Isa Ho (何孟娟)

isa HO

Born on January 2, 1977, in Keelung, Taiwan

2013 Third Prize of Archisle #2 Open Photography Exhibition

2013 ISE Cultural Foundation AWARD

2013 Residency program at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York

2012 Asian Cultural Council grantee

2012 Prix Pictet Nomination

2012 Asia Pioneer Photographer Nomination

2011 Kaohsiung Art Award

2009-2010 Residency Paris, Cité International des Arts

2008 Taiwan Young Art Award

2005 Taipei Art Award Nomination


2005 M.F.A., Taipei National University of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

2001 B.F.A. in painting, Department of Fine Arts, National Institute of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan


National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts/Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Kaosiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju ,Korea


2015 "My Peony Pavilion", Apartment der Kunst, Munich, Germany

2014 “Westbeth – isa Ho/Moritz Partenheimer”, VT Artsalon, Taipei, Taiwan

2014 “Tales-isa Ho solo exhibition 2005-2014”, THE 201 ART, Taichung, Taiwan

2012 "Girls/Spring", InArt Space,Tainan, Taiwan

2011 "Girls", VT ArtSalon,Taipei, Taiwan

2011 "Fairy Tales"solo,Instituto Cultural de Mexico, , Texas, USA

2010 "You are my hero", La Chambre Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

2009 "Once Upon a Future", Sakshi Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

"Project Paris:You are my hero " Galerie Etienne de Causans, Paris, France

2008 "I got super strong courage", VT ArtSalon,Taipei, Taiwan

2007 "Solo Exhibition", SOKA Beijing, China

"Nacissus", Cans Book Shop, 798 Beijing, China

2005 "To Call me Snow White!" TC284, Taipei, Taiwan


2015 “People Mountain People Sea", InArt Space, Tainan, Taiwan

“Big Picture", Absolute Art Space, Tainan, Taiwan

“Our Eyes", Double Square Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

2014 “ISE NY Art Search 2013 Award Winners Exhibition”, ISE Cultural Foundation Gallery, New York, U.S.A

“Woman-Home:In the Name of Asian Female Artists”, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

“The Present and Future of Japanese and Taiwanese Contemporary-Amplitude of Global and Locality” , Chinretukan Gallery, The University Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

“Exchange” 44 Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

““The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artist,1971-1980" National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichuang

2013 “Archisle #2 Open Photography Exhibition 2013”, The Berni Gallery, Jersey Arts Centre, St Helier, Jersey

“Art Kwangju:13”, KDJ Convention Center, Kwanghu, South Korea

“Art x Literature: Inside and Outside of the Boundary”, Bopiliao, Taipei, Taiwan

“Artshow Bushan 2013”, Busan Exhibition and Convention Center, Busan, South Korea

“Mona Lisa Made in Taiwan”, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

“Turning Gazes:Women and Arts in Dialogue”, Juming Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

“ARENA”, Armature Art Space, New York, USA

“Fell in Love With Your Own Imagination”, CANS TEA&BOOK HOUSE, Taiwan

“The Power(s) of Local and Elsewhere”, Pingtung Art Museum, Taiwan

"Dragon, Asia Aspiring"Absolute Zenith", Banqiao, Taipei

2012 "DIVA", Sakshi Gallery, India

"International Women Arts Exhibition Lights of Women" Gwangju Museum of Arts, Gwangju, Korea "D'abord les forêts Opus 3" La Tour de l'Auditoire, Chateauvillan, France

"Manifestation of Homunculi"Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, TNUA ,Taipei, Taiwan

"Aire de Taiwan" Hôtel de Savigny, Provins, France

"Life is elsewhere-2012 4th Dali international Photography exhibition" Dali ,China

"incere Subversion" VT ArtSalon ,Taipei, Taiwan

"Art meets Fasion" Bellavita ,Taipei, Taiwan

2011 "FOTOSEPTIMBRE USA-SAFOTO International Photography Festival", Texas, USA

"2011 Kaohsiung Fine Arts Award", Kaohsiung Museum, Kaohsiung

"A Poetry of Silence"TAD Shanghai, China

2010 "YES TAIWAN-Taiwan Biennial" National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichuang

