Walking Towards the Birthplace of Art: Sketching Chu Wei-Bor (slightly abridged)
by Liao Ren-Yi
Chu Wei-Bor is a modern artist who has established himself in Taiwanese art history. He stands as a representative figure of an era amongst twentieth century Chinese artists. Through an artistic career spanning almost six decades, Chu’s choice of materials, techniques, artistic concepts, and styles has always distinguished him from other artists. When most Chinese artists were still engaged in eloquent arguments on how to consolidate tradition with modernity or the East with the West, Chu had already formed a personal artistic language free from a particular era or society. It was as if he was silently walking towards the birthplace of art.
Chu was born in 1929 in Nanjing, China. In 1949, he moved to Taiwan and in 1953, he started practicing sketching at the Liao Chi-Chun studio. In 1958, Chu joined the Dong Fang Art Association, marking the beginning of his career in art.
The works of Chu are not only expressions of visual images, but also of a consciousness of life. It would be appropriate to say that his consciousness of life is channeled into artworks through his hands. It is the awareness of a person that has witnessed great gains as well as extreme losses, and is an artist’s way of freely entering and exiting realms of reality and fiction. If his works stem from this awareness of reality and fiction, then we must clarify their “artistic conceptions.”
Generally, an artistic realm can be categorized into three levels. One stems from a realm of knowledge. Amongst artistic styles, geometric abstraction belongs to this level. Another level is “situational,” which stems from emotions. In terms of artistic styles, lyrical abstraction and Fontana’s spatialism belong to this level. Then, there is “artistic conception,” which stems from the consciousness that Chu channels into his works. Although the realms expressed by Chu can be visible, they do not have to be transformed into knowledge or stir up emotions. They just have to be sensed. It is like a poem, or the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch – an artistic conception is clear like water.
Chu’s works feature a vast variety as do their artistic conceptions. Not only are they visually rich, but also rich in space and life meanings. Each of his works is a consummate world – a world that can be entered through a peace of mind.
About the exhibition
Dates: 2012-07-13 ~ 2012-09-16
Venue: Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts
Tel: +886-2896-1000 ext 2432
Add: 1 Hsueh-Yuan Road. Peitou. Taipei 112, Taiwan R.O.C
Courtesy of the artist and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, for further information please visit www.kdmofa.tnua.edu.tw/en.