Hsiao Chin

©Hsiao Chin Art Foundation

Hsiao Chin (1935-) was the recipient of Taiwan National Award of Art in recognition of his founding of Ton Fan Art Group, is celebrated as the pioneer of modern Chinese abstract art, recognized worldwide as a leading post-war master artist. Incorporating Eastern philosophy and Western abstraction, whilst promoting Chinese modern art overseas with an appreciation of self-introspection as the path of exploring self-spirit.

The Punto International Art Movement (1962-), was initiated and co-founding by Hsiao Chin, advocating an Eastern philosophy of “calm observation” to enhance Western abstract art. The word ‘punto’, Italian for "point" is the beginning and the end, the infinitude challenging the finitude, an emphasis focused on introspection. The movement received tremendous support from international masters including Lucio Fontana, Jesús Rafael Soto, Dada Maino and Enrico Castellani. Punto exhibitions spread to several major European cities. Punto spanned the entire decade of the 1960’s, thirteen exhibitions were held with more than 26 Western and Asian artists participating. It was the first international avant-garde art movement initiated by an Asian artist with the aim of promoting Oriental philosophy.

Hsiao Chin's vigorous creative power remain, his epiphany of accepting and perceiving Taoist philosophy has defined his life. He has successfully applied Western abstract expression to convey Eastern “meditation philosophy”. The artist’s pursuit of self, of mind and his search for truth in the universe has inspired his perception of life to create a powerful and forceful artistic language.

|Curriculum Vitae|
1935 Born in Shanghai. Father Hsiao Yu-mei, a pioneer in modern Chinese music education, founded China's first music school, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1927.

1952 Introduced by Ho Kan, Hsiao Chin joined Lee Chun - Shan's Antung Street Studio, and commenced his formal study of modern art with Post Impressionism. Lee's teaching maxim was "to think with your mind, to feel with your heart, to observe with your eyes, and to finally deliver with your hands", which was profoundly influential to Hsiao Chin's art practice.

1956 Received scholarship from the Spanish government, but Hsiao Chin turned it down due to the rather con servative teaching method in art schools in Madrid and Barcelona.

1957 The first Ton - Fan Art Group Exhibition was held at year's end simultaneously in Taipei and Barcelona 's Galena Jardin, which was the first Group Exhibition by Chinese and Western artists. Ton - Fan Art Group was also the first Chinese painting group exhibited in foreign countries. Influenced by Art Informel and Action painting, Hsiao began to experiment on incorporating lines and compositions of Chinese calligraphy into abstract painting, hence created images which blended together metaphorical and emotional content of expression.

1959 Inspired by the idea of formal space of Spatialism, at the same time grew interest in Taoism, Hsiao Chin pursued a deeper level of spiritual harmony and balance. Moved to Milan, met Spatialism (Spazialismo) founder Lucio Fontana, Roberto Crippa, Zero movement artists Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani.

1961 Broadened his interests to Mandala, science of the outer space, the planets and the universe, Hsiao began to combine his understanding of such knowledge in his work. Turned to water - based paints such as ink and acrylic instead of oil paints, the composition of paintings became mor e spacious as he utilised blank - leaving and nearly monochromatic tones. Co - founded Punto International Art Movement with Li Yuan - chia, Italian artist Antonio Calderara and Japanese Sculpturist Kenjiro Azuma.

1963 Hsiao Chin turned his interest to Zen Buddhism and the Tibetan Buddhism when composing his work for intellectual s ustenance, which had vastly changed his painting style ever since. The Solar Series during 1963 - 1966 highlighted the contrast and harmonious balance between dichotomous elements, featuring the sun and other radiating objects and the rhythms of lights. In collaboration with the Städtisches Museum in Leverkusen, Hsiao organised a more comprehensive exhibition of Chinese contemporary art, featuring works from Zao Wou-ki, Walasse Ting, Chu Teh-chun, Hsiung Ping-ming, and I.M. Pei.

1967 Moved to Manhattan, New York until 1972. The Hard Edge series (1967 - 1976) placed great emphasis on color contrast, often featuring directional cones with square or acute angles, or asymmetric shapes which gave off a sense of position and movement. He transformed the experience of the external physical world into an inner reflection through experimenting with art forms, with the intention to construct "a symbolic space of the universe", which was also "a self - contained world of living things".

1972–73 Resettled in Milan in 1972, Hsiao resumed his interests in Taoism and Zen and began studying Buddhism, drawing inspiration from the invisible, unnamable yet omnipresent vitality which he called the "power of energy and chi" as he looked back into the origin of the universe in his metaphysical and phenomenological contemplation. Hsiao Chin tried to achieve the art of Zen and Chi by unforced exercise of brush strokes and intuitive exploration of color.

1977 Founded the International SURYA movement in Milan together with Leo Rosso (Italian anthropologist), E. Bi ‑ i Gentili (Italian philosopher), E. Albuzzi (Italian art critic), Azuma Kengiro (Japanese sculptor), Rupprecht Geiger (German painter), G. Robusti (Italian modelling artist), J. Tornquist (Austrian painter).

