Future Island: Taiwanese Artists at START Art Fair

Installation view, Kimiya Yoshikawa, Future Island, Courtesy Mehta Bell Projects

This weekend START returns to the Saatchi gallery for its third instalment. Both new and established commercial galleries come together on the Kings Road to showcase a diversity of contemporary art from around the world across three floors. The annual fair is a celebration of emerging artistic talent, and particular focus is given in 2016 to the burgeoning art scene in Taiwan. ‘Future Island’ is a curated project taking over one large gallery. The work of 6 contemporary artists born or trained in Taiwan is brought together by Metha Bell Projects in this colourful, energetic display. Sculptures fill the floor whilst the walls are filled with vibrant abstract oil paintings (Su Yu-Xin), embroidered photographs (Chiu Kuo-Chun) and wall-based constructions.

The name of the project is a nod to the forward-looking nature of the fair, indeed, every year START aims to introduce a new audience to the undiscovered and underrepresented artistic scenes. The title ‘Future Island’ also encourages us to recognise that Taiwan is not merely an island, it is connected to the rest of the world artistically through aesthetic qualities, but it seems the contemporary art scene there is starting to develop a unique artistic vocabulary.

Other highlights from the fair include an entrancing mixed media installation by Indian artist Sumakshi Singh, called ‘In the Garden’. Projecting video images of unidentifiable, celestial-type illuminations onto hand-woven and embroidered white fabric ‘plants’ hanging from the ceiling, the artist creates a serene, surreal experience. Elsewhere, Korean artist Lee Yun Hee presents her compelling interpretation of Dant√©’s Divina Commedia. Intricately crafted ceramic sculptures in stark white recall the fine porcelain of the Korean Josean period, whilst at the same time displaying a concern with the fusion of east and western traditions.

Until 18 September 2016, at the Saatchi Gallery, www.startartfair.com

SARAH BOLWELL