Poster of Sanyu Solo Exhibition at Tina Keng Gallery

The Tina Keng Gallery (Taipei) is pleased to present Sanyu’s (1901-1966) solo exhibition, Sanyu – A Pioneering Avant-Garde in Chinese Modernist Art, on view from April 13 to May 12, 2013 (opening reception: Saturday, April 13, 4:30-7:00pm). The exhibition will include paintings, works on paper and sculptures, which fully demonstrates different phases of Sanyu’s artistic career. It will be a precious opportunity for audiences to view such great amount of significant works by the modern master.

After the 90s, Sanyu’s pioneering role in the development of Chinese Modern art had came to recognition, and it is clearly reflected in the art market in Taiwan and throughout Asia since then. The popularity of Sanyu’s works had cause mass production of counterfeits which became problematic for collectors/audiences in terms of distinguishing the fake and the original.

Three Nudes, 1950s; oil on masonite, 87x122cm

Three Nudes, 1950s; oil on masonite, 87x122cm

In 1921, Sanyu, around his 20s, started his artistic career in Paris. Considered as a self-taught artist, Sanyu’s father actually begun teaching him how to draw when he was 12 years old, but he never learned from anyone else, nor had proper academic training. The beauty between realism and abstract expressionism that Sanyu revealed through his works originated from the tradition of literati painting of various eras in ancient China; and the minimalistic quality of Sanyu’s composition can be regarded as “images of the mind”.

Sanyu believed that art should continue evolving. Although Sanyu lived in Europe for nearly four decades, and despite his admiration of Western Modernist art, he never abandoned his appreciation of Chinese art and traditional aesthetics, and deeply believed in the forms and subject matters of it. Over viewing Sanyu’s art career, it was until his 40s that his style became significant and produced some of his masterpieces, which ironically, was the most desperate and disastrous period throughout his entire life. As one of the earliest and representational in terms of integrating Chinese and Western elements – Sanyu, among the history of Chinese Modern Art, deserves to be known as a pioneer of Chinese Modernist Art.

The exhibition is only possible with the support of private collectors in Taiwan, as a majority of works presented in the exhibition are loaned from these precious collections.

Ducks and Boat, 1930s; oil on canvas, 135x195cm

Ducks and Boat, 1930s; oil on canvas, 135x195cm

About the exhibition

Dates: 04/13/2013 – 05/12/2013

Reception: 4/13/2013 4:30pm

Venue: Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei

Courtesy of the artist and the Tina Keng Gallery, for further information please visit

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