Art in Times of Crisis - The Covid-19 Pandemic and Taibei's Artscapes. A Digital Dialogue with Contemporary Taiwanese Artist Betty Apple

Emily Tsui's picture

Dear network members,

I hope you've all had a great start to the new year! Please allow me to draw your attention to an exciting event happening online next Wednesday. This event is presented as part of the Digital Dialogue series organised by the Joint Center for Advanced Studies “Worldmaking from a Global Perspective: A Dialogue with China” ( The Centre is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education.

Next week, the Heidelberg centre Epochal Life Worlds: Man, Nature and Technology in Narratives of Crisis and Change ( , will host a conversation between Dr Phillip Grimberg, our current fellow, and the avant-garde Taiwanese artist, Betty Apple (

We are very much looking forward to this event and hope to see many of you there. 

Art in Times of Crisis - The Covid-19 Pandemic and Taibei's Artscapes. A Digital Dialogue with Contemporary Taiwanese Artist Betty Apple

January 19, 2022, 1.15 - 2.45 PM CET | Zoom

When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Taiwan in the early spring of 2020, the island nation’s art scene had to grapple with this unprecedented situation and find ways to develop new concepts to accommodate for the unfolding global health crisis, exploring artistic strategies of coping with natural disaster and trauma. The pandemic and its global impact on the artscapes of the Taiwanese capital informs the way artists like Betty Apple (Zheng Yiping 鄭宜蘋, b. 1986) as a representative of Taiwan’s contemporary Avant-Garde engages with the world through mediated public and social discourse. This Digital Dialogue seeks to gain insight into how the current pandemic has altered and/or influenced the sense of  world and self for Artists like Betty Apple and how she understands the relationship between different kinds of worlds – natural, political, cultural, fictional, literary, linguistic, and virtual, and their susceptibility to crisis, change, and disaster.

The Artist:

Betty Apple comes from a millennium generation of avant-garde artists in Taiwan. She received her B.A. in Theater and M.A. in New Media Art at the Taipei National University of the Arts. Betty Apple’s art (and music) focuses on using body politics and performativity as her framework and drawing on her lived experience as a millennial living in post-colonial Taiwan, her work appropriates symbolic objects from kitsch culture and consumer society as sound elements; mass-produced objects intended for eroticism or entertainment, such as vibrators, underwear or part of sexbot’s body are carried inside the body through violent and grotesque means. Her aim is to study the chaotic and hysterical "noise text" that is created from input to output, distorted by dynamics introduced by humans as well as objects. The main idea is to symbolize what is repressed by the seemingly perfect/accurate sound of science and patriarchy. Recently invited to Biennale Jogja in Indonesia, HKW House of the Cultures of the World in Berlin, Bergen Assembly 2019 in Norway, Plyfreely Music Festival in Singapore, Mutek Japan in Tokyo, Negative Volumes Shining Abyss at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Polythinking in Melbourne, Art is in the pARTy at Asian Art Biennial, Mycelium Network Society at 2018 Taipei Biennial, and “Noise Assembly 2018, 2019” at Taipei Art Festival; performed in “Queen Me” at Dadaocheng Art Festival; music designer of “New Paradise of Silent Island” by MeimageDance and “Known Face” by Lee Chen-wei at the 2019 TIFF.

The Interviewer:

Dr. Phillip Grimberg is a cultural historian specializing in the material cultures of late Imperial and contemporary China. He studied Chinese studies and International law at Universities in Germany (Cologne, Bonn) and China (Beijing, Hangzhou). After receiving his PhD in 2014 he held a number of research and teaching positions at different institutions (Bonn, Frankfurt, Erlangen, Naples, Trento). Apart from being a fellow with the project “Epochal Life Worlds” at Heidelberg University, he is currently working at the Friedrich-Alexander-University at Erlangen-Nürnberg, where he pursues a project on the art collection of the Yongzheng Emperor (1723-1735).


The participation at the Digital Workshop Series is open to everyone, who registers prior to the event. To register please send an e-mail to Emily Tsui at Registered participants will receive the Zoom link to join the Dialogues.​