Why Don't Young Artists Paint Abstract Art?
Hsieh Mu-Chi Solo Exhibition
2022.04.23 - 2022.05.22
座談會 Artist Talk: 2022.05.07 (六 Sat) 3pm
與談人: 黃柏皓 × 郭昭蘭 × 謝牧岐
Guests: Huang Bo-Hao, Guo Jau-Lan, Hsieh Mu-Chi
就在藝術空間很榮幸於5月份推出藝術家謝牧岐的全新個展「年輕人為何不畫抽象？」展覽概念起點是從藝術家看見的台灣當代繪畫現象切入，並嘗試以創作、研究與訪查計畫，思考繪畫實踐在這塊土地上的遺產。展覽將於 4 月 23 日（六）下午4點開幕。 藝術家講座將於 5 月 7 日（六）下午 3 點舉行，邀請與談人藝術家黃柏皓和獨立策展人郭昭蘭以及展覽共同研究者陳晞擔任主持人。
Hsieh Mu-Chi’s latest works began from a seemingly simple questions arisen from his own observations of contemporary artists in Taiwan: Why Don’t Young Artists Paint Abstract Art? Also the title of his solo exhibition opening at Project Fulfill Art Space in May, this question launched an extensive research and discussion with contemporaries into the development of painting in Taiwan, and how contemporary artists navigate the legacies of this land. The exhibition opens on Saturday 23 April, and an artist talk will be held on Saturday 7 May at 3pm, with guest speakers artist Huang Bo-Hao and independent curator Guo Jau-Lan, with joint-researcher Chen Hsi as chair.
The exhibition features his new painting series divided into three chapters, accompanied by an audio narrative played throughout the exhibition space. The first chapter explores the distinctly parallel schools of Eastern and Western painting – their different philosophies and creative intent is reflected in the differences in technique. The second chapter follows the story of young Taiwanese painters in the late 50s and early 60s, forging a new creative path combining Eastern and Western influences. This movement includes the formation of the ‘May’ artist group who pioneered the use of Western mediums into their own sense of nationality and Chinese modern painting. Around the same time young artists were chosen to participate in the São Paulo Art Biennial, under this environment an increasing interest in Western abstract art across Asia was launched. In contrast, Hsieh observes many young painters under the age of 45 today generally focus on figurative or semi-figurative forms, with proportionally less artists painting in a purely abstract form. His question “why don’t young artists paint abstract art?” is like an echo from the past looking at the present. Crossing the expanse of time, young artists in the 1950s and 2022 face the same challenge of how the developments of abstraction, and how critique and outside influences affect your identity as an artist and what you choose to paint.
The first two chapters are paired with a sound recording of a dialogue between two fictional artists from another era – as audiences listen to their conversation, Hsieh’s paintings echo their discussion, such as references to landscapes of Damsui after rain, orchids, avant-garde new schools of painting, or foreign art books appear as motifs in his work.
The third and final chapter switches to a more personal tone – Hsieh focuses on his own art background, his early influences, while circling back to his original question. Although he does not consider himself a purely abstract artist, for Hsieh, the question of choosing to paint or not to paint abstract, is ultimately a reflection of what an artist chooses to portray, and the significance of historical legacies, the integration of Eastern and Western techniques, and the artist’s own personal responses that this choice contains. In this last chapter, audiences listen to Hsieh’s own voice in an intimate dialogue, while elements in his paintings reflect his own unique creative path – such as the left-tilting diagonal brushstrokes due to the artist being left-handed, or imagery of art books and magazines that were his early influences.
Hsieh’s new solo exhibition sets to be his most extensive exploration into Taiwan’s art history, from the wider discussion of division of technique, to the individual events and personal responses that each artist faces in their art practice.