Scary tales from modern Taiwan

An exhibition that looks at Taiwan folklore allows visitors to experience the afterworld through virtual reality.

  1644
Experience the afterworld at C-LAB. (Taiwan News photo)

Experience the afterworld at C-LAB. (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)— The exhibition “Yao-Chi City” (妖氣都市) explores scary tales in modern times from Taiwan, through illustrations, installations and augmented reality works.

Taking place at C-LAB, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, until Sept. 15, the exhibition was launched by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立台灣文學館) (NMTL) and Taiwan Ministry of Culture. It looks at Taiwan folklore through the prisms of art, technology and literature.

Literature includes works from the Japanese writer Haruo Sato (佐藤春夫), Taiwan indigenous writer Badai (巴代), Taiwan novelist Gan Yao-Ming (甘耀明), and Taipei Legend Studio (台北地方異聞工作室).

Three curators, Gong Jow-jiun (龔卓軍), Lo Chuan-chiao (羅傳樵) and Wang Chia-ling (王嘉玲) have invited a number of cross-discipline artists to show their works. Their varied backgrounds and collaborations created fresh and startling ideas, said NMTL Director Su Shuo-bing (蘇碩斌).

Curator Wang Chia-ling said the exhibition introduces the tales and legends of Taiwan’s ghosts, monsters and mysterious creatures. Many people find them creepy and spooky, but actually this is the fear of the unknown, Wang said, adding the more you understand monsters and the stories behind them, the more you like them.

Wang pointed out that NMTL has held exhibitions with similar themes before, but only to showcase drawings, illustrations and paper works. This time, they have worked with the Institute for Information Industry (資策會) to bring the legendary monsters to life with modern technologies.

The NAXS team created one work that presents their idea of the afterworld through virtual reality. This allows one person at a time to experience “life after death.”

In addition to the exhibition, C-Lab is hosting series of events that includes films screenings, workshops, forums and more. These will take place from July to November. On Aug.1 and Aug. 30, C-Lab will host monster-themed parades.


“Wisdom King” was painted by the Taiwan opera group, Ming Hwa Yuan Arts and Culture Group (明華園). (C-Lab photo)