Hou was born in Liujiao Township, Chiayi County in 1963. He started releasing artworks by the name of “Hou in Liujiao” when he was 23 years old. In age 50, he moved to Sanyi in Miaoli and settled down on a small hill previously called “the Prohibited Mountain.” Because of this, he began calling himself “Hou in the Prohibited Mountain” too. The artist was admitted to the National Academy of Arts, known as the Taipei National University of the Arts today. Hou received the first prize from the National Oil Painting Exhibition in 1983 and was invited to join the Busan Biennale in 1988. In 1995, he joined the Venice Biennale on behalf of Taiwan to show his works at the Taiwan Pavilion. Judging from the above experiences, it is fair to say that HOU Chun-Ming is an artist who already has a mature career when he’s young. His strong, poignant perspectives of life, illustrated in his artworks, make him a unique artist in the history of Taiwanese contemporary art.
HOU Chun-Ming has created a brand new yet conspicuous approach to combine mundane elements with contemporary artistic works. He seems to have a talent to see thorugh human nature, with his accurate,veteran visual language he builds the bizzare phemomena of Taiwanese society along with the strong desire hidden behind, into aesthetic objects inspiring viewer to think even more about the sychronicity that somehow coveying thorugh. In Search of Gods is exactly the personification of human subconsciousness on this island, with its religious-like images of male and female.
Hou’s artworks are called by the art community in Taiwan as “the art of shouting.” What does shouting mean here? It echoes mankind’s primitive desires, including the desire to survive, have sex, eat, possess, die, collapse, undermine, and self-eliminate. It even refers to dying a hundred times without regret. Viewers are often impressed with the strong visuality of Hou’s works. Loud and special, these artworks make it difficult for people to turn their eyes away. The artist’s methods are quite diverse, too. He can always deftly apply print, installation and behavior to make art. Hou is most famous for largescale prints. They imitate the traditional folk doctrine writings in which texts and images are juxtaposed. But the texts, while seemingly ambiguous, are provocative enough to challenge the moral system. The images enhance such a rebellion by illustrating human desires and even sexual intercourse. Reversing religious imagery or demonstrating laymen’s odd views of art is not necessarily what Hou aims to do. But by doing so, he has indeed shown a powerful picture of the human desires underlying the society of Taiwan, at the same time inviting viewers to listen to their true inner voices. Beauty and ugliness, good and evil, normality and abnormality — according to Hou’s artistic spectrum, these are the changing elements swinging along one’s ontological borders. Only when they mingle and affect one another can life be lived truthfully. Hou’s artistic style changed dramatically when he was 37. Having had several major blows, he turned to mandala painting, scribbling and free writing, from the more “out there” signs and symbols about desire. He embarked on a soul-healing journey back to the core of his life. His works of this period seem mellower than the previous ones, but his attention to desire is still at work. Overall, Chinese characters and images not only serve as talismans and totems that make up his artistic mythological system, but also bridge the gap between the external reality and his inner desires. The artist may look defiant and shocking at a glance, but it is through these artistic, ritualistic practices that he struggles to return to the land of freedom in his primal psychological state.
|English title：||In Search of Gods|
|Medium / Classification：|
|Dimensions：||362.5×255 cm ×4 pieces|
|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, 1961-1970|