Design Anthology - Asia Pacific Edition
to Magnus Renfrew, founding director and co-organiser of newcomer art fair Taipei Dangdai (and former director of Art Basel Hong Kong and Art HK), the motivation behind Dangdai is to be ‘regional on purpose’. The second edition in early 2020 saw curator and editor Robin Peckham join Renfrew at the helm as co-director, and the duo’s localised focus has garnered wideranging attention for the fair.
Yaji Huang, founder and director of Each Modern gallery, echoed this sentiment when she described Dangdai as a ‘successful international art fair with a local accent’. Of the 99 galleries present at this year’s fair, 23 have permanent spaces in Taiwan. ‘Taipei is a spectacular city, and there are many different reasons why we came here,’ says Renfrew. Boasting an established bienniale, multiple art fairs, a thriving gallery scene and a number of art-focused institutions and museums, the country also has a strong and sophisticated collector base. And aside from being a fitting addition to the already established art scene, Peckham notes that ‘Dangdai connects with mainstream society, so it attracts a more diverse audience’.
‘Taipei is not Hong Kong or Shanghai,’ says Michael Ku of Taipei’s Michael Ku Gallery. ‘It’s much slower, so people can see, think about, question, and study art slowly and quietly.’ At Dangdai, this considered appreciation is fostered by the carefully curated set of installations that is neatly folded into the fair’s Ideas Forum and its four themes of pop, ecology, tradition and technology. The cohesive framework of the forum proved a