Beyond Ink - From Breaking Boundaries to Blooming Everywhere: BU Zi, LI Yuan-chia, LEE An-cheng, LEE Mau-cheng, LIN Yan, HUANG Hung-Teh, Lalan

Apr 15 - May 20, 2023
  • With the fall of the Qing Empire, the introduction of Western art, and the transformation of modern society, Chinese calligraphy and painting entered a new era, compelling Chinese artists to seek ways to uphold their cultural identity amidst the evolving landscape of modern and contemporary art. The Beyond Ink group exhibition features seven artists—LI Yuan-chia (1929-1994), Lalan (1921-1995), LEE Mau-cheng (1954-), HUANG Hung-Teh (1956-2022), BU Zi (CHEN Tsung-Chen, 1959-2013), LEE An-cheng (1959-2015), and LIN Yan (1961-)—in an effort to trace the journey of modern Chinese painting towards contemporary ink arts over the past 50 years.



    卜茲 Bu Zi(1959–2013)


  • 卜玆 BU ZI, 臥春風 Lying in Spring Breeze, 2012 墨/紙 Ink on paper, 212.5 x 225 cm, set of 3...
    卜玆 BU ZI臥春風 Lying in Spring Breeze2012
    墨/紙 Ink on paper, 212.5 x 225 cm, set of 3

    私人收藏 Private collection


  • BU Zi studied with Tso Rong (1895-1993) and frequently won calligraphy competitions before turning 30. Unafraid to break the mold, his later large-format cursive script defied conventional constraints in size, flow, and rhythm—bold and captivating to the eyes. Underneath the seemingly frenzied appearance, BU Zi's cursive characters never strayed too far from the calligraphic canon, with a "swift and terrifying" speed comparable to Huaisu (725-785), ink mastery matching that of Wang Duo (1592-1652), and the continuous, ethereal brushwork suggestive of Fu Shan (1607-1684). With unwavering dedication and confidence in integrating the classics, BU Zi propelled calligraphy into the avant-garde, making an existential declaration that deeply resonates with people through the myriad variations of lines.


    BU Zi (Zong Shen CHEN) was born in Tainan, Taiwan in 1959, and passed away in 2013.



    林延 LIN Yan(b.1961)

  • 林延 LIN Yan
    落葉 #2 Leaves Are Gone #2, 2012
    紙、釘/亞麻布 Paper and nails on linen
    58 1/8 x 76 x 3 1/8 in
    147.5 x 193 x 8 cm
    NT$ 1,208,000
  • Can paper and ink go three-dimensional? LIN Yan was born in Beijing, China in 1961. After graduating from the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, LIN Yan went to the Painting Materials Laboratory at Beaux-Arts de Paris, and later received her master's degree in visual arts from Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania in 1989. LIN's core proposition has always been to engage contemporary Chinese culture with materials and space.



    李元佳 LI Yuan-chia(1929-1994)

  • Born in Guangxi, China in 1929, LI Yuan-chia studied painting under modern art advocate Li Chun Shan (1912-1984) after moving to Taiwan. In his early works, he layered ink on lightly dyed paper, creating compositions similar to those of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), but with spontaneous brushstrokes replacing geometric shapes and appealing to the intuition of Chinese calligraphy. From 1959, LI used "dots" to represent all things; he eventually moved to Italy three years later. His "dots" sometimes resemble an old man standing still, sometimes like flying white at high speed, akin to Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) slitting the canvas one by one with a knife, allowing the viewer's gaze to wander in three-dimensional space.



    李安成 LEE An-cheng(1959-2015)

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    李安成 LEE An-cheng, 無題山水 Untitled (Landscape) , c. 1998-2000s
    水墨/紙本 Ink on paper, 41.3 x 66.5 cm
    NT$ 360,000


  • 李安成 LEE An-cheng
    無題山水 Untitled (Landscape) , 未紀年
    水墨/畫宣板 Ink on paperboard
    9 1/2 x 10 5/8 in/ each, set of 2
    24 x 27 cm/ each, set of 2
    NT$ 280,000
  • Born in Yunlin, Taiwan in 1959, LEE An-cheng displayed his talent for ink painting in middle school and studied with calligrapher-painter Jar Song-Jen (1926-). After graduating from high school in 1979, he went to Keelung to live with his older brother Mau-cheng. Excelling at creating visual impact, he used different tools to paint in the earlier years by applying sweeping brush strokes combined with wet brush dotting to present an organic dry and moist texture. Living in Yangmingshan, Xindian, and Hongshulin allowed him to further master the rhythm of the ink and water interplay. His black-and-white landscapes rendered with different levels of shades resemble photographic works that jog memories of past vistas.



