Born in Hsinying, Tainan in 1938, Lin Jia-yan graduated from National Tainan Industrial High School in 1956 and started working at Taiwan Power Company in the same year. During his service there, he met Lin Sheng-hsiung who introduced him to work at Lin Tien-jui Art Center after finishing the mandatory military service in 1961. Under the guidance of Lin Tien-jui, he had developed his own perspective on art. With the Lin brothers as his companions, the three of them inspired each other that they should never give up painting. In an occasion, he met Ku Hsien-liang who encouraged him and convinced him that he was destined to be a painter. In 1962, he received the Mayor Award of Kaohsiung City Young Artists Exhibition. In 1967, he held his first solo exhibition. In 1974, he returned to his hometown, Hsinying, to take care of his sick mother and made a living by running a business. During his stay in Hsinying, he had never stopped painting. In 1991, he ended his business career when he made a success in it and decided to fully devote himself to painting. Since then, he has often traveled with his fellow painters and painted together. He held his second solo exhibition in 1995 and organized “The Art Exhibition of Five Painters from Kaohsiung” with Lin Tien-jui, Wang Kuo-chen, Lin Sheng-hsiung, and Huang Chao-mo in 1997. In 2006, he was invited by Cheng Shiu University Art Center to hold a solo exhibition there. Throughout his life, he has demonstrated great devotion to painting.
Lin Jia-yan’s works often feature symbolic figures such as ghosts or skeletons and surrealistic scenes such as illusion, the mock of the reality, or meditation. Through this painting, viewers might feel the artist’s critical perspective on the mundane world and the mortal life. The ghost-like figures which do not have physical bodies or shadows become the spiritual symbols in the painting.
To fulfill my dream of becoming an artist, I moved to Kaohisung City in 1961 and began to study with Lin Tian-rui. That marked the start of my painter’s career. Big cities have the fame and wealth that dreamers long for. Kaohsiung was a prosperous place back then; I saw some people were devoured by greed. Many lost their overnight fortunes and their hearts were broken in the end. City Corner is about my memory of Kaohisung at the time. Even the most compassionate soul could do nothing to help those people. Painters especially had a hard time, so hard that the gods above would have pitied us. (“A desert without culture” was Kaohisung’s nickname in those days) (Written by LIN Jia-Yan on May 27, 2011)
Lin Jia-yan is a very special painter in the post-war Taiwan. Without any academic training, he followed Lin Tien-jui, who was his teacher as well as his friend, into the world of art-making while working with him. Since Lin Jia-yan had his unique perspective on painting, he had established his personal style in spite of his association with Lin Tien-jui. In 1967, he held his solo exhibition “Lin Jia-yan – the Devilish Painter.” The exhibition attracted the public’s attention, while some described it as “an art exhibition full of the horrible images such as death, storms, monsters, ghosts, nightmares, deformities, demons, and cobwebs.” It indeed shocked the conservative society at that time. Such a unique style soon became the main theme of his artistic practice. Later, he had vanished from the art society for almost twenty years because of his family condition. In 1995, he held his second art exhibition, which demonstrated his great devotion to art-making. Lin Jia-yan’s painting style mostly features certain kind of mysterious metaphors such as the surrealistic expression, no matter whether it is about human figures or landscape. This unique quality had been deeply engraved in his soul. When he was still an elementary student, he saw the local elite Huang Ma-tien being executed by shooting during the 228 Massacre. The traumatized childhood created a sense of loss, through which he perceived the mundane world in a more profound philosophical way. The inspiration of his art was the influence from the society where he grew up in instead of the inheritance from the Western art.
|English title：||City Corner|
|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|