TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei Art Book Fair (草率季) is back for its seventh year at Huashan 1914 Creative Park with 420 exhibitors showcasing independent art, zines, and publishing from Taiwan and the world.
Running until Sunday (Oct. 5), the theme of this year’s fair is “Never give up.” The theme focuses on challenging the dominance of the infinite social media doom scroll so many of us find ourselves sucked into, spokesperson Jocelyne Lin (林珈綺) told Taiwan News on Saturday.
This year the fair wants to break the limitations of every medium, and move between fields freely, Lin said. Zines, limited-run prints, tattoos, household designs, art supplies, vintage items, books, and more are on offer at the fair – designed and created by independent artists and small publishing houses.
Against the creative park’s industrial backdrop and a steady pulse provided by a DJ, the packed space has a feel something like a Taiwan night market, Lin said. This art fair is different from somewhere like Seoul or Tokyo in that way, Lin said, mentioning the space’s somewhat frenetic feeling.
A matchbox-sized zine designed by Hong Kong design studio Pop&Zebra designed to replace the large quantities of joss paper often burned for ancestor worship. (Taiwan News photo)
Featured artists displayed their work above the crowds under several large bamboo structures. To the rear of the space, a large platform provides an elevated view across the crowd, where fairgoers can sit and enjoy cocktails, coffee, or craft beer.
Lin said the current art and design scene in Taiwan can be characterized by segmentation. She said there is a lot of space for artists to approach different target audiences, without being pigeonholed into any medium or style.
Of the overseas artists, only one is from China this year, Lin said. She said this was not likely due to a lack of interest, but possibly because of the difficulties obtaining a visa.
Artist Luby displays a five-layer print at the fair on Saturday. (Taiwan News photo)
Lin said some international guests had asked Taiwanese artists if they disliked China, and she said it was nothing like that. “We are very open to everyone,” she said.
There is no problem if you are not familiar with the arts scene in Taiwan, Lin said. She said anyone who felt like checking the fair out would be sure to find something they were interested in.
The fair runs until Sunday, and is open between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Information about tickets and more is available on the event’s website.
A woman is tattooed at the Taipei Art Book Fair on Saturday. (Taiwan News photo)