Hanart TZ Gallery is honoured this March to present ‘Edge of Sea and Sky’, a solo exhibition by late Taiwanese master artist Yeh Shih-Chiang, featuring over 30 oil paintings.
Yeh Shih-Chiang settled in Taiwan in 1949 after first visiting the island as an art student from Guangzhou.
This was a time when many Taiwanese artists were coming into contact with Western Post-War modernism, which inspired them to embark on an intensive period of experimentation, seeking for a new language of Chinese ‘modernism’ with ink painting as its basis. Yeh Shih-Chiang was not interested in becoming simply a follower of new Western trends, and at the same time he also was averse to being trapped within the confines of the national ‘guohua’ painting style.
In a sense one could say he was avoiding the ideological impasse represented by the two sides of the Cold War. Ultimately he found his solution in a return to the pure and eternal realm of art, taking elements he found compelling from both modern and traditional languages as he developed his own painting practice.
About Yeh Shih-Chiang (1926-2012)
Yeh Shih-Chiang was born in 1926 in Guangdong Province, China, and died in Taipei in 2012. He was among the last class of students at the Guangzhou Municipal Junior Art College under the directorship of the illustrious ink painter Gao Jianfu.
In 1949, Yeh and a few classmates planned an art expedition to the famous Dunhuang Grottoes, but they were frustrated in the effort due to China’s civil war, which prompted them to redirect their journey to Taiwan instead; but here Yeh was caught up with the retreat of the National Republic government, and spent the rest of his life in Taiwan.
Yeh Shih-Chiang on board the China Merchant Shipping Company’s
steamer Sea Owl, on his way to Taiwan, 1949.