A young artist-run group named Very Temple formed back about 20 years ago in Taipei, Taiwan. At its initial stage, the group has allied with various parties, holding exhibitions on an irregular basis with no fixed exhibition venue, and achieving their artistic ideals with guerrilla-like practices. The group members might not have imagined that “Very Temple” could stick to this course for 20 years. It can be said that this group has carved out an evolutionary path of art. In 2006, this guerrilla force with united talents resulted in the establishment of VT Artsalon (hereafter referred to as VT). This gallery complex was found by a team of curators and artists, including Jui-Chong Yao, Wen-Chi Chen, Wei-Cheng Tu, Chun-Hao Chen, Sean C. S. Hu, Dar-Kuen Wu, Hui-Yu Su, and Isa Ho. They orientate VT towards transdisciplinary performance, exhibition and exchange, and devote their energies to promoting arts outside the mainstream. With the spirit of local touch and innovation, VT has made several adjustments to its space in the following years. It made a new start after moving to its new home on Xin-Sheng North Road in 2012. Since then, it has re-orientated itself towards holding professional exhibitions and developing various interlinking art projects.
In addition to the regular exhibitions, VT focuses on the multi-angle extension as well. Since 2014, VT has started a series of worldwide exhibitions, such as a three-year exhibition/residential exchange project with Apartment der Kunst in Munich, and showcases with am art space in Hong Kong, SGFA in Malaysia, Marso in Mexico, GUP in the Netherlands, Casino in Luxembourg, and so on. VT has been invited to several art fairs in Paris, France, Germany, Busan, Seoul, Gwangju, Korea and Beijing, China. From 2017, VT has officially launched two major international exchange projects, Island Hopping Project – Empire Retrograde and Younited States, which have collided the sparks between Taiwan and other countries and created various groundbreaking ideas. Besides, VT also brings young curators and art administrators to the world, cultivating their universal vision, the way of getting along with art workers from around the globe, as well as a better international literacy of art. It is hoped that more talents will be encouraged, and more Taiwanese art workers will shine on the global stage.
Furthermore, VT has invested its efforts in cultivating Taiwanese young artists and art workers through hosting various open calls and projects, such as Very Period for art administrators and researchers, VT Open Call for curators, Very Show for fledgling young artists, and Very View for young art critics. In 2019, VT has launched a young art worker cultivation project, integrating relevant plans and momentum step by step. VT believes that with long-term and stable cultivation as the primary, and the spirit of innovation as the supplement, it can gradually cultivate and support the next generation of artistic talents.
During operation, VT always ponders the role and the significance of Taiwan as a member of the world, together with how to rebuild a new cultural and political context under the premise of using art as the method. Accordingly, Taiwan can build a positive relationship with other countries, and at the same time to benefit from it. Since 2008, VT has continued to conduct various international exchanges in the form of joint exhibitions, residencies, forums and publications. In 2018, there was a brand-new chapter of VT: it was transformed from an artist’s space into an artist-run-space as collective art or project. From then on, VT started to create a platform as the cohesion within the Taiwanese art community, and the basis to integrate Taiwan’s art, artists, curators, critics, and administrators to stand on the international stage.
Chen Wen Chi