Reception: August 24, 2002
Exhibition: August 23, 2002 – October 13, 2002
The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco is pleased to present Infinite Harmony: Watercolors by Chen Yang-chun. A consummate Taiwanese painter with strong foundations rooted in traditional Chinese ink paintings, Chen expresses himself in the western modality of watercolors. We are truly honored to have this opportunity to display several of his landscapes and portraits of women in our gallery.
Chen Yang-chun grew up in the Central Taiwan county of Yunlin, and still derives inspiration from childhood memories of the countryside. He started learning calligraphy at age 7, and won several awards. Despite his precocious skill in calligraphy, he did not begin painting until he was 14. Under the direction of local gallery owner Wang Chia-liang, he learned to transform a three-dimensional world into two dimensions. Looking at his surroundings through a new paradigm, his entire understanding of the world crystallized, and he became enamored with an art that he would continue to pursue for the rest of his life.
After high school, Chen went on to study in the Arts and Crafts Department at the National College of Art, and it was here that he came into contact with Western art. He would intensely examine individual works to the point of exhaustion, to glean their essence. In college, under the direction of several instructors, Chen’s skill and technique truly took off and matured. He laments at the fact that Taiwan’s art education has since undergone a drastic change toward a more Western approach, with professorships being conferred on theorists with degrees who may not necessarily be talented, over skilled and talented artists with practical experience.
During these formative years of school, Chen Yang-chun began specializing in watercolors. In his words, Chinese in painting can deliver certain emotions through subtle use of brush strokes, while Western paintings reflect superior qualities in form and representations. Balance the strengths of Western and Chinese approaches, he has harmonizes these two qualities without compromising either. Deriving his inspiration from the real world, Chen uses the inherent translucent nature of watercolors to imbue his works with a pure and dreamlike quality. His unique vision of the world and the fusion of approaches of the brush truly make Chen’s style unique.
The Chinese Culture Center would like to thank the Third department of The Republic of China’s Council for Cultural Affairs for funding the exhibition and Director Mr. Stanley Wang, Director of the Third Department of the Republic of China’s Council for Cultural Affairs for initiating this exhibition. We would also like to express our gratitude to Mr. Chen for the loan of the paintings in this exhibition and to acknowledge Grants for the Arts of the San Francisco Hotel Tax for supporting this.