Transcending Fragments: Fong Chung-Ray’s Artistic Journey
Author: Dr. An-Yi Pan | Associate Professor, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University
Translator: Lee Ambrozy
Publisher:  Asia Art Center Co., Ltd.
July 2022 │ 21×28.5cm │ Chinese/English │ 356 Pages │ ISBN 978-986-95664-2-1

The book Transcending Fragments: Fong Chung-Ray’s Artistic Journey by Dr. An-Yi Pan revisits the life and art of one single artist Fong Chung-Ray, a significant figure in Taiwan’s revolutionary modern art movement.

The publication of this book represents the culmination of Asia Art Center’s research into postwar Asian art history. Its beginnings can be traced to the exhibition 1960–The Origin of Taiwan’s Modern Art, held at Asia Art Center in 2016. The entanglements and inextricable relationships between the personal lives of artists and their artistic developments became increasingly evident through extensive research into the history of Taiwanese postwar painting societies. Indeed, 1960s Taiwan enjoyed great intellectual debate and artistic diversity; it was an era that left behind a rich legacy and invaluable historical documents. However, over time, many of these archives disappeared or became obsolete, and as a result, historical writings voicing the complex interplay of life and art for artists of this period are underutilized in the historical research and related discussions about art.

In early 2017, Asia Art Center hosted The Eternal Abstract: Fong Chung-Ray Solo Exhibition, later inviting Associate Professor An-Yi Pan from the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, to author the present catalog. Professor Pan conducted several interviews with Fong Chung-Ray at his home studio in 2018 and visited libraries and archives in Taiwan and the United States in search of information. His focus was always on detailing the developments of Taiwanese art starting from the 1960s. His methodological attention to detail, elegant writing style, and innovative conceptual approach provides our audiences with a completely new perspective on the life and work of Fong Chung-Ray, and by extension, this important period in the evolution of Taiwanese art. Finally, the draft manuscript for the book was completed in the spring of 2019.

The bilingual (English/Chinese) publication includes a foreword by curator Dr. Shen Kui-yi, Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego as well as numerous color illustrations and extensive documentation of Fong Chung-Ray’s life and work. It also features Fong’s chronology, a selected exhibition history and bibliography. In addition, we are pleased to announce that the publication of this epic book coincides with Centre Pompidou’s acquisition of Fong Chung-Ray’s works.

About FONG Chung-Ray & An-Yi PAN 

Fong Chung-Ray

Fong Chung-Ray, the protagonist of Transcending Fragments: Fong Chung-Ray’s Artistic Journey, was born in 1934 in Nanyang, China. He came to Taiwan in 1949 as a soldier. In 1954, he graduated from Fu Hsing Kang College with a major in Fine Arts. In 1958, he co-founded the Four Seas Painting Society with the artist Hu Chi-Chung, and in 1961 he joined the Fifth Moon Group. In the early 70s, he won a fellowship awarded by the Rockefeller III Foundation, enabling him to visit contemporary art events in Europe and in the United States. In 1975, he immigrated to the United States and settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area. His selected solo and group exhibitions include The Eternal Abstract: Fong Chung Ray Solo Exhibition (Asia Art Center, Taipei, 2017), Fong Chung-Ray: Between Modern and Contemporary(Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, 2014), Zeitgeist: Abstract Art of Eastern Origin (Asia Art Center, Beijing, 2019), Beyond Ink (China Art Museum, Shanghai, 2018), The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+ (M+, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong, 2017), From China to Taiwan, Musée d’Ixelles(Brussels, 2017), 1960-The Origin of Taiwan’s Modern Art (Asia Art Center, Taipei, 2016), The Moment for Ink (San Francisco State University Gallery, 2013). His work is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.

Dr. An-Yi Pan

Upon completing his PhD at the University of Kansas in 1997, Dr. An-Yi Pan has taught at the Cornell University Department of History of Art and Visual Studies. Pan’s research focuses on Buddhist art and modern and contemporary Taiwanese art. In addition to teaching, Pan is also a curator, having organized shows at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and Academia Sinica in Taipei. Select exhibitions include: Moving Memories, in conjunction with the Third Annual Asian New Humanities Consortium at Academia Sinica in Taipei (2006), Contemporary Taiwanese Art in the Era of Contention (2004), and Boundaries (Jie): Contemporary Art from Taiwan (2014), both at the Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum at Cornell University. Pan is a frequent lecturer and participant at academic conferences throughout China, the United States and Taiwan, and is the author of Painting Faith: Li Gonglin and Northern Song Buddhist Culture. He is currently working on his new book, Embattled Identity: Postwar Taiwanese Art.