HUANG Ming-Chang was born in Ruisui, Hualien in 1952. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Chinese Culture University in 1975, headed for France in 1977, and received an advanced diploma in oil painting from the Paris Academy of Fine Arts in 1984. During his seven-year residence in France, Huang studied classic oil painting techniques and gained solid knowledge of realist painting. He especially liked Dutch painter Jan Vermee of the 17th century and delved deep into the artist’s works. Admiring how Vermee found peace, serenity and eternity in ordinary things, he started looking for subject matters in his life so as to observe and paint about them. Huang returned to Taiwan in 1985. With Gazing Out released in 1986, which shows the birds-eye-views of vast green rice fields from the windows of his painting studio beside the Xindian River, the many faces of rice paddies at dusk and at dawn, under the sun and clouds, and in the four seasons of a year, became the most salient subject matters in his paintings.
In Paddyfield, a series initiated in 1989 and still in progress today, green, wavy rice fields are surrounded by banana, plantain, screw pine, Chinese parasol trees and wild taros. The artist uses overlapping, refined brushstrokes and profuse colors and shades to present a misty island landscape densely grown with plants in the warm tropical south. Huang’s deep love for his land can be felt through his paintings. He not only paints about Taiwan, but also India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Bali Island where he has traveled. He adores the abundant nature through his idyllic landscape paintings. With a consistent style, techniques and aesthetic vision, he has made series like Gazing at the Sea (1995-), Paddy and Lotus (2002-) and Heart Lake (2007-).
This is part of the Paddy and Lotus Series. It feels as if a horizontal long shot is being taken to capture this scene. Refined brushstrokes and masterly techniques, which the painter is famous for, are applied to this painting. But instead of a paddy field, lotus and buffaloes become the subject matters this time. When it comes to space, the lotus pond in the foreground gradually dwindles as it reaches the back. This dynamic arrangement intensifies a kind of rhythmic extensiveness. The painter is quite original when it comes to story-telling, too. The strong light shed on the lotus and the dark shades that come along are a contrast to the leisurely buffaloes taking a bath. The lotus, some dead and withered and some lush and alive, is feisty enough to thrive. The lotus shows how the force of life can be manifested in a different way.
Taiwan in the 1970s was a time of impacts. The island not only experienced a major blow in foreign relations. Hasty industrialization, urbanization, restructuring of rural villages, damage of the nature and drastic changes to the living environment all took place in one single decade. As a result, young intellectuals started to reflect upon their own conditions by looking into the island and its people. Likewise, during this time when much attention was being paid to the native land, artists joined this Nativist Movement by adopting a figural realist style.
HUANG Ming-Chang already learned western painting when he studied in an academic arts school in Taiwan. He graduated in 1975 and decided to pursue further studies overseas. Before leaving Taiwan, he made a rustic landscape series on Jiufen and Jinshan in northeastern Taiwan. His realist painting techniques advanced immensely during his seven-year residence in France, and his pursuit of temporal and spatial eternity in painting had also derived from his observations on classic oil painting during this time. For some time after he returned to Taiwan, he worked on the Interior series which depicts scenes from a homely life. When he finally resumed making landscapes in the late 1980s, photo-realism and Nativist themes were no longer hailed by the local art community. Instead, a popular neo-impressionist approach was taken to show the “Taiwan experience” and “local identity” that the public still passionately embraced. HUANG Ming-Chang however insisted on using classic oil painting techniques to make paintings with a macroscopic vision, which is different from both of the afore-mentioned methods. He has therefore established a unique landscape painting style of his own while he continues to work on the same subject matters attentively and creatively.
|English title：||Cattle Bathing in the Lotus Pond (Paddy and Lotus Series)|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of Mr. LU Hsueh-Tu|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1951-1960|
|Related Work：||Sunset (Paddyfield Series) Breezing over Banana Trees (Paddyfield Series) Gazing at the Sea (Gazing at the Sea Series) Nightfall I (Paddyfield Series)|