Tina Keng Gallery (Taipei) is honored to present Reclaiming the Lost Territories, a solo exhibition of Chen Chun-Hao’s most recent work (opening reception on Saturday, January 4, 4:30 pm). The exhibition will be on view from January 4 to January 26, and will include an expansive display of Chen’s remaking and interpretation of Chinese masterpiece ink paintings, which were exiled during the political unrest of the late Qing Dynasty. While preserving the essence and classic aesthetic of these traditional Chinese paintings, Chen grants them contemporary interpretation by replacing the ink of the scroll with the mosquito nails, which puncture the surface of the canvas and give texture to his two-dimensional source works.
Since 2009, Chen has experimented with the use of mosquito nails in his renderings of traditional Chinese paintings. Using a specially designed nail gun he follows the line of the original painting to compose his works, with the placement of each of his nails being reminiscent to the dots of paint used by nineteenth-century artists exploring pointillism. The mosquito nails, at times grouped together, and at others meant as stand- ins for the small specks of ink from the original landscape paintings, produce visual effects of light, shadow and water vapor. Meanwhile, by means of replacing of the ink of scroll with the stainless steel mosquito nails, Chen believes that through his act of “copying” that is, this replacement of the ink of the scrolls with his stainless steel mosquito nails, he learns from the masters of landscape painting. This learning process leads to his contemporary interpretation of Chinese Shan Shui.
The title of the series, Reclaiming the Lost Territories, stems from an inscription written by the general Yue Fei (1130-1142), lauded for his defense of the Southern Song against the invasion from the northern China by the Jin Dynasty. The act of reclaiming, in particular, rings true in Chen’s latest work. His “recreation” of the traditional Chinese paintings, which have been acquired by foreign museums, highlights his role as an authentic inheritor of Chinese culture.
Chen Chun-Hao has participated in numerous exhibitions, including at the Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2009), the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2001, 2006, and 2012), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2005), and the Headlands Arts Center in San Francisco, California (2002). His solo exhibition includes Mosquito Nail Shan Shui- the Artworks of Chen Chun-Hao, Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei (2011), The Way of Nailing, VT Art Salon, Taipei (2011), and Aura Beyond, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2001). In addition to his works as an artist, he has a long career as a curator and director of arts organizations. He is a member of the VT art Salon in Taipei, where he has also exhibited his works.