NEXUS-Video and New Media Art from the Caribbean

2023 / 05 / 06 Sat.

2023 / 07 / 16 Sun.

10:00 - 18:00

  • Curator

    Sasha Dees

  • Artists

    Christopher Cozier
    Maksaens Denis
    Nadia Huggins
    Sharelly Emanuelson
    Rodell Warner
    Sofía Gallisá Muriente & Natalia Lassalle-Morillo

  • VR Exhibitions

  • Supervisor

    Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government

  • Organizers

    Taipei Culture Foundation

  • Exhibition Sponsor

    Ministry of Culture

  • Annual Sponsors

    Contemporary Art Foundation
    Hui-Neng Chi Arts and Culture Foundation
    Royal Inn

  • Annual Sponsor for Appointed TV/Screen


  • Annual Sponsor for Appointed Projector


  • Media Cooperation

    Radio Taiwan International

  • Special Thanks

    Taipei Municipal Jian Cheng Junior High School
    National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
    National Center of Photography and Images


This exhibition is the first introduction of contemporary artists from the Caribbean in MoCA TAIPEI. Presented as a duo exhibition with Su Hui-Yu's The Trio Hall on current global politics, NEXUS creates an entry point beyond the obvious: paradise-like exotic islands. In dialogue with each other, the works provoke a feeling of urgency to connect to move to a sustainable future in symbioses within the world ecosystem.

As a curator from the Netherlands presenting artists from the Caribbean in Taiwan, I cannot disregard Dutch colonization and global politics. In the Far East (viewed from the Netherlands), from the 17th century to the 1940s, immigration and the development of Taiwan were largely shaped by the Dutch and the empires of China and Japan. Portuguese sailors first saw Taiwan in 1557 and dubbed it “Ihla Formosa” (beautiful island). However, the Dutch East India Company, in competition with its Spanish and Portuguese rivals in the Far East, established Netherlands Formosa, a base in southern Taiwan, located near today's Tainan City, in 1624. The reason for Dutch colonization in Southern Taiwan was twofold: It heralded the creation of an immigration port of entry in Southern Taiwan which fueled a demand for manpower from China, and it integrated Taiwan into global trade systems, thus hastening the country's development to benefit Dutch trade. In response to the demand for laborers first initiated by Dutch colonization, a massive wave of Chinese immigrants came to Taiwan between 1661 and 1682. Along came military leader Zheng Chenggong (often called Koxinga), who defeated the Dutch in 1662. These migrants from China were the first to establish an agrarian economy in Taiwan (Ji-Ping Lin, Tradition and Progress: Taiwan's Evolving Migration Reality, January 24, 2012).

In the Far West (viewed from the Netherlands), the Caribbean is part of a broader region documented as “discovered” by Spanish conquerors Christopher Columbus and (lesser known) Alonso de Ojeda, the first Europeans to reach the region, in 1492. The Dutch in competition with its Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French rivals, here too, occupied Sint Maarten in 1618, Curacao and Bonaire in 1634, St. Eustatius and Aruba in 1637, and Saba in 1640. These islands formed the Netherlands Antilles from 1948 until October 2010, and are still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to date. In addition, the Dutch occupied St. Croix (1625-1650), St. Thomas (1657-1672), and Tobago (1632-1675). The demand for laborers for the agrarian economy in the Caribbean started the transatlantic human trade. As of 1637, the Dutch transported and traded enslaved people until 1814 when the Netherlands abolished human trading.

Colonialism (1500-1800) is what kick-started global politics driven by capitalism as a world system and is where our connection and entanglement started. Ever since Taiwan and the Caribbean continue to share issues like transnational labor, migration and immigration, environmental disasters, and constant imperialist threats by Europe, the USA, and/or the People’s Republic of China.

Christopher Cozier about his participation in Taiwan points out: “What is interesting here is that Trinidad has a complex relationship as people were brought here in the early 19th century, and later many people displaced in the civil war leading to Taiwan's formation came to Trinidad.” Cozier’s work, All around us - elsewheres are beginnings and endings, focuses on the predicament of transplanted labor.

Global politics has played a significant role in immigration to the USA from both Taiwan and the Caribbean. Foreign in a Domestic Sense a work by Sofía Gallisá Muriente and Natalia Lassalle-Morillo refers to the USA colonization of foreign territories, identifying Puerto Rico as an unincorporated possession. The work evokes, accompanies, and connects the lived experiences of people who are part of the fastest-growing Puerto Rican population in the United States. Like immigrants from Taiwan, they moved for political reasons and in the case of Puerto Rico also because of the environmental disasters in the archipelago.

