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The Art of War, an ancient military treatise composed of thirteen chapters, is traditionally attributed to the military strategist Sun Wu, and dated to the Late Spring and Autumn Period (771 – 476 BCE). While in antiquity, the text served as a primer for inspiring soldiers, it has expanded its influence into politics, economics, and commerce in modern times.
Wei Guangqing drew inspiration from Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) woodblock illustrations of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, in which thirteen chapters and two additional portraits of Sun Wu and his disciple Sun Bin comprise a total of fifteen images. Wei highlights characters in bright colors, representative of his iconic Cultural Pop style, while juxtaposing the illustration against a dull grey chessboard background, in which the arrangements of the game pieces all result in a draw. Wei attracts further visual interest by applying varying thickness of paint on different color planes, creating an intricate relief effect.
Wei Guangqing’s Cultural Pop reexamines a classical text and reinterprets the value of traditional culture in a contemporary setting. In Wei’s Art of War, the composition is intelligently planned out and painting meticulously executed, in the fashion of a military exercise or a skillful game of chess. Ultimately, the viewer is invited to reflect on the ancient wisdom of the legendary Sun Tzu and find resonance in the strategy of their modern lives.
In recent years, the subject of Guo Kai’s landscape paintings has gradually transitioned, from the deconstruction and reconstruction of traditional architecture nestled within a natural landscape to the landscape itself, specifically mountains, and the visual and symbolic significance mountains hold. As an architecture professor at Hefei University of Technology, Guo often accompanies students to draw from life from the abundance of heritage architecture in the southern regions of Anhui province. However, in recent years, the classic motifs of Chinese architecture, such as curving rooflines and grand archways seldom appear on his canvases, and are instead replaced with increasing abstract ensembles of mountains, from life drawing trips that he takes alone deep in the reaches of famous mountains like the Yellow Mountain. In terms of composition, the absence of a formal subject allows him to take complete and personal command of the canvas, where the faint contours of mountains become an elegant system of the artist’s symbols and gestures. With his muted palette and images frozen in time, this shift in subject has given Guo Kai a sense of belonging or attachment at the very heart of traditional Chinese landscape painting – the mountains.
Yi Art Institute 3F, Elephant Duo Art District, Lvzhoudong Road, Shushan District, Hefei August 8 – September 7, 2020 Reception: Saturday, August 8, 3:00 pm Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Gallery Touring Exhibition January 9 – March 9, 2021 Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tzeng Yong-ning, The Flower of Plenary 05, 2019 - 2020
Tzeng Yong-ning, The Flower of Plenary 06, 2019 - 2020
Passing Landscapes not only expands on established series, but also develops two new ones, Landscape – Uphill and Landscape – Circuit. Regardless of belonging to new or old series, all works are rich in subject matter and exceptional in execution. New works from the Bloom series have new blossoms of creativity; new Swaying Flowers are brighter and more colorful; and new works from the gold-foiled The Flower of Plenary have expanded on the central circular motif into more elaborate compositions, while retaining the strong visual impact of the gold-foil.
Landscape – Uphill feature an ensemble of bizarre shapes stacked on top of each other, in which the title Uphill suggests movement and sense of growth. Landscape – Circuit is inspired by a sub-genre of painting in the early Song Dynasty called Small Scenery Painting (xiao jing). At a more intimate scale, more attention is given to detail, where each and every detail is intertwined and tightly knit into the overall composition, and the sense of movement appears to flow in a continuous array of lines and circles; hence the name Circuit.
