Jimmy LIAO

ESLITE GALLERY proudly presents the Solo Exhibition by Jimmy LIAO as the grand finale of its 2023 exhibition lineup. Opening on November 25, this showcase will feature 14 oil paintings and a collection of works on paper, all created by Jimmy for this exhibition. This also marks the debut of Jimmy's oil paintings being showcased to the public for the first time. Having honed his expertise in drawings on paper, Jimmy has recently shifted his artistic focus toward the oil medium. While maintaining his signature "Jimmy style" characterized by elements of mystery, fantasy, solitude, and warmth, he now explores the use of vibrant saturated colors to enhance the visual depth of his creations. Furthermore, he employs thick layers of impasto to add profound dimensions to his art.

  • Exhibition Period:25 November - 30 December 2023
  • Address:ESLITE GALLERY ∣ B1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110055, Taiwan

In 2012, Jimmy was invited to design the main visuals for the 49th Golden Horse Awards. Although the organizers initially requested just one artwork, Jimmy passionately submitted three. This occasion saw the public introduction to his oil creations. After a ten-year hiatus, Jimmy has once again embraced his oil paint brush. Over the course of two years, he has created 49 pieces, utilizing both oil and acrylic mediums to vividly bring his imagination to life on paper and canvas. This solo exhibition is a curated display of select works from this prolific period. Jimmy has personally shared that he poured substantial effort and contemplation into the preparation for this solo exhibition, from the initial conceptualization to experimenting with various mediums. Coinciding with his 65th birthday just one week ahead of the exhibition's opening renders this solo exhibition all the more special.

Jimmy LIAO is a globally celebrated picture book artist with a lifelong passion for drawing. Following his graduation from the Fine Arts Department at the Chinese Culture University, he embarked on a career in an advertising agency. It was here that he cultivated a deep interest in illustration, leading him to extensively self-study various illustration techniques and picture book art. Jimmy believes picture books should transcend children's literature. He is committed to crafting picture books that appeal to all ages, effectively pioneering a novel genre of picture books tailored for adults. For over two decades, Jimmy has authored over 60 works. His creations have reached a global audience, translated into 20 languages and resulting in nearly 200 international editions. His works have found life beyond the page—they have been adapted into musicals, TV dramas, movies, animations, and VR interactive experiences. Furthermore, Jimmy has showcased his talent at prestigious events like the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the Northern Alps Art Festival in Japan. His three-dimensional art pieces are also a common sight in public art installations and theme parks, both in his home country and abroad.

Similar to his picture books, Jimmy's oil paintings, though singular images, are imbued with an abundance of imagination and narrative depth. In these paintings, there's typically just a single boy or girl, set against diverse backdrops: a beautiful flower garden, a deep, enigmatic forest, a coast with gentle waves, or even a dry, leaf-covered swimming pool. The expressions on the children's faces are subtly nuanced—some have their eyes shut, as if lost in a sleepwalk, others look out with a curious, inquisitive gaze, and some have the stark, white faces of mime actors. These figures echo what psychologists refer to as the "inner child", that childlike aspect that persists within adults. Jimmy is convinced that everyone confronts life's complexity and challenges in this solitary, introspective manner.

The starting piece of this solo exhibition is Let's Play Together. In this work, a little boy with closed eyes is depicted stepping on a red ball on a winding forest path, near a miniature house from which white smoke rises. The forest is rendered in richly colored tree trunks, engendering a vivid and lively visual experience. A Flower Descends from the Sky sees a little girl in a swimsuit holding a fish tank, standing at the edge of a leaf-strewn swimming pool; a camellia blossoms atop her head, symbolizing hope and liveliness. Dancing Elephant, the largest painting in the exhibition, shows an elephant under a spotlight, its body a kaleidoscope of colors, performing circus acts alongside children. Although the theme of solitude is prevalent in Jimmy's artwork, viewers can unmistakably sense the warmth emanating from within. Above all, they portray a subtle yet brave stance toward life's ups and downs.

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