The art world switches its focus to an emerging art centre this month—the island of Taiwan, which can be reached in under two hours by plane from Hong Kong. The East Asian state is tipped as the rising art market power in the region, bolstered by the launch of the inaugural Taipei Dangdai fair (Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, 18-20 January). On the eve of the new fair, the New York-based dealer Sean Kelly will inaugurate his new project space in Taipei—his first overseas outpost—with a show of abstract works by the established Scottish artist Callum Innes (16 January-30 March).
According to a gallery statement, “the exhibition will showcase new paintings from two bodies of work that Innes has developed in parallel over a period of years: the Exposed Paintings and Split Paintings. This show includes work from both series that Innes has created specifically for the new space in Asia.”
The new 250 sq. m space will be open to the public during the Taipei Dangdai fair and by appointment thereafter. Kelly told The Art Newspaper last year: "The collector base in Taiwan is probably the most established, discrete and serious in the region. There are well established collectors there and serious wealth."
Taipei Dangdai, founded by Magnus Renfrew—the founding director of ArtHK, Art Basel in Hong Kong’s predecessor—includes 90 galleries, around 20% of which have spaces in Taiwan such as Michael Ku Gallery and TKG+. The fair is supported by UBS investment bank, which also sponsors Art Basel. Taiwan is already home to a host of local fairs including Asia’s oldest contemporary art fair, Art Taipei, which takes place in the autumn.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese government came under political pressure earlier this week when the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, reiterated that Taiwan “must and will be reunited” with China. Taiwan has been governed separately since 1949; the People’s Republic of China views the island as a province and is seeking unification on a “one country-two systems” basis.