Main Trend Gallery, which was part of Co4 Documenta last year has just opened 非常經濟實驗室 wayward economy, curated by 徐文瑞 Manray Hsu and Maren Richter. Artists include鄭淑麗 Shulea Cheang, 日日春關懷互助協會 COSWAS, 許兒帕_古普塔 Shilpa Gupta, Big Hope, 卡爾海因茲_克老福 Karl Heinz Klopf, Re-Code.com and 奧立佛_雷斯樂 Oliver Ressler.
By analyzing the architectural, sociological and cultural components Karl-Heinz Klopf reflects on the urban tactics in Taiwan, looking into the phenomenon of one of the most visible informal businesses: the betel nut shops.
Betel nut business is a result of the extremely fast economic development in the second half of the last century and its necessity to handle this situation. Existing buildings were illegally expanded in all directions, which was tolerated due to the need for production and storage spaces. Living rooms suddenly became factories. The “family as a factory” was a promotion slogan. Mobile makeshift constructions emerged for the selling of everything possible. Probably the most culturally interesting and particular sector is betel nut shops, which developed out of the new marketing strategies for betel nuts. A new independent culture emerged that mirrors various different regional and global influences.