CHEN Chun-Hao was born in Nantou, Taiwan in 1971. He graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, National Institute of the Arts （known as the Taipei National University of the Arts today） in 1996, and gained a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts in 1998. The artist held his first solo exhibition entitled Aura Beyond at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 2001. At this exhibition, drawing pins became the artist’s representative artistic elements. A variety of geometric shapes were formed with large quantities of pins on canvas, and light is skillfully projected onto the pins to give texture to the displayed artworks. Viewers could even find the artworks’ luster change as they appreciated them from different angles. With such a unique artistic style, Chen bagged the Taipei Arts Awards in 2001, and officially began his artist’s career.
Other than making art, CHEN Chun-Hao has worked as art administrator and exhibition curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei Artist Village, Alliance of Artists Communities, and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, to promote art in Taiwan. Chen was the co-curator of the “Road for Art” project on Haian Road, Tainan City in 2004. He founded the VT Artsalon with around 40 other artists like YAO Jui-Chung, Sean C.S. HU, WU Dar-Kuen and Isa HO in 2006, to provide a more flexible, open and independent artistic space to artists, so that they can exchange ideas with their peers and display their works. The salon also serves as an interactive platform featuring international artists from time to time. Chen started to fully focus on making art in 2009, and tried to make artworks dedicated to antiquarian Chinese paintings with “mosquito nails” and “nail guns” commonly used in woodwork. His “mosquito nail landscapes” not only give an interesting twist to traditional ink art, but also reflect his personal artistic aesthetics.
Imitating Landscape with Pavilions by Yan Wen-Gui, Northern Song Dynasty, Late 10th Century was released at the artist’s solo exhibition entitled Reclaiming Lost Territories held earlier this year. Seeing that more than sixty Chinese paintings lost in war in the late Qing Dynasty were loaned back from western institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Shanghai Museum in 2012, CHEN Chun-Hao started making the remakes of those paintings one by one, with mosquito nails and nail guns, in an attempt to “reclaim the lost territories” and to compensate the Chinese community for the loss of the old masterpieces. The end work is more than five meters long and contains 1.15 millions of mosquito nails painstakingly punched onto the canvas.
Ground-breaking changes started to appear in Taiwan’s art scene in the 1990s. Concept art, installation art, and art that experiments with mediums and materials began to catch on. In sewing this new tapestry of art, the use of ready-made objects and the reversals of meanings are the most common methods. The relationship among people, objects and space also became an artistic focal point. The trends in Taiwan back then were influenced by those that happened in the international community, as well as large-scale arts biennales. In a way those trends also responded to the consumerist and materialistic society of Taiwan.
Chen first used drawing pins to make art before adopting mosquito nails commonly seen in woodwork. Both materials have strong qualities related to industrial production, structure and labor. It can be seen from his drawing-pin installations and mosquito landscapes that the artist attempts to express his artistic concepts through manual labor and art en mass. “Repetitive labor work” and “en mass” are two very different concepts than those of the traditional “literati art.” The artist has purposefully emphasized them to respond to art conventions and to find new aesthetics of art.
|English title：||Imitating Landscape with Pavilions by Yan Wengui, Northern Song Dynasty, Late 10th century|
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|Collection Unit：||Private collection|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|
|Related Work：||Imitating Autumn Colors of the Eastern Fence after Li Hsiang, Song Dynasty, Late 14th Century Imitating Facing River and Sitting Alone by Fan Kuan, Song Dynasty, Early 12th Century|