The 20th Century’s Abstract Chinese Art
Chinese ink-wash painting is a unique cultural achievement in the world’s history of art. Ancient Chinese people handed down the works of art created in pen, ink and mineral pigment to the world. These artworks reflect the natural sceneries, social phenomenon, and literary development of China at the time. Globally, the rise of abstract art started after the 1960s. Ink-wash painters in Taiwan followed global trends and aimed to revolutionize traditional Chinese ink-wash art. With more than fifty years of development, ink art has now gained a distinctive place in the history of modern Asian art.
Chao Chung-Hsiang, Li Yuan-Chia, Chu Ko, and Lee Chung-Chung were born in China, yet came to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. All four artists, under the influence of traditional Chinese ink-wash painting artistic thoughts and styles, experimented with the mediums of ink and paper, thus calling out a wave of artistic innovation and dialectical thought. Moreover, they also started an abstract ink art reform movement in which they utilized the techniques and methods of abstract expressionism, merged Eastern and Western creative thinking, and maintained the originality of tradition and modernity when creating ink-wash paintings. This movement, embodied with cultural characteristics, became a milestone in the modernization of ink art. As a result, since the 1960s until now, Chinese ink art has become the center of gravity of Chinese modern ink art.
Chao Chung-Hsiang and Li Yuan-Chia traveled from Taiwan to New York and the United Kingdom where they received special attention from the international audience and made extraordinary artistic achievements due to their unique styles featuring Chinese abstract art. Chu Ko and Lee Chung-Chung remained in Taiwan and dedicated their energy to expanding the borders of art and blending Eastern philosophies with Western mediums. Their abstract works have been widely exhibited and collected by museums all across the globe.
Liang Gallery is a leading private art institution dedicated to the research and promotion of art history in Taiwan. For two consecutive years, the gallery has been promoting these four prominent ink-wash artists in Art Basel Hong Kong. We hope to use ink art as a mean of encouraging cultural exchange between Eastern and Western cultures.