ESLITE GALLERY is pleased to present “Stance—HSIA Yan, LIN Yen Wei, ZHANG An, Ngan Leong CHEUNG, CHENG Po-Tsung” from July 6 to August 4, 2019. Half a century older than the other four artists, Hsia Yan was caught in the throes of war before finding himself in Taiwan as a young soldier in 1949. When he began taking art lessons from LEE- Chun-Shan, it was a time of political oppression, economic slump and little information about art from the outside world. Despite limited resources, he founded Tongfang Art Group with fellow artists to push the modernization of art. In 1960s he went to Paris and later in New York, and it was in those places where he developed his signature fuzzy men and experimented with photorealism. Currently he lives in Shanghai and continues to explore forms and styles that emanate an Eastern essence that is both robust and spiritual. Lin Yen Wei, Zhang An, Ngan Leong Cheung and Cheng Po-Tsung, all more or less in their thirties, have grown up in a time of stability and were able to receive academic training in art colleges. In this digital, global village of explosive number of biennials and art fairs, they have the privilege to access top-notch art all year round, but faces the challenge of staying “unperturbed” and make their individual voice heard.
- Exhibition Period：6 July – 4 August 2019
- Address：ESLITE GALLERY ∣ 5F, No.11, Songgao Rd., Taipei 11073, Taiwan
In “Stance,” Hsia’s powerful metal sculptures in his signature fuzzy man style provide the anchor of this exhibition. In the gallery are satellites of paintings by Taiwanese Lin Yen Wei and Cheng Po-Tsung and mainland Chinese Zhang An and Ngan Leong Cheung. Lin’s close-ups of animal sculptures found in public spaces and toys show human-like eyes and smiles, and can be regarded as a zoomorphic portrayal of man’s self-alienation in an age of consumerism. Cheng’s small “Untitled” drawings are his visual diary, describing personal feelings and documenting the journey in his inner world. Zhang’s doubts about rapid urbanization are revealed through memorialized images of abandoned buildings and ruins. Having lived in Quanzhou, Hong Kong, Glasgow, London and Beijing, Cheung’s monotypes on paper captures her acute observation of places she has travelled to. From Hsia Yan to Lin Yen Wei and Cheng Po-Tsung to Zhang An and Ngan Leong Cheung, “Stance” presents five artists from different generations and regions and their unique take on art.
HSIA Yan was born into a wealthy family in Xiangxiang, Hunan Provence, but raised as an orphan in Nanjing after his parents passed away early in his life. When the war began, the young artist served in the military and drifted from cities to cities before settling in Taiwan in 1949. Here, he studied art with Lee Chun-shan and founded one of the most important artist group called Tongfang Art Group with fellow students including Hsiao Chin, Huo Gang, Chen Daoming, O-yang Wen-yuan, Hsiao Ming-hsian. In 1963 he went to Paris to study art and it was during the five years that he spent there when he developed “fuzzy man,” his signature style that symbolizes the absurdity and sense of isolation of modern existence as well as the artist’s sadness for a life of vagrancy. Soon after Paris, Hsia moved to New York and explored photorealism before returning to Taiwan again in 1992. Currently he lives in Shanghai, where he continues to explore different styles and forms of contemporary art with concepts that emanate an Eastern charm that is both robust and spiritual.