October 10 – December 12, 2020 Hours: 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Liu Kuo-sung December 21, 2019 – May 31, 2020 Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
Liu Kuo-sung, Moon Walk, 1969
Liu Kuo-sung, Blue Moon Landscape, 1969 – 1990
Liu Kuo-sung, Wintry Mountains Covered with Snow, 1964
Liu Kuo-sung, Mountain Beyond Mountains, 1968
Liu Kuo-sung, Valley in the Shade of the Darkness, 1979
Liu Kuo-sung, Rising Clouds, 1989
Liu Kuo-sung, Ripples: Jiuzhaigou Valley Series No. 12, 2001
To the Moon exhibition consists of 64 works by the avant-garde contemporary ink painterLiu Kuo-sung (Liu Guosong). The works on display are classified by subject matter into Calligraphic Abstraction, Space, Water Rubbing, Steeped Ink, and Tibetan Suite series; the dates these works span the half-century period from 1964 to the present. The exhibition not only provides an in-depth look at the artist’s personal creative history, but can be also be seen as historical retrospective of the development of art in Taiwan
Liu Kuo-sung’s artistic style was forged during a period of roughly six years in the 1960’s. At that time, he used abstract art concepts to develop a minimalist expressive approach to traditional Chinese ink painting, while also employing a downward-looking or bird’s-eye view perspective to create landscapes that seem to be viewed from the air. His nimble changes of viewing angle, large focal brushstrokes, and attention to detail give his ink paintings a distinctive style; his works of this type can be classified as belonging to his wild cursive abstract series.
On Christmas Eve in 1968, America’s Apollo 8 spacecraft gave the world a gift from lunar orbit—a photograph of Earth from the moon. Inspired by this photo and the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, Liu Kuo-sung began furiously working on paintings featuring the sun, earth, moon, and their different phases. When the astronauts on Apollo 11 completed the first moon landing in 1969, this milestone in human history completely transformed the then 37 Liu Kuo-sung’s artistic vision. From this point on, his art spun off countless fantasies and variations; his works of this type are huge in number, and span different periods, but are generally classified as belonging to his well-known Space series.
At around the same time, Liu Kuo-sung continued to retain the essence of traditional painting, and neglected neither the physical principles of figurative, realistic painting, nor the imagined spaces of abstract freehand brushwork, which is attested by works from the various stages of his artistic career: His early novice stage, academy and painting association periods, his abstract wild cursive paintings and space paintings, and when he was making his later grand landscape paintings displaying innovative techniques—all of these periods displayed the fruits of his cumulative study and practice. The realism of some of his works attains an intensely micro focus, but also subtly conveying an abstract expressive spirit, while the overall image still consisted of a figurative landscape picture.
Liu Kuo-sung regards the deep elements of traditional culture with an artist’s curiosity. He employs experimental and innovative techniques in his ink paintings, which gives his works a sense of modernity and contemporaneity. In view of Liu’s deep gratitude and affection for Taiwan, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts has specially assembled a task team to gathered all available assistance to accomplish this meaningful exhibition, which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Liu Kuo-sung’s arrival in Taiwan, and have drawn on the artist’s lifelong indomitable spirit as a response to the courage and initiative shown by humankind’s first moon landing half a century ago.
In Tzeng Yong-ning’s gold-foiled The Flower of Plenary series, a large circle dominates the composition, and is in turn filled with countless smaller circles, of various patterns, colors, sizes. Packed together tightly, there is a sense of unity and harmony, due to the fact that all the individuals are grouped together in a comprehensive whole. Yet, each circle is lively and energetic, seemingly expanding outwards, floating upwards, or squeezing each other. Encompassed in a field of gold, the large circle embodies a solemn planet, sitting scared and elegant in the serenity of space.
October 5 – December 7, 2019 Reception: Saturday, October 5, 4:00 pm Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Lin Pang-soong September 7 – October 31, 2019 Pingtung Art Museum October 10 – 20, 2019 Setouchi-city Art Museum
Lin Pang-soong, Island of Dreams, 2019
Lin Pang-soong, Hundred Year of May Fourth, 2019
Lin Pang-soong, Straight Up the Mountain, 2019
Lin Pang-soong, Grass Curtain, 2019
Lin Pang-soong, Bamboo, 2019
Lin Pang-soong, Golden Pebbles, 2019
Island Is Land of Dreams commemorates Lin Pang-soong’s departure from his hometown of Tungkang, Pingtung as a youth and celebrates his return in old age. The exhibition begins in 1975 in Lin’s student days away from home in Taipei at National Taiwan Normal University, and spans over forty years to his current works from all over the world, all of which is brought back for the retrospective at the Pingtung Art Museum, as well as the touring exhibition to Setouchi-city Art Museum in Japan.
