EX: 1/30/2012
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Hong Kong Arts Center (香港艺术中心)
2015.11.06 Fri - 2015.11.23 Mon
Opening Exhibition
2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong 香港湾仔港湾路2号
Tel No: (852) 2582 0200 Fax: 2802 0798 General Enquires: (852) 2582 0200 Lost & Found: (852) 2582 0242
Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday 8:00am – 11:00pm
Closed on the first three days of the Lunar New Year
Closed when a Typhoon Signal No.8 or higher is hoisted
Ms. Connie Lam 林淑仪

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Yeh Shih-Chiang: Paintings and Calligraphy + Yeh Wei-li: Interpretive Works
[Press Release]

Curator: Chang Tsong-Zung
Venue: Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre (2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)
Presented by: Hong Kong Arts Centre
Co-organisers: Yeh Shih-Chiang Memorial Foundation and Hong Kong Ink Society

In Illuminated Presence, Hong Kong Arts Centre presents a powerful and moving exhibition of works by the late Taiwan master painter and calligrapher YEH Shih-Chiang (1926-2012). The exhibition is accompanied by a new series of interpretative works by photography-based artist YEH Wei-Li from Taiwan, created in response to Yeh Shih-chiang’s life and extensive body of work.

Yeh Shih-Chiang is one of the most significant and yet enigmatic master painters to emerge from the dynamic experimentations with the visual languages of Chinese literati art and Post-War modernism that transformed the Taiwan art world in the mid-to-late 20th century. Born in Guangdong in 1926 and trained at the Guangdong Academy of Art under the aegis of innovative Lingnan School master Gao Jianfu. In 1949, Yeh Shih-Chiang, together with two art school friends, decided that they should continue their art education out in the world. With the approval and support of Gao Jianfu, they set off for an adventure, eventually travelling to Taiwan where they were unexpectedly forced to remain in the wake of the Communist revolution on the Mainland. Developing his unique artistic voice in the ensuing years in Taiwan, Yeh Shih-Chiang developed a fluid, pure painting style expressive of his meditative life in the Taiwan countryside. At the same time, he led an engaged life as a mentor and teacher for over two decades at the Fu-Hsin Trade and Arts School and the Art Society of National Taiwan University. Yeh is considered as a legendary and inspirational artist and mentor by generations of artists and students.

Curated by Chang Tsong-Zung, Illuminated Presence comprises a selection of key paintings across time and media that highlights the artist’s intensely personal, atmospheric expressiveness. The exhibition seeks to capture a sense of the artist’s aesthetic and spiritual ‘presence’ in the worlds he inhabited in both his life as an artist and within Taiwan’s own art history. To this end, Chang Tsong-Zung has invited the participation of photography-based artist YEH Wei-Li from Taiwan, known for his performative photographic work and spatial interventions through which he has illuminated the layers of social and historical significance within both urban and rural sites in Taiwan. Yeh Wei-Li uses Yeh Shi-Chiang’s paintings as a portal through which to enter into his artistic mythology. Visiting the sites of the studios used by Yeh Shih-Chiang over the decades, Yeh Wei-Li creates strongly atmospheric large-format photographs using ‘rebuilt’ or reimagined environments incorporating painterly artefacts and compositional structures inspired by the master’s works. In this way Yeh Wei-Li opens up a new space of encounter with both the historical and contemporary presence of Yeh Shih-Chiang, as well as an alternative platform of engagement for the audience, as they contemplate both the aesthetic narrative and the dynamic presence of Yeh Shih-Chiang’s art.

There is a fascinating story behind Chang Tsong-Zung’s curation of the present exhibition. Yeh Shih-Chiang and Chang Tsong-Zung had first met each other in Taiwan during the late 1980s, and although they did not stay in touch, each had made a deep and lasting impression on the other. Master Yeh rarely allowed his works to be exhibited in his lifetime. After Yeh Shih-Chiang passed away in 2012, Madame Yeh was organizing her husband’s artworks and discovered written instructions left by Yeh Shih-Chiang himself requesting that she appoint Chang Tsong-Zung, to oversee the archiving and exhibition of his uncatologued artworks. This exhibition of Yeh Shih-Chiang’s works thus marks the first major event in this process. For this reason and more, Illuminated Presence presents a truly a rare opportunity for the wider public to encounter and discover the art and legacy of this great master.

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Yeh Wei-Li(葉偉立), “Wan-Tan House #1”(《灣潭居所 #1》), C-Print, Acrylic Face Mount, 120 x 150 cm, 2015

Yeh Wei-Li(葉偉立), “Wan-Tan House #1”(《灣潭居所 #1》), C-Print, Acrylic Face Mount, 120 x 150 cm, 2015

Yeh Shih-Chiang(葉世強),“Lotus”(《荷》), Ink on Paper, 134.5 x 417 cm, Circa 2000

Yeh Shih-Chiang(葉世強),“Lotus”(《荷》), Ink on Paper, 134.5 x 417 cm, Circa 2000

Yeh Shih-Chiang in Front of His “Heart Sutra” Calligraphy, 2005葉世強攝於《心經》書法前,2005

Yeh Shih-Chiang in Front of His “Heart Sutra” Calligraphy, 2005