan, a collateral event at this year's 13th International Architecture Exhibition, will be inaugurate,on 26th August 2012 at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, Venice. This is the seventh time Taiwan has participated in Architecture Biennale, the most prestigious architectural exhibition in the world. This year, the Taiwanese team present Architect / Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan to reverberate with the main theme of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, 'Common Ground'. Through this project, the architects and curator of the Taiwanese team seek a new understanding of their country and the people from the perspective of a geographer. Viewers will be enticed to see different aspects of Taiwanese architecture and culture.

Curated by Ke-Fung Liou, Architect / Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan presents architectural models capable of articulating the diversity of Taiwan's culture and geography. Instead of entertaining an aesthetics of architecture based on Western ideals of the Enlightenment, Architect / Geographer sheds a new light on the architectural practice in Taiwan from the point of view of local cultures and local geological conditions. This exhibition is presented in the form of spatial dialogue between two sub-projects: The Foyer of Taiwan by Wei-Li Liao and Le Foyer Perdu by Yu-Han Michael Lin. Centered on the theme of the 'tales of the Tropic of Cancer', the exhibit space is divided into two levels separated on the 150cm in height, roughly at eye level. On the lower level, Yu-Han Michael Lin's zone features the re-creation of a domestic space based on an apartment – a type of dwelling typically inhabited by Taiwan's middle classes. On the upper level, Wei-Li Liao's zone directs the viewer's attention to the richness of Taiwan's ecology and geographical features, placing great emphasis on the relationships between architecture and its surrounding natural environment. Construction engineering specialist Ming-Pin Liao is responsible for creating physical manifestation of Liao's and Lin's architectural designs, using corrugated board to create a unique exhibit space that showcases the interplay between bodily experience and visual experience.

Tsai Ming-liang, one of the most celebrated film director, was also invited to make short films especially for Taiwan pavilion. Starting from film’s point of view to Architect / Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan, Tsai named the film “Sleepwalk” and "Diamond Sutra." The leading actor Lee Kang-sheng walks at a fairly slow pace in the exhibition venue with red monk's robe on, leading the audience to appreciate the beauty of Taiwan’s landscape and geography. Architect / Geographer – Le Foyer de Taiwan covers geography, architecture aesthetics, cinematography to build an new architectural story of Taiwan. Let’s look forward to seeing it!

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