1938-2023 Artist CV
Ju Ming (1938-2023)
Ju Ming was born Ju Chuan-tai in 1938 in the small town, Tongxiao, in Miaoli County, Taiwan. At the age of 15, Ju Ming started an apprenticeship to the famous local artisan Lee Chin-chuan to be trained as a traditional wood-carver. Eager to further his practice and determined to devote himself fully to art, he became a pupil of the renowned sculptor Yuyu Yang when he was 30 years old—a significant turning point of his artistic career. He later rose to internationally acclaimed fame as one of the most important Taiwanese contemporary sculptors.
Ju’s first solo exhibition, held in 1976 at the National Museum of History in Taipei, was an overnight sensation. The significance of his works made him a prominent figure in the art scenes amidst waves of cultural movements in the 1970s calling to revisit and revive native Taiwanese cultures. Despite him shooting to prominence, he remained humble and kept challenging himself to further his artistic endeavors. Right at the time when he was expected to continue the successful Buffalo Series, he surprised the public with his famous Taichi Series; right when Taichi became widely popular, he decided to leave Taiwan for New York, where the general contour of the Living World Series came into being. Ju’s solo show at Max Hutchinson Gallery in New York in 1981 had brought him international attention, leading him to countless opportunities. In 1984, he had his first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia; 7 years later, he made his European debut, exhibiting Taichi and Living World Series respectively at London’s Southbank Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Dunkerque in France. The vigor of the two series greatly impressed the European audience, with which he also received critical international acclaim.
In 1997, Ju Ming became the first artist of the Chinese-speaking realm to exhibit at France’s Place Vendôme, signaling his worldwide reputation at its height. Following the success, important exhibitions were held in Luxembourg in 1999, in Brussels, Belgium, and in Berlin in 2003, where his works entered local collections. The two exhibitions at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 2006 and 2010, as well as “Ju Ming—Sculpting the Living World” at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2014, attested not only to how widely his works had been exhibited across Europe and Asia but also to his hard work and perseverance as an artist.
From 1987 onwards, Ju Ming took gradual steps to fulfill his dream of “planting seeds of art.” He founded an art museum with a large-scale sculpture park in Jinshan, Taiwan, had it built from scratch, and turned a desolated land into a wonderland. After spending the savings of a lifetime and twelve long arduous years, he eventually witnessed the grand inauguration of “Juming Museum”—his largest piece of work propelled by the vision of giving back and contributing to society.
he certainly has experienced his share of ups and downs in life. Nonetheless, he still dedicates himself to art with unparalleled enthusiasm like a zealous religious devotee. His belief, “art as life practice,” has crystalized the wisdom and aesthetic sensibilities gained through 70 years of art-making. Notable awards he has received include two “Enku Grand Awards”, “Fukuoka Prize”, “Asia Arts Game Changer Awards”, “Award of Life Achievement – 2020 Global Views Leaders Forum” and “Arts and Culture Award – The Presidential Cultural Awards, R.O.C (Taiwan).” He is among the personalities on Tatler Magazine’s 2021 Asia’s Most Influential list.