Taiwanese Venice Biennale artist abandoned after assault allegations – ARTnews.com

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Sakuliu Pavavaljung, a Paiwan artist born in southern Taiwan, was set to have a landmark year in 2022, with appearances planned for Documenta and the Venice Biennale, the two most important art festivals in the world. . But allegations of sexual assault ensured that the artist would no longer be the commissioned artist for the Taiwanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale and cast doubt on his participation in Documenta 15.

The Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, which controls the Taiwanese pavilion, said on Wednesday that Sakuliu would no longer represent the country at the Venice Biennale. It was not immediately clear who would replace him as Taiwan’s representative, although the museum Recount Focus Taiwan that he still planned to stage a pavilion this year at the Biennale, which is scheduled to open in April.

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“TFAM has always prided itself on facilitating the development of the arts to the highest professional standard and categorically opposes any behavior that violates human rights,” the museum said in a statement. “As the international arts community now looks into the development of this incident, this decision was made to avoid losing focus on the artistic presentation of the Taiwan pavilion. “

The allegations against Sakuliu emerged in December when an engineer named Yu Yu-lien accused the artist of attempting to rape her when she visited one of her shows in 2006. She said she had managed to escape the assault from him. Another woman, artist Kuo Yu-ping, accused an anonymous artist from Paiwan of raping a teenage girl in a Facebook post; prosecutors believed the anonymous artist to be Sakuliu and opened an investigation. Focus Taiwan previously reported that no legal action had been taken against Sakuliu by his accusers.

Shortly after the allegations emerged, Sakuliu vehemently denied that the allegations were true. “I didn’t do what the online story claims,” ​​he said. Recount Focus Taiwan. “I will clarify things when I speak to the legal authorities. “

Currently, Documenta has Sakuliu on the artist list on its website for this year’s edition, which is slated to open in June and is organized by Indonesian art collective ruangrupa. In December, the German quinquennium said in a press release that he “initially” suspended Sakuliu from the 2022 exhibition “while the facts are being clarified.”

His prospects of being added to this list of artists, however, seem unlikely. The National Culture and Arts Foundation, a Taiwanese organization that provides grants to artists, said on Wednesday that it would no longer sponsor Sakuliu’s participation in Documenta. In a statement, the foundation wrote: “Since the German exhibitor has not taken any further decisions so far, in order to avoid affecting the rights and interests of other participating artists, the association will cease its sponsorship, whether or not the German exhibitor continues to invite Sakuliu to participate in the exhibition program.

ARTnews has contacted Documenta to find out if Sakuliu will still be included in the 2022 edition.

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