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HSIA YAN: Journey to Art

20181210112154905924Publisher: TFAM
Category:Exhibition Catalogs
Published Date: 2018/10/01
ISSN: 978-986-05-7373-2




Foreword / Lin Ping

Since its founding in 1983, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum has striven to chart the history and development of Taiwanese art. Recently, the Museum has held a series of retrospective exhibitions featuring the work of mid-career artists, and also planned exhibitions and research of various phases of development in the careers of influential senior generation artists. This year, to mark its post-renovation reopening, the Museum is holding a retrospective exhibition of Hsia Yan's (b. 1932) work, whose career is filled with continuous breakthroughs, yet also presents a systematic course.

Hsia Yan studied art with Li Chun-Shan in 1951, and next, established the Ton-Fan Group with seven other artists and friends to cultivate an ideal creative environment and increase their knowledge of Western art. Hsia visited Europe for the first time in 1963, eventually settling in Paris for five years. In 1968, he moved to New York, where he lived until returning to Taiwan in 1992, and in 2002, moved to Shanghai, where he continues to live and work today. In Hsia's nearly 60 year career, his work has not only deepened in maturity, but after he moved to Shanghai, has continued to evolve as the artist develops new forms and methods. His continually expanding context testifies to history's limitless possibilities.

Hsia's life has been complex and varied, and his art career has transcended both national and historical borders. By incorporating various schools of thought and nurturing his spirit with different art concepts, Hsia has constructed his own unique painting style. In an early period, his omnivorous style included references to machine aesthetics and Furturism, and before, when he was studying with and inspired by Li Chun-Shan, he developed expressive uses of line associated with the Chinese literati tradition. This linear style continued to play a key role in his later paintings and could even be said to be the foundation of uniqueness in his work. But Hsia has always sought change and novelty in tradition, such as when he, during turbulent times, imparted a tinge of cynicism or humor to work in the traditional literati style. After moving to New York, Hsia embarked on a period of Photorealism, and his paintings revealed Pop and Hard-edge influences, but he was never limited by these styles and blended elements of traditional Chinese folk beliefs, myths, legends, and folk art with contemporary trends. In 1992, Hsia returned to Taipei and developed a different set of artistic possibilities. Since moving to Shanghai in 2002, Hsia has made paintings revealing even more thoughts related to his life philosophy with poetic and mischievous text and witty verse, has transformed traditional elements with a contemporary spirit in his paintings of monumental landscapes.

The exhibition "Hsia Yan: Journey to Art" comprehensively presents the artist's style with over 100 works including painting, sculpture, and mixed media art made from the early 1950s to today. To the collectors and all those at the various museums and art galleries in Shanghai and Taiwan who loaned precious artwork, or otherwise assisted in making this exhibition possible, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude and blessing.

004-Foreword: Lin Ping / Director, Taipei Fine Arts Museum
006-A casual chat, starting with "realism": Hsia Yan/ Artist
018-Keep Calm and Smile On ─ Hsia Yan and His Art: Hsiao Chong-Ray / Professor of art history, department of history, National Cheng Kung University
027-Hsia Yan: Journey to Art: Liú Yung-Jen/ Curator
222-Artist Biography
232-Exhibition Catalogues