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Moving Ink: Tong Yang-Tze

20200217102055537051 (1)Publisher: TFAM
Category:Exhibition Catalogs
Published Date: 2019/12
ISSN: 978-986-54-1231-9



A unique practitioner of art in Taiwan, Tong Yang-Tze has bought forth a dynamic oeuvre that breaks away from traditional calligraphy to the contemporary public over the past decades. Nevertheless, there hasn't been a retrospective exhibition to show her rich body of work produced since the late 1960s. This exhibition, therefore, not only looks back on Tong's work over time, but also stands as a rare large-scale solo exhibition of calligraphy art in the history of Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Committed to modern and contemporary art, Taipei Fine Arts Museum has held many thematic group and solo exhibitions centered on ink as a creative medium since its early days. These exhibitions include those that narrate the evolution of ink art through time. Other important focuses include the impact of traditional culture on modern and contemporary society, art and life, as well as relevant observations, research studies and reviews. What role does calligraphy art, an integral cultural asset for the Chinese and others in Asia, play in the modern and contemporary society of rapid technological advancements and shifting life styles? What are some causes that give rise to calligraphy art, and what are its modes of existence? A look at Tong’s decades of dedication to calligraphy art can perhaps shed light on these questions.
This exhibition is a progressive undertaking that investigates and reviews the development of Tong Yang-Tze's "calligraphy and ink painting." Her endeavor began from modeling after calligraphy classics, then gradually evolved to traverses between Chinese traditions and Western modern and contemporary cultural contexts. The unique path that she alone forges makes her an "unconventional calligrapher." She once referred to her early works as "calligraphy and ink paintings." Famous calligrapher Tai Jing-Non and critic Han Pao-Teh thought she has successfully integrated the two art forms, while former Taipei Fine Arts Museum Director Huang Kuang-Nan dubbed her as a "calligraphy artist" when she held her first solo exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 1994.
There is an anecdote about Tong Yang-Tze's reaction when I first invited her to have a retrospective exhibition with us. Initially she turned down the invitation, because she considered a retrospective as something about things past. She said she is still pressing on with her art. Fortunately we were able to persuade her by proposing "retrospection as a way forward." This exhibition is thus a momentary look at Tong's art, so as to understand how she opened a unique world to modern and contemporary viewers via a traditional culture and art form.
Approximately one hundred works from different periods and of various sizes are presented here to retrace Tong Yang-Tze's artistic career thus far. I would like to first thank Tong Yang-Tze for accepting Taipei Fine Art Museum's invitation more than a year ago, so that this exhibition can come into being, and that we can continuously endorse the contemporary relevance of calligraphy art. We are also grateful of private and institutional collectors for loaning their precious collections that shape this exhibition. We are in debt to Michael Yang and ESLITE GALLERY for their generous assistance in planning out the exhibition. Many people have lent a helping hand in the preparation stage as well. In particularly we would like to thank Fred Gordon and Shirley Sun, who provided precious footages from 1997.

Director of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Ping LIN

Preface / Lin Ping
Beating of the Dots and Lines: A Contemporary Look at Tong Yang-Tze's Art / Shih Shou-Chien
The Collision of Chinese Calligraphy and Modern Art: On Tong Yang-Tze's Journey from Graphic to Trans-disciplinary Art / Lee Ming-Ming
Brush and Ink as Medium: The Textual Art of Tong Yang-Tze / Chang Fang-Wei


Works / Plates

└ Western Paintings and Imitations of Masters
└ Experiments: Beyond Tradition
└ Painting Within Calligraphy: On Tong Yang-Tze's Contemporary Calligraphy / Han Pao-Teh
└ Liberation of Form
└ Sounds of Nature: Music with Form in the Calligraphy of Tong Yang-Tze / Shih Shou-Chien
└ Grand-scale Texts
└ Remarks on the "Sayings of Laozi and Zhuangzi" Exhibition / Ke Qing-Ming
└ Reiterations: Comparisons of Repeated Texts


Artist's Biography