    黃宏德 HUANG Hung-Teh(1956-2022)

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  • While HUANG Hung-Teh primarily focused on oil painting, calligraphic brushstrokes are often visible in his creations. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the National Taiwan Academy of Arts in 1983 and received numerous awards in the following three years. Since 1986, he had invited artists to participate in the Modern Art‧Style Exhibition of South Taiwan, highlighting "the spirit of ideas, thoughts, feelings, experimentation, and adventure." HUANG's pieces were mostly inspired by everyday found objects. He let his brush wander over bricks, tiles, and walls, painting with thoughtful lines, and subtly responding to the minimalism trends and the desire for spatial liberation.


    HUANG Hung-Teh was born in Tainan, Taiwan in 1956.



    謝景蘭 Lalan(1921-1995)

  • XIE Jing-lan (Lalan) was born in Guizhou, China in 1921, and attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She went to France in 1948 to study at the Conservatoire de Paris, and later studied modern dance and explored electronic music. This educational upbringing enabled her to interpret flat surfaces with a unique vision, as she recalled her painting in a "gestural, abstract, almost written" approach. XIE's monochromatic lines entwine and extend across the paper, with deep or shallow color fields permeating the space. Perusing XIE's works is like falling into the hazy allure of a Southern Song Dynasty landscape painting, where only consciousness can roam.



    李茂成 LEE Mau-cheng(b.1954)


  • Like their predecessors who journeyed to Europe, Taiwan-born artists in the 1950s sought to reinterpret traditional calligraphy and painting in...

    Like their predecessors who journeyed to Europe, Taiwan-born artists in the 1950s sought to reinterpret traditional calligraphy and painting in their own styles. After graduating from Chiayi Teachers College in 1975, LEE Mau-cheng moved to Keelung for a teaching position. He audited classes taught by Chiang Chao-Shen (1925-1996) at the National Palace Museum in Taipei and depicted Taiwan's lush vegetation by imitating Fan Kuan's (c. 950-c. 1032) famous work Travelers among Mountains and Streams. In his pastel work Two Trees (1994), he employed delicate brushstrokes to overlay the appearance of trees swaying in the wind at night, evoking the abundant moisture of Keelung's rainy days. In addition to painting, LEE also grew up practicing calligraphy. His sleek, flowing lines, robust and powerful, are reminiscent of master calligrapher Yan Zhenqing (709-785).


    LEE Mau-cheng was born in Yunlin, Taiwan in 1954.



    李茂成 LEE MAU-CHENG, 兩棵樹 TWO TREES, 1994

    粉彩/紙 Pastels on paper, 76.5 x 57 cm

    NT$ 198,000
  • 李茂成 LEE Mau-cheng, 無盡藏 Limitlessness, 2011 墨/紙 Ink on paper, 138 x 209 cm 私人收藏 Private collection
    李茂成 LEE Mau-cheng, 無盡藏 Limitlessness2011
    墨/紙 Ink on paper, 138 x 209 cm

    私人收藏 Private collection

  • Installation views
    Installation views
    Installation views
    Installation views
    Installation views

    Installation views


    Has the story of ink wash reached its conclusion? Confronted with the waves of Western art, it remains deeply rooted in the hearts of Chinese artists as both the starting point and ultimate destination in their artistic pursuits.


    Beyond Ink - From Breaking Boundaries to Blooming Everywhere

    ‧Artists: BU Zi, LI Yuan-chia, LEE An-cheng, LEE Mau-cheng, LIN Yan, HUANG Hung-Teh, Lalan

    ‧Opening: April 15 (Sat.)丨3-5pm

    ‧Date: April 15 — May 20, 2023

    ‧Curator: Ruby LIAO

    ‧Address: ESLITE GALLERYB1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110055, Taiwan (eslite spectrum Songyan Store)

    ‧Opening Hours: 11am-7pm, Tuesday – Saturday (closed on Sunday and Monday)