Wu Hao was born in Nanjing City, China in 1932. He has a birth name of Wu Shi-lu. Wu moved to Taiwan with the nationalist government in 1949 and became colleagues with Hsia Yang at the air force’s headquarter. Because they both love art, Wu and Hsia became very close friends and enrolled in the “Fine Art Studio” together in Taipei, 1950. At the studio, Wu was introduced to Li Chungsheng and began learning with him in 1951 at Li’s Antung Street Studio. In 1952, Wu, Hsia and Ouyang Wenyuan founded a painting studio in a military air-raid shelter on Longjiang Street, Taipei City. The studio lasted seven years before it was closed.
Wu is the only member of the Oriental Painting Group that never pursued an artistic career overseas. With time, he became the most important mouthpiece for the organization. When in 1984 the leader of the Oriental Painting Group, Li Chung-sheng, died, Wu took up the crucial task of establishing the Li Chung-sheng Foundation of Contemporary Painting and served as the president. Of the “Eight Tough Painters” of the Oriental Painting Group, Wu is also the only one who still solely creates paintings today. Wu has always retained elements of folk art and a figurative approach in his works. His creative style is one and only, and his effort is long-lasting.
Although childlike fun and folk art are manifested in many of Wu Hao’s early works, in those days, he had not been able to develop a style of his own. The artist kept moving between abstraction and surrealism until by 1965 that he decided to exclude improvised composition and adopt a symmetrical, balanced one. This artwork contains some of the typical human figures and the drawing lines in Wu’s works, with an interesting touch of folk art. Its background has not been created through automatic painting either.
When he only 16 or 17 years old, Wu Hao moved to Taiwan with a sister-in-law after he survived the raging warfare between the nationalist and the communist forces in China. Because life was tough, he decided to serve the army in Taiwan, where he made some artist friends by chance. It can be said “chance” is the key to Wu Hao’s painting career. Wu was introduced to Li Chung-sheng at the painting studio run by Liu Hsi in 1950. Soon, he became a student of Li and was greatly inspired both in terms of thoughts and techniques. On those difficult days, Wu took an air-raid shelter as a painting studio, gathering up interested members of the Oriental Painting Group and fellow artists to discuss art there. It is through these discussions that Wu’s command of art increased. Inspired by Li’s daunting concepts of art, Wu however insist on retaining the philosophy and use of colors in traditional ink painting in his works, and thus develops a unique style of his own. Wu especially believes in the importance of lines. Many of the patterns in Wu’s paintings, which indicate auspiciousness in Chinese folk culture, have been inspired by the beautiful embroideries that his mother used to make. Having lived through the ups and downs of life, Wu decides to create colorful artworks based on his sweet childhood memories. The shapes and images are full of meanings and festive fun. Painting for Wu is a way to get rid of the shackles of misfortune and to express the joy and sincerity in life.
|English title：||A Drama|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the 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：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1931-1940|
|Related Work：||An All-female Music Band Abstraction|