"Taiwan Discovered: In Place and Time"
Through May 16. Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; thefrost.fiu.edu. Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
With his Mack truck-size opus on view at the Frost Art Museum, Yao Jui-cheng transports the spectator to the vertex where old Taiwan intersects the new. Heaven, Yao's photo and mixed-media installation, swallows most of the museum's center gallery. On the wall are 15 large black-and-white images treated with gold leaf and encased in hand-carved gold frames that recall the opulence of the past and the consumptive power of the present. The striking conglomeration of images includes mammoth crabs, Mandarin emperors, grappling dinosaurs, and a kowtowing baby with a sonic boom erupting from its ass. From these disparate pictures snakes a soaring sculptural mass of half-inch copper tubing attached to what looks like an old-fangled brass diving helmet. It floats at eye level and houses a small video monitor. Viewers are invited to slip their heads into the contraption, where the senses get sucked into a loopy realm that resembles a wormhole. Yao's installation is part of "Taiwan Discovered: In Place and Time," an intriguing exhibit featuring seven contemporary Taiwanese artists. Works range from video, sculpture, painting, multimedia installations, and rock art.
"Art Encounters: Interstices Between Literature, Cinema, and Graphic Design"
Through March 20. CCE Miami, 800 Douglas Rd., Ste. 170, Coral Gables; 305-448-9676; ccemiami.org. Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Some people believe a picture is worth a thousand words, but others swear a well-made poster can more effectively sway the masses. The image of a slippery soap bar covered in pubic hair on display at CCE Miami evokes thoughts of a brutal prison rape. Instead, it is a shocking graphic design created by Mexico's Paul Domínguez to promote Marlon Brando's stab at porn in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial Last Tango in Paris, which showcased the actor as a middle-aged widower who engages in a sexually violent relationship with an anonymous young woman. Domínguez's striking image is part of "Art Encounters: Interstices Between Literature, Cinema, and Graphic Design." The exhibit, featuring 50 provocative posters by several generations of Latin American artists, explores the corner where the disparate genres collide. In a separate room of the gallery, another 200 posters are continuously projected, offering a further examination of Latin America's rich graphic design tradition.
Through March 30. Little Haiti Cultural Center, 260 NE 59th Ter., Miami; 305-960-2969; theglobalcaribbean.org. Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the barely known and underused Little Haiti Cultural Center, a world-class exhibit focusing on the art of the Caribbean begs for attention. Curated by Miami's Edouard Duval-Carrié, largely funded by the French government, and cosponsored by the City of Miami and the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, "Global Caribbean" features the work of nearly 25 artists and offers a tantalizing survey of the region's top talent and contemporary trends. The exhibition showcases videos, sculpture, photography, painting, and mixed-media installations that gather the detritus of a colonized culture to create stunning collages of social commentary on the endless search for cultural identity.