Capitalism and global politics resulting in the current climate change have a big impact on all islands with environmental disasters rapidly increasing. In Siudadanos, a work by Sharelly Emanuelson (Curacao), we immerse in images of St. Maarten, which she took right after hurricane Gonzalo (2014). The visuals are accompanied by the sounds of birds, insects, and voices speaking to the subject of national unity, an open unity based on the recognition of the ever-changing plurality of the population of the islands.

Haiti and St. Vincent & Grenadines to date formally acknowledges Taiwan. The disruptive and destructive impact of global politics and transnational capitalism economically, politically, and environmentally in the Caribbean is most blatant in Haiti. In Mes Rêves / My Dreams, artist Maksaens Denis works his way through the history of violence, oppression, and greed, evacuating fears, anxieties, and frustrations, and releasing repressed impulses.

In the past decades, Taiwan also has been heavily investing in St. Vincent & the Grenadines in agriculture and fishery. Nadia Huggins’ current work interrogates belonging and displacement, and identity and distortion through images of bodies (her own and others), and the marine environment the bodies encounter. In Circa No Future, Huggins explores her belief there is a link between an under-explored aspect of Caribbean adolescent masculinity and the freedom of bodies in the ocean.

Rodell Warner started creating NFTs to interact with a larger community. TERRARIA allows discussing and collecting these digital references to nature, life and preservation, contributing to the current discourse and urgency for our world needing to transform from globalized transnational capitalism to eco-socialism.

The current times ask us to move towards a more just, equal, and sustainable future. Policy reforms—particularly in the areas of income redistribution, transnational state regulation of world markets, labor, human, women, LGBTQ+, and ethnic rights, and climate change—are important on the road to a viable future.

Art will never be able to offer a solution for a problem. Art at best, disrupts, is uncomfortable, and even shocks at times. It sets out to transgress, sparks the imagination, makes us wonder, ponder, and lets us see beyond what we so far understood and were aware of. It is beyond clarifying a political stance or identity. It shows our continuous entanglement and connection with each other and with the ecosystem of our planet. Complicated connections between perpetrators and victims, inextricably intertwined in the past and present, also will determine our future.

Feudalism, Colonialism, Imperialism, and Transnational Capitalism, to grow our understanding of the social forces and their political and cultural agents that shape global society is essential for building the systemic movement to transition to an at least life-affirming commensalism future. How the future will unfold depends on our ability and willingness to accept our unavoidable entanglement and to adjust, better our connections and see the value and strength of a more coherent togetherness.

Sasha Dees



Curator & Artists

Sasha Dees
Christopher Cozier
Maksaens Denis
Nadia Huggins
Sharelly Emanuelson
Rodell Warner
Sofía Gallisá Muriente
Natalia Lassalle-Morillo

Sasha Dees is an independent writer, producer, curator, world citizen, and connector living for the arts. Dees provides a platform for emerging artists who push limits, cross borders and break down barriers. Art for her is about communication, confronting people without imposing, and creating a dialogue that offers a different perspective. She is interested in the collaboration between different cultures, traditions, genders and the various art disciplines. All art disciplines are equally important to her—theater, visual art, dance, music, spoken word and film. She works with artists who experiment with the classical art forms, who mix them up and break them down—not to destroy, but to analyze and re-use and build something new. International, interdisciplinary, inclusive and innovative are crucial elements in her projects.

In 2021 she published Entangled Species. Conversations on Contemporary Art in the Caribbean, the result of a fifteen-month research project. Between November 2017 and May 2019, she visited 16 countries in the Caribbean (including Curacao, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago). Decolonization discourse and international politics are reflected in her encounters and conversations with artists, art professionals, and institutions in the Caribbean. Engaging anecdotes and conversations with artists and art professionals draw us into her journey. This publication reads like a travel book and serves as a toolkit to contemporary art in the Caribbean. Entangled Species. Conversations on Contemporary Art in the Caribbean provides a different view of the Caribbean through a personal lens showcasing the depth and variety of artists and art communities of the Caribbean.