"Taipei Biennial" Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei

"Urban Crack " MOT mobile gallery, Taipei

"The Other Book" G-dot Art Space, Beijing

2009 "Indian Art Summit" Delhi, India

" Being in the World---an exhibition for self and situations",Taichung, Taiwan

2008 "Sweeties-Celebrating 20 Years of IT Park", Taipei, Taiwan

"Kuandu Biennale 2008 " , Kuandu museum of fine arts, Taipei, Taiwan

"PINGYAO international photography festival ", Pingyao, Jiang Xi, China

"ART TAIPEI 2008-Made in Taiwan:Young Artist Discovery Exhibition", Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei

"Grooving 2", Project Fulfill Art Space, Taipei, Taiwan

"FU New generation female artists in Taiwan" Da Xiang Art Space, Taichung, Taiwan

"Blue Dot Asia", Seoul Art Center, Korea

"Bubble Tea: Art of Taiwan and Its Contemporary Mutations" Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech

2007 "Frolic: Humor and Mischief in New Taiwanese Art", 2X13 Gallery, Tenri Cultural Center, Taipei Gallery of Taipei Cultural Center, New York, USA

"Taiwan: From Within the Mist", The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, Sioux Falls, USA

"Fashion Accidentally", MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan

2006 "Re-genesis: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art" Museum of Contemporary Art, Haikou, China

"Taipei Art Award", Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

"Art Taipei 2006", Huashan Art District, Taipei, Taiwan

2005 "Scylla and Charybdis: The Challenges Facing Contemporary Taiwanese Artists" KdMoFA ,Taipei

"Oil Painting Study Society Great Exhibition in 2005", National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall , Taipei

2004 "Simulation Generation", Soka Arts center, Beijing, China

"Scylla and Charybdis: The Challenges Facing Contemporary Taiwanese Artists", Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea

" Huashan Round Table - The 3rd Artist Fair", Huashan Art District, Taipei, Taiwan

2003 "1:15 – Diversion and Progress of the Mood in the Present Time", Main-Trend Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

"Spirit Reconstructing Trilogy-Caroling Life", Taipei Natinal Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

"Digging Jazz ", The Galerie Pierre, Taichung, Taiwan

2002 "2002 Artist fair", Huashan Art Direct, Taipei, Taiwan

2000 "Choosing the Sample by Chance", Crown Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan

"30% Off", National Institute of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

1999 "Bird Spotting'', National Institute of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

"Scenes of Life", Photography Exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan

"All for Love", National Institute of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

“My Peony Pavilion”

This is the first solo of Iisa Ho in Germany,including recent Girls / Falling series titled ”Girls”, ”Westbeth” taken in New York with artist Moritz Partenheimer and “My Peony Pavilion”.

The “Girls” series is known to many as the “Falling Down” series. The girls in the photographs and also the girls that have been transformed into animals are all captured from the bottom-up in a “falling-down” scenario. My objective is to talk about the ambiguous self-awareness and the singularized value outlook observed in today’s modern life, and also the sense of frustration arising from that. This “Frustration” is like a beach ball with different colored sections, depending on the angle of viewing you will see different colors, and to me, it can be quite sexy.

Westbeth Artists Housing was established in 1868. This mysterious building full of stories was open to resident artists to stay till they pass away for relatively cheaper rents since 1970.Artists spend time pondering over the meaning of life and then transform it into their works. They feel life but interpret it from their individual perspectives. This project aims at capturing these artists and their individual perspectives of life and creativity, but it is through my interpretation and hence the story will be told from the perspective of an outsider and a Taiwanese.

“My Peony Pavilion” shows the new Asian woman who has risen along with the wave of K-pop. Comparing K-pop with traditional Chinese opera, differences are distinctively shown in their shared common traits, with the most noticeable being body consciousness. It signifies a great evolution of the female self-awareness, and it entails more than just being a woman with gender equality rights; it is also a state of independence where women are enjoying being who they are.  

2015 Peony Pavilion

A new Asian woman has risen along with the wave of K-pop. K-pop has taken the world by storm including Europe and the United States while having an unprecedented impact on young people of Taiwan. However, Korean popular culture has reached further than just the young, as seen with fans of Korean dramas and movies that span across different age groups. The rise of the Korean Wave is in part due to support and efforts exerted by the South Korean government, but I believe the shift in Asian women’s self-awareness also plays a critical role.

