Art Basel Hong Kong in 2018

Asia Art Center: Revisiting the Origin of Taiwan’s Modern Art in the 1960s

Artist: CHU Weibor, FONG Chung Ray

Duration: Mar. 29 – 31, 2018

Private View: Mar. 27   2-8pm    Mar. 28  1-5pm

Vernissage: Mar. 28  5-9pm

Public Days: Mar. 29  1-9pm    Mar. 30  1-8pm    Mar. 31  11am-6pm

Exhibition Venue: Convention & Exhibition Centre 1 Harbour Road Wan Chai Hong Kong, China.

Booth: 3D35

Asia Art Center (Taipei, Beijing) is pleased to announce the opening of the Chu Weibor, Fong Chung Ray duo exhibition at Booth 3D35 in 2018 Art Basel in Hong Kong.

When it comes to the postwar art development in the ethnic Chinese regions, Chinese Nationalist Realism, the art form employed in the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Taiwan does not seem to exist in the realm of global art.

In fact, in the 1960s, the joint effort of Eastern Art Association and the Fifth Moon Group with the flourishing art associations throughout Taiwan enabled a thrive in the development of art. The progressiveness of this generation of artists had in turn projected a great influence on its successors. With the introduction of modern art concept, coupled with an approach that integrated the East and West, a powerful stance was thereby proposed.

Śūnyatā – Chu Weibor of the Eastern Art Association (born 1929 in Nanjing, Republic of China, Age 89 in 2018 )

As a third generation seamster, Chu Weibor acknowledges the inherent texture of materials and colors, employing his fine workmanship to construct a sense of space. In comparison, Fontana, the founder of Spatialism”, felt inclined to eradicate pre-existing Formalist ideas through acts of puncturing, slashing and digging, which are all static states after acts of destructions; Chu Weiborpo (rupture) is, on the other hand, subtle and natural, through methods of folding and creasing the cotton or linen, they convey an air of genuineness and authenticity through the interwoven lines. His methodical cutting technique slices open the picture delicately, allowing the multihued fabrics filled in the back to pour out openly, freely yet subtly. The warmth in Chu Weibors work originates from his usage of the imagery of circle to unify all things – this is precisely a change that occurs as a result of constantly complying with a repetitive rhythm; the formless as the essence is both a spirit and realm of Zen embodied in his work and a method to transition from the expression of mock traditional Chinese landscape works to one that fuses the philosophies of both Taoism and Zen – the expression of conformity. The artistic approach of Taoist conformity and Zen Buddhist sunyata (emptiness)” is the principal methods in his mixed media works.

CHU Weibor  The Window of Wisdom 1965  Ink on paper 78×54.5cm

CHU Weibor Dusky Night 1966 Ink on paper 78×54.5cm

CHU Weibor Pass Down II 1965  Ink on paper 78×54.5cm

CHU Weibor  Look Into #26 1971  Oil, plastic, glass plate 84×67cm

CHU Weibor Dynamic 1965  Ink on paper 54.5×78cm

CHU Weibor  Gateless Curtain 1984  Cotton 185×303cm (triptych)

“Traveler” – Fong Chungray of the Fifth Moon Group (born 1934 in Nanyang, Henan Province, Republic of China, Age 84 in 2018)

Fong Chung Ray of the Fifth Moon Group graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of Fu Hsing Kang College. Whether it be creations from the 1960s or works after his distinct shift in the 1990s, what has remained constant is the fun in rendering in a sea of rustic tones. In the early times, he would combine ink with calligraphy; the calligraphic lines dance and jump as if waltzing in the air. Fong Chungray’s calligraphy is not simply lines of character strokes but the lines of painting, and this method has reversed Chinese characters back to their pictorial significance; Fong’s breakthrough in traditional ink artwork using the rendering technique achieved an abstract ink form, echoing the writings in Buddhist scriptures. Text, ink media, imagery and Buddhist teaching, the four are fundamentally aligned thus can perfectly harmonize while maintaining the layers of distance.

FONG Chung-Ray 1974-65 1974  Acrylic on paper 82.6×59.7cm

FONG Chung-Ray 1975-37 1975  Acrylic on paper 82.4×58.2cm

FONG Chung-Ray 1972-06 1972  Acrylic on paper 83.8×89cm

FONG Chung-Ray 1973-81 1973  Acrylic on paper 74.9×68.6cm


The Eastern Spirit is Not Wistful Nostalgia but an Issue of Value

If one were to categorize “contemporary art” as a kaleidoscope of our society since the 1980s, a time when constant calls for reforms and freedom echo through the air, there must be a so-called “contemporary” in the 1960s: the then revolutionary prowess and resilience are well-worth our time to rediscover and properly position them in history after the 60 years since the war ended. In its recent history until now, Taiwan has faced a 50-year-long colonization by the Japanese and a 38-year-long period of martial law following Kuomintang’s retreat to Taiwan; this tiny island has long been rid of its voice, passively allowing foreign political regimes to dominate and intervene in its cultural development. We must know the origin of Taiwan’s modern art and its development as it sat in the rift separating the two confronting sides in the chilling Cold War era, and how Taiwan was able to retain its local, cultural identity as it witnessed the great and absolute influence of Cold War – what is more, the development of art of this place as well as the continuation and regurgitation of the art discourse coming from the East, the West, China, Taiwan and Japan have identified the complexity in Taiwan’s identity. Asia Art Center has been an active contributor to the Chinese art scene for 35 years, and we curate the duo exhibition for 89-year-old Chu Weibor and 84-year-old Fong Chung Ray where history and form are compared and contrasted in Art Basel Hong Kong in 2018, proudly illustrating the fact that the one of the luckiest draws in Chinese culture occurred in Taiwan. The robust city of art – Hong Kong – will be where Asia Art Center, the Eastern Art Association and the Fifth Moon Group bring forth our shared value.