Christopher Cozier is an artist whose work aims to explore and affect conventional readings of the Caribbean as a place that has been shaped and is shaped by the world. For Cozier, the Caribbean is a fluid space and an ongoing negotiation with shifting narratives and interpretations. Through his notebook drawings to installations derived from recorded staged actions, Cozier investigates how Caribbean historical and current experiences can inform understandings of the wider contemporary world.
In 2006, he co-founded Alice Yard, an informal venue for creative experiment, exchange and debate that presents artist projects, performances, music events, readings, film screenings and exhibitions. Alice Yard participated in :documenta 15 (2022) in Kassel, Germany.

Maksaens Denis is recognized for his activism through his artwork generating works speaking of the dramatic economic and political situation experienced by the population in Haiti. They deal with topics related to spirituality, Vodou, and the questions that surround it. They often refer to homosexuality, injustice, or discrimination experienced by the LGBTQI community in Haiti and talk about love. same-sex love. Denis's work spans several disciplines, from installation to video art, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Coming into his practice in the Techno movement, he acquired significant experience in VJ-ing since the 90s. Denis is renowned as the pioneer in multi-media and digital art using mapping techniques in the Caribbean. Denis loves to play with the duality and the contrast of the images between the abstract, very colorful aesthetic and the realism of the color or black and white photo or video and combines effortlessly visual aesthetic inspired by electronic music combined with the Vodou culture. He collaborates with other artists from different disciplines, visual artists, filmmakers, photographers, poets, dancers, and performers in residencies in various countries worldwide.

Nadia Huggins, a self-taught artist, works in photography and video. Since 2010, she has built a body of images that are characterized by her observation of interest in the everyday. Her work merges documentary and conceptual practices, which explore belonging, identity, and memory through a contemporary approach focused on re-presenting Caribbean landscapes and the sea. Huggins' practice is dedicated to challenging perceptions about what the Caribbean and Caribbean photography look like. Her main preoccupation has been with the sea which she feels presents an opportunity to explore new ways of imagining ourselves. In the water, she contends that we are freed of the constructs of class, gender, and race that exist on dry land. Her photography examines the possibility of who we can be and how we can exist, in a medium that is both connecting and distorting. Her current work interrogates belonging and displacement and identity and distortion through images of her own body and the marine environment she encounters.

Sharelly Emanuelson is a filmmaker and visual artist. Through her lens-based work and research, Emanuelson is interested in film, photography, and multimodal arrangements that contemplate and materialize a multisensory vocabulary. She gathers and uses multisensory forms, techniques, or movements to reflect around heritage in contemporary everyday life. Her practice is informed by decolonial thought to evoke curiosity and reflection about how we have arranged and moved ways of living, thinking, and being in our world. Each work or project is a personal journey to learn, unlearn, and reconnect to the different knowledge’s that have been forgotten, buried, or discredited by the forces of modernity/colonialism. In addition to her practice, she founded Uniarte, an artist-run foundation that promotes the visibility and development of artists in the Caribbean.

Rodell Warner works primarily in new media and photography. His works assume various forms in a process of exploration. Through his digital creations, Warner participates within a global framework of discourse about the nature of digital possibilities and brings unseen aspects of nature into view. How we see, think, and interact with each other and with nature is brought into question as Warner seeks to understand what is already there.

Sofía Gallisá Muriente is an artist whose research-based practice resists colonial erasures and claims the freedom of historical agency, proposing mechanisms for remembering and reimagining. Her work deepens the subjectivity of historical narratives and contests dominant visual culture through multiple approaches to documentation. She employs text, image and archive as medium and subject, exploring their poetic and political implications. From 2014 to 2020, she co-directed the artist-run organization Beta-Local. She is currently a fellow of the Puerto Rican Arts Initiative.

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo is a visual artist, filmmaker, theatermaker and educator whose work reconstructs history through a transdisciplinary approach to research, form and narrative. Melding intuitive experimental ethnography, theatrical performance, and collaborations with non-professional performers, Lassalle-Morillo’s practice centers on excavating imagined and archived history, decentralizing canonical narratives through embodied reenactments, and challenging written history by foregrounding instead the creation of new mythologies. Her multi-platform projects explore familial and citizen relationships in the context of Caribbean collective memory and the resulting imperialist oppression that has altered generations of material and spiritual trajectories. Bringing the practice of theater into the camera, Natalia explores a methodology that creates its own decolonial rhythms.


Circa No Future
Foreign in a Domestic Sense
Mes Rêves / My Dreams
All around us - elsewheres are beginnings and endings





  • Activity hall 1F

    2023/06/04 Sun.

    14:00 - 15:30

  • Activity hall 1F

    2023/06/25 Sun.

    14:00 - 15:30



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