SHIEH Juin was born in Miaoli City in 1961. She graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University in 1984. Feeling that undergraduate education couldn’t have nurtured her enough, she decided to pursue further studies in the United States. Shieh obtained an M.F.A degree from the Pratt Institute in New York in 1989 and a Doctor of Arts degree from the New York University in 1995. She has taught respectively in the Fine Arts Department of the Taipei Municipal Teacher’s College, Department of Fine Arts at Tunghai University, Taipei National University of the Arts and the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts, among others. Many of her students have been inspired to build their own artistic careers. Shieh presently serves as a professor in the Department of Arts and Design, National Hsinchu University of Education. HSIEH Juin has been making art for more than 30 years. From the beginning, the explorational to the mature periods, her paintings have always demonstrated a unique visual style and an aesthetic language. Her works resonate with her experiences and reflections in different stages of life. Gender theory, at critical moments, has also helped her bring together her personal feelings and other women’s experiences which she relates to. In this way, she feels even more empowered by art and humanity.
The series of works by SHIEH Juin undoubtedly provide in-depth interpretation upon how painting could obtain organic connotations from intuition, thought and life experience, and develop a visual style that is different to all. From perspective of women's studies that cares about feminine life experience, the texture of skins, lines, nicks, colors and dynamically balanced structure all represent self-reflection of the creator’s own life experience, and her observation upon female consciousness. In her work, there are deductive inferences, intertwined nicks pulling against one another, emotions expressed with overlapping colors, and dynamics between multiple layers of strength, coexisting in the frames of her works. When all these clues and symbols coexist in such a rhythmic forms, it feels like her works depicting the multiple appearances of female life experience, and the abundant life energy endowed within feminine qualities.
In her creative works, physical experiences weigh equivalently with spiritual activities such as thought and feelings, while the impact brought by the former even outweighs the later from time to time. The mundane experience of female body is the place that regulated by power, but also the source of overthrowing strength. That explains why the capture and depiction on physical image often put as center of her works: female should care their bodies, cherish the creativity of the female essence within. The physical differences bring all sorts of restriction and possibilities at the same time, while via her accurate graphical language; such has become an artistic object with such influential passion. In here work, a temporary balance is reached between sensibility and reasons, physicality and spirits. Her works are chaotic, arousing, intertwining, and condensed at the same time, transcending one-unified implication and context, as waves unceasingly hit the shore.
Women’s awareness in Taiwan started to grow and women’s libration arose in the 1980s. During this time, rebellion against the patriarchal system and thoughts spread to the art community from the field of social movement. People started to actively contribute myriad perspectives so as to reinterpret gender, and related debates increased, too. What are women? Is there a fundamental difference between women and men? How shall we shape the rights and liberation of women, if they were not to be based upon a patriarchal mechanism? Looking back at art, will feminism and reflection on gender help generate specific approaches to art and even form a unique aesthetic language? If so, what will they look like? Speaking of the artistic trends inspired by gender criticism, are they just part of a movement which won’t even go beyond the realm of theorizing, or will these trends help form a more intentional genealogy which may inspire people to keep making art?
SHIEH Juin has no doubt offered impressive answers to all of the above questions. Aside from proposing a central artistic narrative that criticizes against women’s subordinate status in a Chauvinist society, SHIEH cares about how women can develop the uniqueness of their souls through their bodies. She believes that it is based on this uniqueness that women may feel liberated and in life and empowered to make art. In addition, some theorists think that women should go beyond their immanence in order to be free of the existing patriarchal dominance. But Shieh suggests that women should acknowledge their nature and use the feminine power to subvert the present order and the symbolic world. In her painting series, there are in-depth references, complicated marks, and a structure broken by disorderly elements. Lines, brushstrokes and colors, clashing against and complementing one another, make an enriching painting texture in her work. In a way, they symbolize the different circumstances that women may encounter at different stages of life. Using detailed abstract and symbolic signs, the artist creates an aesthetic genealogy which the women/femininity may refer to as it evolves, both in reality and fantasy. SHIEH Juin has truly accomplished remarkable practices of women's studies as she explores how artwork, theory and life’s circumstances can be embedded in one another.
|English title：||Words in Words|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1961-1970|
|Related Work：||Trapped I Dissection|