Taiwan to host LGBTQ show following landmark same-sex marriage ruling

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In May 2017, a groundbreaking court ruling put Taiwan on course to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

A few months on, a Taiwanese art museum is set to achieve another milestone by hosting what it believes to be the first major exhibition dedicated to LGBTQ-themed art in Asia.

Titled "Spectrosynthesis -- Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now," the upcoming show at Taipei's Museum of Contemporary Art will feature 50 works by 22 ethnically Chinese artists from around the world.

The exhibition is aimed at promoting a better understanding of the LGBTQ experience in Asia, according to curator Sean Hu.

"The works relates to issues facing the Chinese LGBTQ community and our life stories," he said in a phone interview. "It symbolizes a slice of our history.

"We hope the exhibition has a ripple effect across Asian society, and leads to people respecting different sexual orientations," said Hu, who is also an activist for LGBTQ and ethnic minority issues in Taiwan.

Diverse perspectives

Exhibiting artwork from the last 50 years, the show encompasses a variety of mediums, from paintings to video art. The artists featured include Chinese-American filmmaker Wu Tsang, and Samson Young, who is representing Hong Kong at this year's Venice Biennale.

Hong Kong artist Samson Young's video piece strips away the music of a choral performance, leaving behind only the background sounds.

Singaporean artist Jimmy Ong has contributed a collection of large-scale charcoal artworks addressing gender and sexual identity. Many of the images depict gay couples with their children, a theme often explored in Ong's art.

"I wanted to grant a pictorial vocabulary for gay people to view their marital statuses, which are absent in regular Asian artworks," he said in a phone interview. "And they're definitely absent in family portraits."

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