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Conceptual artist turns Taiwan museum into table tennis venue

Lai Chi-sheng‘s new project is on display at MOCA Taipei

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A table tennis display exhibit at MOCA Taipei. (Lai Chi-sheng photo)

A table tennis display exhibit at MOCA Taipei. (Lai Chi-sheng photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (MOCA) and Taipei Municipal Jian Cheng Junior High School have installed a white, 500-kilogram table tennis table by artist Lai Chi-sheng (賴志盛) for the public to play on.

Lai's year-long project, "Outing," occupies the exhibition hall facing the museum's entrance and extends onto a terrace.

The table comprises two blocks of white stone weighing 250kg each, along with bats, balls, and a timer. Play is limited to 10 minutes on weekdays and 5 minutes on holidays, with the museum closing on Mondays.

MOCA Director Loh Li-chen (駱麗真) said the project enables audiences and students to connect and imagine the past. He said he hoped for more exchanges with the school.

Lai said that table tennis is suitable for all ages and the exhibition would provide a space to relax and alleviate stress within the museum's confines.

"The presence of students in the gallery, filled with laughter, adds a youthful dynamic to the space, allowing the audience to reminisce about their youth as they stroll onto the campus terrace," said Lai.

The 53-year-old artist has showcased his works at the Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Hayward Gallery, and Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Lai worked as a bricklayer for over a decade before transitioning to a full-time artist. His creations are characterized by minimalism, experimentation, and interactivity.

Lai's year-long project, "Outing," takes place at MOCA Taipei. (Taiwan News, Lyla Liu video)