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Pioneers of the Avant-Garde Movement in Taiwan: From Li Chun-Shan to His Disciples (Review) Appreciation
Exhibition Banner - Pioneers of the Avant-Garde Movement in Taiwan: From Li Chun-Shan to His Disciples
Exhibition Dates: 2019/02/28 ~ 2019/05/26
Place: 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 Gallery, Lobby, Gallery Street, Corridor Gallery Gallery, Rest Area
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 Date :     February 28th – May 26th, 2019

Venue:    National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

                  Lobby, Gallery 103-107, Gallery Street, Rest Area, Corridor Gallery

Opening: March 16th 2019, 2 pm. 


Held in deep reverence as “the mentor of Taiwanese modern painting,” Li Chun-Shan was not only an artist par excellence but also a great educator. His oeuvre welded together surrealist ideas, Automatism, abstract painting, and Sigmund Freud’s account of the unconscious mind, channeling his personal supra-consciousness to create engrossing compositions characterized by unpretentious lines and imbricated layers of colors. Li’s mentorship was different from traditional academic training, distinguishing itself by his pedagogical approach of teaching in line with the disciple’s ability, which was exemplified by his celebrated one-on-one teaching method.

Li comprehensively promoted his modern art pedagogy in Taiwan. He had not only taught the course of “Introduction to Fine Arts” at the Academy of Fine Arts since 1950, but also actively published articles in newspapers and magazines, such as “The Prospects of Traditional Chinese Paintings” in the inaugural issue of New Art. In 1951, Li found a brick bungalow with a garret located on An-dong Street in the Taipei Eastern District and established his atelier in a space of 26.5 m2 there. Small, simple, dim and humid notwithstanding, it was a sacred place for modern art enlightenment as far as he was concerned, a holy temple for him to achieve his ideal of teaching avant-garde art.

The first generation of Li’s disciples include Oyan Wen-Yuen, Ho Kan, Hsiao Chin, Li Yuan-Chia, Tommy Chen, Wu Hao, Hsia Yang, and Hsiao Ming-Hsien. Each of them has an impressive record of achievement in modern art that met Li’s expectation. They also founded the East Painting Association in 1956 and staged their first joint exhibition at the Taipei News Building in November 1957, which not only caused a sensation in Taiwan’s conservative environment of art then, but also earned them the appellation of the “Eight Great Outlaws.” The East Painting Association is one of the pioneering avant-garde painting syndicates in Taiwan, standing as an equal to another avant-garde painting association named the Fifth Moon Group. The development of Taiwan’s modern art peaked in the 1960s due to their collective promotional effort.

To alleviate the pain inflicted by rheumatism, Li stopped teaching at his atelier in Taipei and moved to Changhua in 1955. There had been college students and artists going south to sit at his feet or discuss art with him since 1957. His pedagogical approach of “spirit perpetuation” exemplified by his renowned “coffeehouse-based one-on-one teaching method” was eventually put into practice and flourished in Changhua. All his disciples, promising and ambitious, have carved out their respective careers as professional artists. They either pursue advanced training abroad or assiduously cultivate their arts in Taiwan; besides, they have not only delivered outstanding performance in teaching and exhibition domestically and internationally, but also laid a solid foundation to bring Taiwan’s modern art to great height of development.

Against this background, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts elaborately orchestrated Pioneers of the Avant-Garde Movement in Taiwan: From Li Chun-Shan to His Disciples, a grand exhibition that gives prominence to the works by a total of 35 artists, foremost Li Chun-Shan (1912-1984), the mentor of Taiwanese modern painting, and his disciples. The works displayed in this exhibition encompass a riotous profusion of forms ranging from drawing, watercolor, ink-wash and oil painting to ceramics, mixed-media, sculpture, installation and digital interaction. Embracing such a rich diversity of works by these admirable artists, we expect to address the perpetuation and development of Li Chun-Shan’s spirit of art in a thorough, forward-looking, and extensive exploration.


Curator / Tao Wen-Yueh

Tao was born in Keelung in 1961. He graduated from Western Painting Division, Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Academy of Arts, and received a master’s degree in spatial design at EnsAD in 1994. He is currently part-time assistant professor at the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts, and Department of Arts and Design, National Taipei University of Education. Tao is a painter, art critic, and independent curator. He has held 22 solo exhibitions and participated in over one hundred group exhibitions both in Taiwan and overseas.


Artist List

Li Chun-Shan ( 1912-1984 )

Chu Wei-Bor ( 1926-2018 )

Oyan Wen-Yuen ( 1928-2007 )

Li Yuan-Chia ( 1929-1994 )

Chiao Shih-Tai  ( 1929- )

Wu Hao  (1932- )

Hsia Yang  ( 1932- )

Ho Kan  (  1932- )

Tommy Chen  (1933- )

Hsiao Chin  ( 1935- )

Hsiao Ming-Hsien  ( 1936- )

Lee Shi-Chi  ( 1936- )

Syu Huei-Huang  ( 1937- )

Huang Run-Se  ( 1937-2013 )

Chung Chun-Hsiung  ( 1939- )

Dennis Hwang  ( 1941- )

Jan Syue-Fu  ( 1942- )

Hsieh Tung-Shan  ( 1946- )

Hwang Buh-Ching  ( 1948- )

Cheng Chiung-Ming (1948- )

Wang Ching-Cheng  ( 1948- )

Cheng Wu-Chang  ( 1949- )

Kuo Jen-Chang  (1949- )

Syu Yu-Ren  ( 1951- )

Chen Hsing-Wan  ( 1951-2004 )

Chu Teh-I  ( 1952- )

Li Jin-Shiow  ( 1953-2003 )

Yao Keh-Hong  ( 1953- )

Yang Mao-Lin  ( 1953- )

Chern Shen-Son  ( 1954- )

Chu De-Hua  ( 1954- )

Wu Mei-Song  ( 1955- )

Hwang Wey-Jeng  ( 1955- )

Lin Hung-Ming  ( 1956- )

Chen Chu-Yin  ( 1962- )
  Related Files
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