I have traveled in and out of Taiwan and around the world for all my life. Some things have changed while others remained a constant.Asmy living environments and age may have changed to indirectly affect my artistic theme and language, the commitment to the artistic ideals has not wavered.
After six decades of art creation, I have realized that the world acts like a big mirror for self-reflection, thus enabling discovery of the different cultural backgrounds to truly understand one’s own path. Only then was I able to experience life and build my individual style and ideas.
- Liao Shiou-Ping
This Spring, on March 29th, 2018, Longmen Art Projects | Hong Kong is delighted to present Simple Symbols Noble Aesthetics: Liao Shiou-Ping Paintings 2000 – 2018. This exhibition will showcase the many multi-panel works on canvas executed between 2000 to 2018, bringing a fascinating new aesthetic to the gallery space.
Liao Shiou-Pingwas born in Taipei in 1936, graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU)in 1959and went on to further his studies in Japan and Francein 1962 to 1968. He relocated to New York in 1968 and taught at thePratt Graphics Center for printmaking. He returned to Taipei to continue with his artworks in 2002.
Liao Shiou-Ping had strongly felt the cultural differences from more than forty years of living abroad, including Japan's humility and rigorousness, the French romance, and New York's fast pace and efficiency. Under Professor Roger Chastel’s guidance at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he was determined to find his own true artistic path by first understanding the artistic roots of his own culture.
Liao Shiou-Ping’s unique childhood memories of the Longshan Temple in Monga, Taipei, the Taiwanese folklore and emotional experience of religious sacrifices had become the source of his art. These included Liao Shiou-Ping’s impressions of the doors of the Longshan Temple and his childhood home. Along with age, the experience of the life itself is like a series of doors where one could go onto a new path by passing through each door. The “Gate” naturally became his artistic language.
The gorgeously complex temple doors he created in Paris were gradually simplified into the more precise and clean style of the hard edge art. He placed emphasis on the contrast of warm and cold colors and slowly transitioned to using primary colors without halftones. While in Paris, Liao Shiou-Ping friend’s collection of gold joss papers used in traditional Taiwanese religious customs echoed his childhood memories and inspired him to infuse the household items, including houses, windows, scissors, cups, plates, and shoes, into his art of semi-abstract geometric symbols. The concept of visual composition from his studies in Japan and the architectural background of his family have constituted his pursuit of order, precision, and balance in the “symmetrical” composition. This “symmetry” would encompass the oriental philosophy of life “in pairs” as well as the endless cycle of the sun and the moon, heaven and earth, life and death, and YIN & YANG. These creative elements have become significant to his art works for over half a century.
In 2002, as he returned to his childhood home, memories and emotions of the past flipped by in pages of static images. The traditional patterns of “gold joss paper” and “Gate” symbols would become his personal artistic vocabulary to again return in his art combining modern painting with the concept of modeling. In recent years, Liao Shiou-Ping had created even more large-scale multi-screen works to be filled with the intensely religious colors of gold, silver, red, and black as symbols for the doors of life and death. He prayed for safety in the realm of peace and harmony to enhance the emotional spirit in a limited life and turbulent society, thus creating his own artistic life.
Shuttling between the different nations and his homeland, some things have changed while others remained constant. As Liao Shiou-Ping’s living environments and age may have changed to indirectly affect his artistic theme and language, his commitment to his artistic ideals has not wavered. He feels that the world is like a big mirror that enables us to clearly recognize our own features, for which I could discover the differences between the eastern and western cultures to truly understand his own path.