The exhibition also features a on-going performance piece, in which Lin Pang-soong sends hand-painted Homebound Letters, from his travels back to his home in Taiwan. Lin has accumulated thousands of letters from dozens of countries for over ten years, and will continue this performance for as long as he can.
Xue Song, Peace Dove - Dialogue with Magritte, 2017
Xue Song, Tribute to Rothko No. 5, 2015
Xue Song, Two Tigers, 2010
Shanghai’s Long Museum (West Bund) presents Phoenix – Art from the Ashes, a large-scale solo exhibition by the artist Xue Song. Curated by Jeffrey Spalding, the exhibition features important works from Xue’s prolific artistic career spanning over thirty years, including his early ventures with fire and collage, as well as the artist’s current developments and progress with series such as Dialogue with Masters, History & Reality, City & Youth, Chinese Landscape, and Foam.
Long Museum (West Bund) 3398, Longteng Ave., Xuhui Dist., Shanghai
May 18 – July 14, 2019 Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Guo Kai September 15 – 25, 2018 National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei
Installation View, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Installation View, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Installation View, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Guo Kai, Misty Remote Village, 2018
Guo Kai, Tranquil Waters, 2018
Guo Kai, Empty Mountain Spring No. 1, 2018
Guo Kai, Empty Mountain Spring No. 2, 2018
Guo Kai, Quiet Fantasy No. 1, 2018
Guo Kai, The Impression of Huizhou No. 1, 2017
Guo Kai, Snow in Secluded Valley, 2017
Guo Kai, White Bridge No. 2, 2017
Guo Kai, Colors in Shadows, 2017
Guo Kai, Huizhou No. 2, 2015
Guo Kai’s brush captures the beauty of Huizhou, not in a solely realistic manner, but in response to his emotions, dreams, and personal perception of nature, in a balance between scenery and self, and also heaven and man. His landscape paintings are seemingly shrouded in layers of colorful dreamlike mist, in which blurry sunsets, aged trees, windy ponds, and vast mountains, sing with poetic resonance, giving the viewer a calming sense of spring. In his recent works, his brushwork, composition, and color have become even more refined and elegant, carrying the spirit of ancient masters, like a faraway breeze, into the golden age of the Song and Yuan Dynasties.
Elaine Suyu Liu, Curator
National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Wen Hua Gallery 505 Renai Road, Taipei
September 15 – 25, 2018 Reception: Saturday, September 15, 3:00 pm Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
In the 1980s, as a student at Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Wang Yigang began his pursue for individuality and self-expression, and adopted Western Modernism in retaliation against conservative art education. After ten years of experimentation with different styles, Wang favored German Expressionism by the early 1990s, which he studied, experimented, but ultimately rejected. By the late 1990s; however, Japanese Post-war art movements caught his attention, particularly Mono-ha and Gutai, which drew upon and expressed Eastern culture on the basis and success of Western Modernist modes. This prompted Wang to revisit Eastern culture, especially Buddhist Chan (Zen) philosophy, which redirected his struggle for individuality toward self-understanding. In this awakening, his internal struggle transformed from against the society to the self, and in self-criticism, he found an abandonment of all conventional painting practices and discovered new meaning purely in the movements of his body during the act of painting. In this way, every artwork became a record of his movements through space and time.
From experimentation, rejection, to self-awareness, Wang Yigang’s art transcends the painterly image, rejects all conventional practices, and ultimately goes Beyond Abstraction.
May 5 – June 2, 2018 Reception: Saturday, May 5, 3:00 pm Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 2:00 – 6:00 pm