Chen Hsing-wan was born in Taichung in 1951. Her father, Chen Hsia-yu, was a dedicated senior sculptor in Taiwan. It goes without saying that Chen Hsin-wan took up an artist’s career largely influenced by her father. She he became a junior high school teacher upon graduating from the National College of Fine Arts in 1972. In 1978 that she resigned from the post, devoting herself to creating art. Chen’s paintings during this time show a tendency of Abstract Expressionism. Thereafter, she joined Lee Chun-shan’s studio workshops in 1981 and learned with him for three years. It was also during the mid to late 1980s that she gradually established a creative style of her own. In 1985, she went studying in France for two years, through which she expanded her horizons. Although her paintings still look abstract, her collages made with ready-made objects exude contagious charm, and the free-flowing paint dribbles make the paintings come to life. Much more narration and emotional expressiveness can be found. In 2004, Chen died of disease in Paris, marking an end to her 53-year journey of life and art.
Polish musician Henryk Gorecki wrote Symphony No. 3 in 1976 based on a prayer written by a Jewish mother, who was persecuted by the Nazis in a concentration camp, for her son. Chen was so touched by the tragic story and the song’s contagious sadness that she created Impressions of Germany: from Gorecki-Henryk's Symphony No.3. “From” in the title indicates that the artist did not visualize music directly. Rather, the painting is mixed with music inspirations, projected personal feelings and humanitarian concerns for the tragic history. Some are solid as rocks, some are wild like volcanoes. There is no need to study the structural relevance of the song and the painting. The artist’s profuse sentiments and her overwhelming passion can already be felt through plentiful free-flowing ink.
When Chen studied at the National College of Fine Arts (1969~1972), the first modern art movement in Taiwan in the 1960s had came to an end. Due to the quietness of the local art scene and the lack of foreign art introduction, Chen had to resort to the United States Information Service for information on abstract expressionist paintings. This is also why Chen took up an abstract painting style.1 Although she was profoundly influenced by abstract expressionism and Lee’s teachings, Chen developed a mature creative style of her own, using multimedia as symbolic references to project her many feelings. Critics often describe Chen’s creations as “non-abstract presentations of abstraction.” As a female artist who created plentiful works manifesting both masculinity and femininity, Chen was also a much discussed subject in the studies of female artists in Taiwan in the 1990s.
1 Chen Yen-ping, “Fallen Flowers Turn Red When the Elephant King Passes by,” Artco, Vol. 153, June 2005: 132.
|English title：||Impressions of Germany: from Gorecki-Henryk's Symphony No.3|
|Medium / Classification：||ink painting and calligraphy|
|Life-span：||1951 - 2004|
|Collection Unit：||National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||Unique Vision Ⅱ：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|