Co-organized by the School of Humanities, CAFA and CAFA Art Museum “How does a University Museum Operate – the Experience of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan” was held in the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum. The speaker was Prof. Chu Teh-I, Director of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts. It was presided over by Cao Qinghui, associate professor of the Department of Art History in the School of Humanities, who said that the subject of the lecture by Prof. Chu Teh-I was an introduction and report on the effort and detailed work in the construction and development of the museum after the establishment of Taiwan Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, to the professional practitioners in mainland China as well as staff from all art circles, and the intention was to have a beneficial exchange and dialogue with Mainland China on the operation of activity at the art museum.
Chu Teh-I lived in Korea until he was 18 and then spent several years as a student in Paris, immersing himself in Western art. He was strongly influenced by Suprematism, which sought to convey feeling through pure geometric forms, and by the French Support/Surface movement, which set out to enliven painting by rediscovering its basic components—paint, stretcher and canvas (which could be anything from old rags to curtains)—and giving them equal weight in the finished work. Setting out to explore the beauty of pure form, Chu Teh-I treats the linen on which he paints as an element of the painting. His latest abstract paintings are noted for a wild exuberance of forms, often invoking Chinese characters, and the bold use of colours, which he often applies in overlapping layers. He has served as the Director of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts since 2007.
Prof. Chu Teh-I initially played a video to intuitively introduce the young and vibrant Taipei National University of the Arts. Established in 1996, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts is the museum affiliated with Taipei National University of the Arts, and is 2700 square meters, divided into seven exhibition halls. It is positioned as a professional art museum. Duplex space on the 4th and 5th floors in the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts only showcases a piece of work entitled “One Piece Alone”. It features the drafts and creative processes of the artists, in order to highlight the jobs of the artists, which is different from the curatorial mode of a gallery and art space. After presenting an exhibition in the space, the artist would choose an artist for the next exhibition. In addition, Biennale of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts is another highlight. It attempts to break through the mode that a curator leads a group of artists, when the first exhibition was held, requiring all the participating artists to find their curators, thus more than ten curators went together in an exhibition, which was different from previous ones.
Speaking of the function of the museum, the “exhibition of picture and version” is a very good case, featuring not only the works but also “version”. Using the advantage of the university art museum, it calls upon the artists from various countries to donate their versions to the museum, offering a contribution to the artistic heritage. This platform is an interactive platform for the artists and curators, and even art museums. While it internally launched a series of activities such as Asian Contemporary Art Forum, “Creation and Research Residency Program” according to the background of Taipei National University of the Arts itself.
Chu Teh-I offered a conclusion: As a university museum, we always thought the difference to the general national museum as well as the maximum artistic possibility could be achieved.
Q & A section
Q: Where do the operational funds come from? Is the museum supervised by an office of the school?
Chu Teh-I: Part of the funds is supplied by the university, while it’s also sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and some companies. It’s the job for the director of the museum to find funds. In addition, the university and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts are two units on the same administrative level, thus the museum is not restricted by the university, and holds onto the annual “Excellent Award”, the university can use the venue of the museum
Q: How does the biennale of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts unfold? How does an artist participate in it?
Chu Teh-I: The artists of the biennale are nominated by a five-member professional committee, in addition to the recommendations of independent curators and cooperative institutions. “Residency Program” is open and free, an artist can log in to the official website of the museum for registration, if the work pass the examination, the artist would be invited to attend the program. The organizer in Taiwan will offer the artist the passport, air tickets and accommodation.
Q: How many items are in the collections of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts? How much does it spend on the collection? And how much is the proportion of the funds in a year?
Chu Teh-I: The ordinary collections are limited, but when it is a celebration for the establishment of the university and anniversary, we launch an exhibition for donations from the alumni. We would only supply the basic material fees, while many alumni will donate their works, because it is beyond money.
Journalist: Li Fan, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo: Quan Jing, Peng Peng from CAFA Art Museum