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Artists and Powers in Taiwan: the example of Mei Dean-E


KeywordsTriple Keywords
Western art (Western countries)
Arts, Fine
Fine arts
Art, Visual
Arts, Visual
Occidental art
Visual arts
Art, Occidental
Art, Western (Western countries)
Political power
Empowerment (Social sciences)
Power (Social sciences)
Pictorial representations
Language and languages
Foreign languages
Identity (Philosophical concept)
Science, Political
Political science
Political theory
Commonwealth, The
Civil government
Political thought
Mass political behavior
Practical politics
Political behavior
Electoral politics
Politics, Practical
Evaluation of literature
Literary criticism
Context (Linguistics)
Grammar, Comparative and general--Context
Situation (Linguistics)
Standard of value


Artiste born in Taiwan in 1954 of Chinese parents from Continent, Mei Dean-E himself defines himself as a ‘political artist’. Through his work inspired by both the Dada and the Pop Art, which he studied closely during his studies in New York, he constantly questioned the various forms of power, of which he deconstructs emblems and speeches. This article explores how, using multiple visual strategies, it explores the arcanes of political and economic power, and how he opposes a counterpower by image, to which, in line with conceptual art, it often combines language, in a reflection that touches upon identity, nostalgia, identity hybridity, but where politics is one of the themes that largely dominates, ever again, whether about Taiwan or the Communist China that his parents have fled. Mei is often unexpected, always grating, and is still an unexposed artist in China. If he is not the victim of direct censorship, he is not particularly interested in exposing him, conscious of the impossibility of presenting his work, a criticism of both nationalists and Chinese Communists, and Mao Zedong in particular. In the unique context of China-Taiwan relations, and in a country where the nation and its borders are all but easy to define, but where there is growing consensus on its state of nation, Mei’s work, which defines itself as ‘Taiwanese artist’, is a valuable artistic contribution to reflection on the issues of power and identity.

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