August 26–27, 2023

Taiwan Bookstore: Don’t Just Let It Go 

Exhibition

Taiwan

Taiwan Bookstore Don't Just Let It Go

Photo courtesy of the artist

Overview

In the Canadian classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, fertile women are sacrificed as tools of pregnancy for those in power to ensure the survival of humanity. In the Taiwanese new comic, Tan-Tsiu-Niu, women in Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty desperately seek ways to bear children in order to carry on the family bloodline. One is a fictional story set in a dystopian future, and the other reflects the social conditions of Taiwan a hundred years ago. However, these oppressions against women—can we say they are no longer happening at this very moment? The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, has been mocked by her male opponents for not being a mother, implying that she cannot understand the needs of families. On the other hand, Toronto’s newly elected mayor, Olivia Chow, has been blasted with comments of “you’re too old! go back home!,” a criticism male politicians rarely face. 

In 2017, the #MeToo movement spread from the United States and Canada all the way to Europe, Central and South America, and India. In May 2023, the #MeToo movement erupted in Taiwan, with many repressed victims (mostly women) speaking up. The collective strength of these voices shook Taiwanese society and those in power. This year, Taiwan Bookstore revolves around three elements: “women,” “history,” and “reflection.” The dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale and the folktale-inspired manhua Tan-Tsiu-Niu inspires contemplation of the gender-based violence that women still face in contemporary societies today. In addition, two works by Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant authors, Penghu Moon in the Well and A Tale of Two Mansions, also sheds light on the lives and thoughts of ordinary women that are often rendered invisible in history. How did they live? What did they think? 

We ask: How should you and I, at this moment, stand up and create change? Staring at your self-portrait, do you see the rigidness of the frame? 

Taiwan Bookstore is a visual exhibition introducing this year’s special curation of literature. 

Dates & Times

August 26
12pm – 7pm

August 27
12pm – 6pm

Venue

West Hallway

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON