Born in Taitung, 1967, Li’s creative groundwork has not come from the academia, but from all kinds of texts, colors and references found in everyday life. This groundwork is ambiguous and changing, but it also exudes an intrinsic power of life. His artistic career is not within the confine of normal path: for a very long period of time, he wandered from one field to another. After graduated from junior high school, he learned how to repair motorcycle, went to Hualian where he learned how to draw billboard for advertisements and movies. Li even learned how to paint the scenery and puppets sculpturing in a glove puppetry theatre, and occasionally made wholesale oil painting that export abroad. At age 25, Li intentionally chose career as an artist. Hence it might not be exaggerated to put it this way: The artist has been less enlightened by books or art venues and institutes, but more by bits and pieces of life. Furthermore, he achieves to define his artistic creation with almost zero external artistic education. This is exactly why his creative momentum is free and expressive. Li would explore any field that interests him, such as painting, graffiti, ink and wash, sculpture, poetry, puppet theatre, ready-made objects, installation and landscape art, and break all the borders and rules ahead.
Inspired by the grass-root culture, LI Jiun-Yang has successfully integrated everyday symbols with the vernaculars of contemporary art. More critically, Li has incorporated the unique marginality found in commoner culture into the existing system of aestheticism, and thus subverting the boarders between the so-called high/low, elegant/crude. Profound aesthetics are also available in the vibrant world of the “commoners” and found in its cultural features, which could provoke for the regard of the society as an existing domain for art in life. The term in Taiwanese dialect, “phû-lōng-kòng”, refers to the seemingly obsolete and meaningless people or things, but they are, nevertheless, thriving and self-sufficient. With elements extracted from the genealogy of folk religions leading to his years of wandering and nomadic journeys, Li has formed an artistic space-time that is truly one of a kind.
Often regarded as an “out-lier” in the Taiwanese artist community of post-martial law period, Li has never changed his attitude as a nomad, interflowing between regular artistic fields and ordinary aesthetic world in several forms. Li subverts and combines these two thoroughly different artistic languages. In many occasions, the multiple implications of so-called “secularity” and “margin” are the source of aesthetic energy.
The differences between sophistication and vulgarity, between delicacy and crudity, and between good and bad have become reference that loses weight in Li’s creations. He is also good at utilizing all sorts of visual symbols available in the bottom end of society, “organizing” his works in the form of no boundary. Hence there is no goal intended in Li’s works, which is ever-developing, and corresponding to his intrinsic desire constantly yearning to create more.
Li’s works are also closely related with his life philosophy: uniquely integrating attitude of playfulness, rebellion, gaming, and labour. He does not need to observe the edginess at the margin of Taiwanese culture, but rather, he literarily lives in it, and allows such novel signifiers to be included as elements of his works with such spontaneity. Viewers are not able to see his works from outside, but have to walk into the stylish aesthetic space he created, so to have a good savouring in his art. More interestingly, as one of the participants of secular culture, he never really resists interactions with academe, but to re-write his connections in between with his unstoppable creativity and intrinsic primitiveness. That is the why Li is known as an artist-in-residence in both local and international places like Avenue Museum, Taoyuang County, Art stock 20, Taichung City, and Headland Center for the Arts, San Francisco, United States. Li was also the Artistic director in Golden Bough Theatre, receiving 2002, and was awarded for his works in visual arts by Asian Cultural Council. In 2010, Li cooperated with Li Chunshien, and gather a group of some 60 Taiwanese local artists, known as the “New Taiwan Mural Team,” the concept of which is similar to the works of his earlier years, i.e., The Rainbow-colored Mesmerizing Tricycle, that touring from one corner of local neighbourhood to another in Taiwan.
|English title：||Fairest Fairies Fair, Phû-lōng-kòng Blossom|
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1961-1970|