The first ever museum show celebrating queer Asian art opened this weekend at the state-run Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art. Spectrosynthesis: Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now (until 5 November) presents 51 works by 22 artists and is organised by the Taiwanese curator Sean Hu and backed by the Hong Kong collector Patrick Sun’s Sunpride Foundation. They chose Taiwan for its May ruling setting the stage to legalise gay marriage, and plan to subsequently tour the project around Asia.

Spectrosynthesis was three years in the making, Hu says, due to the investigative field work that was required to identify relevant and suitable artists, particularly those from countries where homosexuality is not openly discussed. “It is not easy to look for artists or artworks that deal with this LGBTQ issue in Asia. So in the past three years we spent time doing field research, artist studio visits, and talking to artists’ agents, if their works are related,” Hu says. “Patrick, once he found some clue, talked to the artist directly, or the gallery owners.” Hu says they amassed a list of some 60 artists, but given laws and taboos “I don’t want to push [anyone] to come out in the exhibition. Some works are kind of hiding, some the message in the works of art, so you have to talk to them and ask if they feel comfortable.” Read more