Huo Gang was born in Nanjing City, China in 1932. He has a birth name of Huo Hsue-kang. Huo enrolled in the Fine Arts Department of Taipei Teachers College in 1950. Through Ouyang Wenyuan, he began learning with Li Chung-sheng and was introduced to the world of modern art. Huo founded the Oriental Painting Group with Li Yuan-chia, Wu Hao, Hsia Yang, Ouyang Wenyuan, Chen Tao-ming, Hsiao Chin and Hsiao Ming-hsien in 1957 and became a pioneering artist in the contemporary art movement of Taiwan. Huo moved to Europe in 1964 and settled down in Milan, Italy. Over the long years, he developed a successful career abroad and had nearly a hundred solo exhibitions. Having stayed overseas for 20 years, he returned to Taiwan and had a solo exhibition at the Asia World Art center in Taipei in 1985. In 1994, Huo had another solo exhibition at the Taiwan Provincial Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung (that is, the NTMoFA today). Thereafter, he has had several other exhibitions in Taiwan although he continues living overseas. Huo’s works are much appreciated by Europeans. Some of them have been collected by the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome.
Huo Gang always turns complicated images into simple signs and shapes in his works. In this painting, he uses dots and short lines to suggest the contrast between the dynamic and the static, as well as the void and the filled in the universe. This reflects the artist’s own words: “I pursue the ultimate meaning of life through art. All of the forms in my works are a sign, a symbol and a revelation. I paint, because I want to create a spiritual world for myself and to express a longing to be one with nature.”
Huo Gang is one of the “Eight Tough Painters” of the Oriental Painting Group. Led by their mentor Li Chung-sheng, who advocated modern art, these young artists caused a huge stir in the art community of Taiwan in the 1960s. As if they made an agreement with one another by coincidence, they left Taiwan to pursue an artistic career overseas, hoping to reform modern Taiwanese art by directly getting in touch with the west. They all showed a strong will to develop their careers, to confront tradition, and to create something new, including Huo Kang. It should be noted that, although Huo creates modern works of art, his creative spirit is based in oriental painting. During his early career life, Huo used ink and wash to create artworks, in addition to being inspired by stone engravings and calligraphy of the Han Dynasty. He advocated modern painting in a Chinese form, which looks mysterious and surrealistic. As he left Taiwan in 1964 to join the western art scene, he saw that Jackson Pollock, Franze Kline and Paul Klee applied calligraphy art to their own works, and was immensely inspired. He started to analyze calligraphy and oriental cultural totems, transforming the images into quiet, poetic geometric abstract shapes. From this he has been able to develop a unique painting style. He goes back to the most stable and simplest presentation using flat strokes and changing matière. With lines, shapes, colors and light dynamically arranged on the canvas, Huo brings peace of mind to his audience. In the meantime, poeticness is achieved through his “quasi flat carvings” pregnant with meanings and signs.
|English title：||Untitled (I)|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
KAOHSIUNG MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1931-1940|
|Related Work：||Untitled Untitled 91-11 90-4|