EX: 1/30/2012
  >> Search exhibitions
>> Confirm subscribe
Tina Keng Gallery TAIPEI
2016.04.23 Sat - 2016.05.26 Thu
Opening Exhibition
台北市114內湖區瑞光路548巷15號1樓 1F, No.15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei 114, Taiwan
Opening Hours
Tuesday - Sunday (closed Mondays) 11 AM - 7 PM
Tina KENG 耿桂英

>> Go to website

>> See map

Solo Exhibition
“Novel Energy
- The End is The Beginning”
Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei
[Press Release]

Dates: 04/23/2016 – 05/26/2016
Reception: 2016.4.23 16:30 p.m.
Venue: Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei
Novel Energy: The End is the Beginning — Hsiao Chin Solo Exhibition

Exhibition dates: 4.23–5.26.2016
Opening reception: 4.23 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei

My wish is to express through a variety of artistic media, epiphanies I’ve reached through ceaseless introspection and through learning and exploring life, the universe, and infinite evolution, in hopes of achieving a deeper and broader awareness and revelation.

— Hsiao Chin

A pioneer of the first-wave modern art movement of post-war Taiwan, Hsiao Chin (b. 1935) has built upon his Oriental cultural roots an art practice that is not only nurtured by his research in religion and philosophy, but draws inspiration from Eastern and Western schools of thought, finally blossoming into a singular, transcendent artistic vision. Novel Energy: The End is the Beginning traces Hsiao Chin’s body of work between 1960 and 2000, including several important series that mark the milestones in his journey as an artist who segues across mediums ranging from painting, mosaic, to sculpture.

Longing for freedom as a young man, Hsiao Chin cofounded the Ton-Fan Art Group in 1955 with a group of like-minded artists, despite not having been sanctioned by the government. The group was driven by its conviction to blend an avant-garde spirit with Eastern culture and modernist painting.

In 1956 Hsiao Chin moved to Spain from Taiwan. Confronted with diverse schools of thought flourishing in Europe, Hsiao Chin remained adamant in his beliefs, absorbing and transcending Western cultural influences. Later he initiated the Punto movement[1], advocating art as a process of contemplation and introspection, and a conduit for conveying the human spirit.

Hsiao Chin developed his intuitive Hard Edge series in the United States in 1967, on the one hand as a response to the then-prevalent Minimalism, on the other as a symbolic technique to capture the energy movement in the universe. The Hard Edge series, defined by a piercing, rigid, and non-figurative aesthetic, in a way echoes Hsiao Chin’s solitude living in a foreign land, and his relentless devotion to art.

The 1960s and 70s marked the transition of modernism in the West into conceptual art, and a criticism of art-world mechanisms. Hsiao Chin did not follow suit. Instead, he continued to push his own aesthetic boundaries. Through audacious and deliberate brushstrokes in ink, melodious and dynamic linear expressions, he imagined the state of Zen and Chi, the pursuit of which has shaped his art practice ever since.

In the early 1980s Hsiao Chin shifted his focus to the interwoven relationship between the phenomena of the universe and the human psyche, exploring primordial chaos in the genesis of life, as well as the evanescent energy movement. The falling rain, the surging clouds, and life and death of all sentient beings have since become recurring motifs in Hsiao Chin’s art practice.

The accidental death of his daughter in 1990 overtook Hsiao Chin in searing pain and constant torment. It was this experience that delivered an epiphany to Hsiao Chin, who realized that there is rebirth in every death. His liberated palette and potent ink splashes, pulsing with emotions, portray a grand image of transcendence beyond life and death. The combination of gouache and ink has become his favorite method. Cosmic dust and galaxies embody the ephemeral and the unknown of nature under his paintbrush, through which he delves into the depths of spirituality.

Diverse cultures influence Hsiao Chin’s art practice, which is grounded by his Eastern roots. Departing from the Western path geared toward specific ideologies and constant self-contradiction, he gravitated toward humanism and Taoist philosophies that emphasize the virtue of tolerance and purity. In recent years Hsiao Chin created sophisticated triptychs or rustic bronze statues, evoking a “spaceless space” that defies two-dimensionality, as a pristine and ardent energy of life electrifies his art practice.

Working across mediums, Hsiao Chin explores the concept of art making on unprocessed canvas, paper, glass mosaic, even bronze. Novel Energy: The End is the Beginning provides a chronological look into Hsiao Chin’s six-decade-long artistic journey, which like a micro universe, manifests a creative force, eternal and boundless.

About the artist

Born in Shanghai in 1935, Hsiao Chin began studying under Lee Chun-shan, a forefather of Taiwan’s contemporary art, in 1952. He left for Barcelona in 1956, where he rejected scholarships from local conservative art academies. In the same year he founded the Ton-Fan Art Group, organizing European travelling exhibitions of Taiwanese artists. By writing essays for the Taiwanese print media, Hsiao Chin introduced European avant-garde ideologies, at the same time promoting European contemporary art in Taiwan. Beginning in 1958, Hsiao Chin started showing at galleries in various European art hubs. He moved to Milan in 1959, where he initiated the Punto movement with European and Japanese artist friends, which received wide attention and much praise.

In the 1960s he was exposed to Chuang Tzu, Zen, Tibetan, and Indian religious and philosophical ideas, as well as knowledge about outer space and ancient civilizations. He lived in New York between 1967 and 1971. In the 1970s he turned his attention toward Zen studies. In 1975 he was awarded the medal of “Master of Italian Painting” (Maestri della Pittura Italiana). He returned to Taiwan in 1978, and offered advice to the government about founding an art museum, which was adopted as a national policy. In 1985 Hsiao Chin took up post as permanent professor at the Brera Academy (Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera) in Milan.

Hsiao Chin has exhibited internationally since the 1960s. His work is in the permanent collection of various important museums in Europe, U.S., and Asia, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), National Gallery of Modern Art (Rome), National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Shanghai Art Museum (Shanghai), and Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taipei). Large-scale retrospectives of Hsiao Chin have been held between 1995 and 2015 at museums at home and abroad. He also exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale (Taiwan Pavilion, 2000).

[1] “Punto” is the Italian word for “point,” referring to a point of beginning or ending. In 1961 Hsiao Chin and Italian artist A. Calderara released a manifesto for the Punto movement in Milan, joined later on by artists such as Maino, Kenjiro Azuma, and Li Yuan-chia. The core idea of Punto revolved around an art practice rooted in earnest thinking, simplicity, and contemplation, while opposing academicism, non-figurative art, Neo-Dada, experimental art, and kinetic art. The Punto concept, which was introduced in Taiwan by Hsiao Chin, immensely influenced the local contemporary painting movement at that time.