1989 Created a series of works, such as Tienanmen Square series, The Rebirth of China and The Resurrection of China series that addressed the incidents in China. Awarded Arts Achievement of Lee Chun-Shan Foundation, Taipei. Co-founded International SHAKTI movement in Copenhagen.

1990–91 In 1990, Hsiao Chin lost his daughter Samantha in a tragic accident, it drove him to a deeper spiritual quest for self-healing and transcendence. Ascendence of Samantha was regarded as an important series during the artist’s turning point in life. After his deep introspection, he has contemplated that death is the beginning of another stage of life, which has inspired his later creation of several most iconic series of artworks: The Great Threshold, Eternal Garden, Samadhi, Vitality. The choice of bright colors in these series is the transformation of the melancholy of life to love and blessings by broad-mindedness and wisdom, and utilize the tangible lines to symbolize the intangible energy surrounding the world. The composition of the ‘sky against the land beneath it’ has also become the classic composition of his paintings since 1990.

2000 Devoted to present Eternal Energies: employed mature and diverse vocabularies about forms, as well as rich, cold and warm colours to express the profound meaning of being, as he delved into the deep human consciousness and to praise the sacred yet intangible energy that drives the gears of the entire universe.

2013 In November, he was the recipient of the 11th Taiwan National Award of Art, and won the award for promoting the modern art.

2014 Hsiao Chin now based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and established Hsiao Chin International Foundation.

2016 Conferred by Former Taiwanese President Ma Yingjeou the "Order of Brilliant Star" for his lifetime contribution and achievement in art and cultural development.

|Solo Exhibitions|
2019 ‘Les couleurs du Ch’an.Hommage à Hsiao Chin’, ALIEN Art Centre, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2018 ‘Retrospective Exhibition: Hsiao Chin – Coming Home’, China Art Museum, Shanghai
‘ZEN。ART Bright Light – Homage to Ascendence’, Tsz Shan Monastery, Hong Kong
2010 ‘Infinity of Chi: Retrospective of Hsiao Chin’, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan
2009 ‘Hsiao Chin. In-finite journey 1955-2008’, Triennale Bovisa, Milan
2008 ‘Retrospective Exhibition’, University of Parma, Italy
2006 ‘Glory to the Source, Hsiao Chin 1955-2005’, NAMOC (National Art Museum of China), Beijing, China
2005 ‘Hsiao-Chin 1954-2004 — A Journey Back to the Source’, Guangdong Museum of Art, China
‘Retrospective Exhibition’, Civic Museum Villa Colloredo of Recanati, Italy
‘Retrospective Exhibition’, Palazzo Acquaviva, Atri, Italy
‘Hsiao-Chin 1954-2004 — A Journey Back to the source’, Zhongshan Museum of Art, Guangdong Province, China
2004 ‘The Journey of Hsiao Chin's Painting 1958-2004’, Shanghai Art Museum, China
1998 ‘1958-1998: Retrospective Exhibition’, Il Ponte Gallery, Florence; Di Meo Gallery, Paris; Das Institut Mathildenhohe Darmstadt, Germany
1995 ‘Hsiao Chin: the Odyssey, 1953-1994’, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
1992 ‘Retrospective Exhibition’, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
1988 ‘30-year Retrospective Exhibition: 1958-1988’, Giò Marconi Gallery, Milan, Italy
1985 University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Museum Waterland, Purmerend, Holland
‘Joint Exhibition with Walasse Ting’, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
1979 Municipal Gallery of Macerata, Italy
1978 National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
1965 National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
1957 Mataro Fine Arts Museum, Spain

|Selected group exhibitions|
2017 ‘From China to Taiwan: The First Avant-Garde Abstract 1955-1985 Exhibition’, Museum of Ixelles, Brussel, Belgium
2012 ‘Abstract art in Taiwan’, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2007 ‘V Premio Internazionale Biennale d'Incisione’, Museo di Arte Contemporanea e del Novecento, Italy
2005 ‘Identità e diversità’, Contemporary Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
2000 ‘The 7th Venice International Biannual of Architecture, Taiwan Pavilion’, Venice, Italy
1997 ‘Memory of Ton-Fan Group’, Taipei, Taiwan
1996 ‘Due secoli di Incisione, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera’, Milan, Italy
1989-1993 ‘International Shakti Exhibitions’, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Denmark; Gallarate, Milan, Italy
1990-1995 ‘International Shakti Exhibitions’, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Denmark; Gallarate, Milan, Italy
1991,1994 ‘International Shakti Exhibitions’, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Denmark; Gallarate, Milan, Italy
1987 ‘30th International Biennial Print Exhibition’, Milan, Italy

|Selected Collections|
Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York Public
Library, New York
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma (National Museum of
Contemporary Art, Rome)
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
National Museum of History, Taipei
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung
Kaohsiung Fine Arts Museum
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Shanghai Art Museum
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain
Randers Museum of Art, Denmark
Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, U.K.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Vilafamés, Spain
Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, San Gimignano, Italy
Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di San Marino
Kunstverein, Dusseldorf, Germany
Numerous private collections

Related Works


Conference Lecture

Les couleurs du Ch’an.Hommage à Hsiao Chin

2019. 05. 02-2019. 11. 03