Some of the K-pop dance moves seem awkward and bizarre to me, reminding me of experiences I’ve had watching traditional Chinese opera, and there seems to be a distance felt due to lack of understanding. With one coming from the previous generation and the other from the younger generation, here I am standing in the midst of them. As I try to further grasp the genre, the more I feel that K-pop resembles traditional Chinese opera. After more in-depth analyses of K-pop gestures, poses, attitudes, and compositions of its dance moves, I am further convinced that there is something more profound that is embodied in this phenomenon.

Any style of musical art is derived from inheritance and gradual development, including classical dramas from the Yuan and Jin Dynasties, Northern Chinese operas, Southern dramas, and Taiwanese folk opera. This art series is based on the Chinese Kunqu Opera, The Peony Pavilion, written by Tang Xian-Zu of the Yuan Dynasty. Living in an era when literati were not valued, Guan Han-Qing, a leading dramatist in the Yuan Dynasty, wrote the following verses to express his somewhat unrestrained, rebellious attitude: “What I have enjoyed is the moon in the opulent Liang Garden. What I have drunk is the superior wine of the Eastern Capital. What I have appreciated are the flowers of Luoyang. What I have plucked are the willows of the Zhangtai.” Dream sequences are common story plots in Kunqu Opera, where reality and illusion overlap and the pursuit of immortal love reveals a shared mentality of the era’s literati – although unable to exercise their ambitions, their minds were still filled with dreams. The Peony Pavilion is a story about the female protagonist Du Li-Niang’s pursuit of love, which revived her from death: “Where does love arise? It wells up from the deep. For love the living can die. For love the dead can revive.” Kunqu Opera was developed in the Yuan Dynasty and progressed into the height of the Qing Dynasty, which was a time when Korea was a vassal state of China. I think there is some kind of historical tie that can explain why K-pop is so widely accepted by Asians, which also leads to the discussions of notable features in Asian dance music.

Comparing K-pop with traditional Chinese opera, differences are distinctively shown in their shared common traits, with the most noticeable being body consciousness. From acting to dancing, Asian women have begun to perceive their bodies and minds differently. They are now more in control of themselves, enjoy being themselves, and when dealing with their bodies, they are no longer confined by tradition or feel embarrassed by their bodies. Instead, a sense of passion, adoration is perceived, as Asian women begin to touch, change, and take charge of their bodies. Compared to the female self-awareness in the West, seemingly traditional representations with women showing signs of weakness and needs, desires for men are also observed in this new found autonomy of Asian women, which shows that Asian women have officially begun to directly face their personal desires. Although this development has taken course comparatively much later than that of the West, it is, nevertheless, quite interesting and very different from the West, with a different and unique sense of sex appeal projected by these women. It signifies a great evolution with the female self-awareness, and it entails more than just being a woman with gender equality rights; it is also a state of independence where women are enjoying being who they are.

As a Taiwanese artist in an environment where art is undervalued, the conditions have perhaps prompted art in Taiwan to take on an unrestrained, rebellious approach with self-ridiculed game-like scenarios. Comparing myself to Tang Xian-Zu, this is my version of the Peony Pavilion.


討論韓國流行音樂崛起呈現的亞洲女性新風貌。K pop席捲亞洲延燒至歐美,在台灣新世代年輕人身上造成的影響超乎想像,但韓國流行文化的影響不僅在年輕世代,韓劇、電影的觀眾年齡層更是橫跨老中青三代。韓流的崛起,除了韓國政府大力推廣之外,我認為亞洲女性自我意識的轉變是更大的原因。


任何一種曲藝型式都是繼承與發展而來,金元雜劇北曲南戲到歌仔戲。這系列作品以崑曲牡丹亭為題,元朝湯顯祖崑曲作品。在元朝文人無用的低迷氛圍下,關漢卿曾說: 我玩的是梁圓月、飲的是東京酒、賞的是洛陽花、攀的是章台柳,以放浪不羈形容自己。崑曲故事結構諸多以夢境有關,虛實相交,以追求不朽的愛情暗示當時文人志不可伸但仍有夢想的心境。牡丹亭裡湯顯祖寫到: 情不知所起 一往情深,情之所至,生可以死,死可以生。女主角杜麗娘追求自己的愛情,由死而生。崑曲從元朝發展至清朝全盛時期,這段時間韓國同時也是中國的附屬國,我想這是為什麼KPOP對所有亞洲人來說比較容易接受,由此又可以討論亞洲音樂舞蹈的肢體特性。