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Taiwanese artist to tackle global warming at Venice Biennale

Taiwanese artist to tackle global warming at Venice Biennale

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang (???) will again represent the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu at the Venice Biennale this year, and highlight the issue of climate change with an art installation in Tuvalu's national pavilion at the major international art exhibition. Huang said he is working with Dutch-born curator Thomas J. Berghuis to put together Tuvalu's national pavilion at the exhibition that will run from May 9-Nov. 22 in Venice, with a theme of "All the World's Futures." It will be the second time for the tiny island nation to participate in the biennial event. Huang's art installation in a space of 300 square meters will adopt ideas from the Taoist classic "Zhuangzi" (??), focusing on the concept of "man and nature as one," Huang told CNA in a recent interview. The installation, titled "Crossing the Tide," will address the issue of mankind's pursuit of economic and material gains in today's capitalist world and its impact on the natural environment, he said. Huang said the pavilion's installation will create a scene with only the sea and the sky, in a reference to rising sea levels around the world caused by global warming. "It symbolizes the idea that land has been submerged under the sea," said the 44-year-old artist, who has visited Tuvalu twice to set up eco-art projects aimed at drawing more attention to the country's vulnerability to global warming. He is now continuing his campaign at the exhibition in Venice, a city surrounded by water that is sinking. To create a sea effect in the art installation, Huang said, his team will pump water from Venice's canals to the venue. Above the water, there will be wooden bridges, which visitors can cross over, he said. Meanwhile, machines will produce smoke to depict clouds. Through the project, Huang wants to provoke people into thinking about environmental justice. The developed countries' pursuit of economic development and production of massive carbon emissions are putting developing countries such as Tuvalu at risk, he argued. Huang said his team will launch an online platform to raise funds from all over the world to cover the expense of the art installation. The cost is expected to be about NT$15 million (US$473,700), he added. It is the second time for Huang to be commissioned by the Tuvalu government to organize the country's national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Tuvalu and Huang also worked together at an official exhibition held in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Qatar in late 2012. His "Animal Delegates," depicting some of the creatures that could be the first victims of global warming, such as penguins and turtles, were used to highlight the environmental crisis in Tuvalu, one of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies. In 2013, Huang also designed an exhibit for the U.N.'s Warsaw Climate Change Conference in November -- a horse-drawn cart riding the streets of the Polish capital carrying the Wall Street Bull -- to call attention to the crisis facing Tuvalu. Concerned about the peril of rising sea levels faced by the South Pacific nation, Huang visited the island country in 2010 and 2012, setting up art installations in a bid to draw attention to the crisis. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-21 09:35 GMT+08:00