The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung on Wednesday said it hoped that a pair of new exhibitions featuring Lithuanian photography and Taiwanese artworks could act as a catalyst for future cultural exchanges between Taiwan and the Baltic nation.
Museum director Liang Yung-fei (梁永斐) said that the exhibition and the show inspired by it demonstrates how bilateral collaboration between Taiwan and Lithuania has expanded into the realm of art for the first time, something he hoped would foster further ties in the field of cultural affairs.
The photography exhibition, “Uncoverings: The Search for Identity in Lithuanian Photography,” which opened on Saturday and runs through July 3, features 87 photographs provided by the Lithuanian National Museum of Art.
Photo: CNA
The art works offer a glimpse into 21 artists spanning several generations in their search for Lithuanian identity, either under the rule of the Soviet Union or after Lithuania became an independent state in 1990, the Taichung museum said.
These works not only reflect a shift in Lithuanian photography from realism to conceptual expressionism, but also the country’s seven decades of social and cultural transformation, it added.
Meanwhile, the art show, “Covered Reality: Archival Orientation and Identity in Taiwanese Contemporary Photography,” includes photographs and installations by 15 Taiwanese artists who began exploring their cultural identity as social movements flourished following the lifting of martial law in the late 1980s.
The show, which opened at the same venue on Saturday, aims to “respond to” and “echo” the theme of the Lithuanian photography exhibition from a Taiwanese perspective, the museum said.
At a news conference on Sunday, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) said the two events are a rare international artistic exchange and marks an important milestone in the history of art in Taiwan.
Taiwan and Lithuania are more than 8,000km apart, but the two nations have pursued a similar path in pursuit of freedom and democracy after decades of oppressive rule by authoritarian regimes, he added.
In a pre-recorded video shown at Sunday’s news conference, Tomas Ivanauskas, an official at the Lithuanian Culture Attache in China and South Korea, said that the Lithuanian exhibition aims to highlight the importance of freedom at a time when Europe was struck by a war waged by Russia against Ukraine.
He added that he hoped the Taiwanese show would one day be able to tour Lithuania and expose Lithuanians to Taiwanese art, an idea that the museum said was being discussed.
After completing its run in Taichung, the Lithuanian exhibition is to move to the National Center of Photography and Images in Taipei from Sept. 8 to Nov. 13, with the Taiwanese show following suit from Sept. 29 to Dec. 4.
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