2021/01/30 - 2021/06/13 ｜ 1F-3F, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art
【Talk】 Trees in the Mountains
“Trees” is a rather common subject in artistic creation. Since the 19th century, because of their disappointment in cities and longing for nature, artists shifted their focus to embrace nature as their creative subject. LU Hsien-Ming’s work revolves around existing natural life in cities. With delicate brushwork to create layers of thinly applied oil paint, the artist creates photorealistic paintings of trees.
“Marabutan” is a common tree species in Taiwan, which can be found in many moments and places in everyday life, be it school campuses in childhood memories, shades enjoyed by elders, or streets that we walk along daily. Unlike other tree species, one marabutan can “grow into a forest by itself” and exude a natural sense of majesty after a few years. Lu’s Old Tree series indeed features this particular tree species.
Now, these trees are showcased in this art museum in the mountains. When marabutans are “transplanted” to an environment surrounded by mountains, and as the time and geographical locations have changed, would their existence become somewhat strange or create a perfect harmony instead?
This talk is joined by discussant CHEN Kuang-Yi and artist LU Hsien-Ming, who will share with the audience an encounter between human beings and the environment.
Chen Kuang-Yi graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, National Normal University, and then earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in art history and archeology, as well as a doctorate in contemporary art history (19th and 20th century) from the Université Paris Nanterre. An art historian, curator and art critic, she is Professor of the PhD Program in Contemporary Visual Culture at the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) and Dean of the NTUA Fine Arts College. She is also a member of the Intru laboratory, a French interdisciplinary research group.
Chen was a researcher at the National History Museum, an exchange professor at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Bourges, and a visiting scholar at the Department of Art History, the Université François‐Rabelais de Tours. She was also the curatorial and academic consultant to various major international art exhibitions in Taiwan, including the exhibitions of Millet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Miro and Monet presented respectively at the National History Museum, the exhibitions of Gauguin and Monet at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, as well as Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow at the National Palace Museum. She has curated Millet, Corot and Pleiades of Barbizon School from JIN (Nakamura) Collection (2004), Le livre d’artiste: de Matisse a l'art contemporain (2007), Balzac vu d’ailleurs (2012), Time-Space Loops: Southeast Asia-Taiwan Contemporary Art Interchange Exhibition (2016), Lifetime Colon: Chiu Ya-Tsai Retrospective Exhibition (2019), Chrono Contemporary (2021), and many more.
She has been invited to serve as a jury committee member by the National Palace Museum, the National History Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and other public art and cultural institutions in Taiwan. She has served as a review board member of the Taiwan Art Gallery Association, a consultant to the Quanta Culture and Education Foundation, a recommendation juror of the Neuvieme triennale mondiale de l'estampe, as well as a juror in various international and Taiwanese art awards, including the National Award for Arts, the Kaohsiung Award, the Taishin Arts Award, the Chung Shan Youth Art Awards, the Union Culture & Art Foundation Young Artists Award, and the Grand View Emerging Artists Award. Her articles and reviews featuring art history and art criticism can be found in various monographs, journals, magazines, and exhibition catalogues.
Artist /LU Hsien-Ming
Lu Hsien-Ming (b. 1959-) was born in Taipei, and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Chinese Culture University (CCU) in 1982. When he was a junior in college, he was already awarded the New Talent Award of Hsiung-Shih Fine Arts. After completing military service in 1985, he held his first solo exhibition at Chia Jen Art Gallery. Since the end of the 80s, Lu has been an active member of Taipei Art group and Hantoo Art Group, of which the members were mainly CCU art graduates. In 1984, he served as the chairman of Huagang Chinese Modern Arts Society and the editor of Mountain Wind Art News. In 1992, he became the chairman of Taipei Art Group. From 1995 to 2018, he served various positions, including the executive secretary of the Taipei Visual Arts Institute. From 2003 to 2007, he was the chairman of Hantoo Art Group.
Between 1979 and 1987, a turn in Lu’s creative state of mind and style was visible. During this period, he graduated from college, finished military service and began his artist career. It coincided with a period when Taiwan’s martial law was lifted and the economy and society became more open. The drastic social changes had a great impact on him, and his work gradually shifted from being inexperienced and cold towards critical and intense. Such a shift could be observed in several of his art series, including Bridge (1991-1996), Figures (1995-2007), Urban Theater Period (2007-2016) and Old Trees Period starting in 2017. Throughout these series, Lu has begun with his own struggles in life, and moved to the industrial characteristics of cities and people from the low social stratum before eventually returning to the subject of nature and life in recent years. In spite of these changes, his work has always revolved around people or the human condition reflected in his construction of objects. His painting style has evolved from strongly emotional to affectively rational, depicting different situations and purposes with diverse techniques. In a later period, he has also added materials of varying texture, such as metal, to create semi-installations. Lu’s works have been exhibited in Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Singapore, etc., and are included in collections of numerous art institutions, such as Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taitung Art Museum, White Rabbit Gallery in Australia and Long Museum in Shanghai.