Steven Ouyang said What I do know is how to tell the truth: ATCT (The Splendor of Brushwork) special exhibition in Taiwan

July 08 18:21 2024

The America-Taiwan Cultural Artifact and Innovative Technology Research and Development Exchange Association is committed to harnessing the power of grassroots unity to showcase Taiwan’s cultural heritage in European and American international museums. At the same time, the association aims to break the traditional subjective judgments on cultural artifacts and artworks by promoting objective and scientific authentication methods. This approach allows evidence and facts to speak for themselves, aligning with the scientific perspective valued by the younger generation. By doing so, the association hopes to foster enthusiasm, appreciation, and research interest in Chinese culture among the youth, enhancing their understanding of cultural and artistic connotations and enriching their spiritual lives.

The organizers and co-organizers posing together in front of Chang Dai-Chien’s artwork (From left to right is : Western representative of the ATCT Alex Lo and Nelson Lo,  Vice president of the ATCT Roman Lo, President of the Merit Times Miao Xi, manager of the Chancellor Hsin Hui Chu, president of the ATCT Steven Ouyang, Spokeswoman of the ATCT Ariel  Meng).

This year (2024), the America-Taiwan Cultural Artifact and Innovative Technology Research and Development Exchange Association, in collaboration with Fo Guang Shan Humanistic Buddhism Media, the Cross-Strait Antique Research and Development Association, and Chancellor International Co., Ltd., will hold a joint exhibition from July 6 to August 4 at the National Taiwan Historica of Academia Historica. The exhibition, titled “The Splendor of Brushwork: The Inner World of Masters,” features the exceptional and uninhibited styles of modern and contemporary masters such as Qi Baishi, Chang Dai-Chien, Sanyu, and Lin Fengmian, spanning from the late Ming Dynasty to the present day. Through their paintings and calligraphy, these masters express their inner world and artistic heritage.

Vice president of the ATCT Roman Lo was interviewed by the media.

This special exhibition highlights the works of several masters, focusing particularly on the series of paintings by Sanyu and Lin Fengmian, representatives of the Eastern Fauvism movement. Both masters, influenced by Fauvism and traditional Chinese painting techniques, developed distinctive painting styles characterized by vivid and bold color schemes. Sanyu retained the essence of Oriental ink painting in his oil paintings, skillfully integrating the “lines” and “blank spaces” typical of ink art to successfully merge Eastern and Western artistic forms.

Sanyu directly applied the brush techniques of Oriental ink painting to Western oil painting using flat brushes, often executing each stroke in one continuous motion. Consequently, in Sanyu’s works, one can observe the initial “dot” or pause at the beginning of a stroke, with paint accumulating at turns or endpoints, resembling the “ink accumulation” found in ink paintings. This paint buildup in Sanyu’s work results from these pauses and turns, rather than the traditional Western method of layering with flat brushes. During the painting process, Sanyu did not immediately reload his brush when the paint ran low, allowing the color to naturally fade, creating effects similar to the varying intensities of ink in traditional ink paintings, and providing a direct contrast in color and shadow within the lines.

The organizers and co-organizers posing together in front of Sanyu’s big oil paintings.

Regarding Sanyu’s signatures, his brushstrokes need to be analyzed in terms of both oil and watercolor mediums, as the force required differs for each. Therefore, his signature in oil paintings may not be consistent every time. Understanding the characteristics of his signature is crucial. Besides his hand-drawn “Yu” seal, his French signature typically features an uppercase “SAN,” often accompanied by a lowercase “yu.”

Lin Fengmian habitually created oil paintings using watercolor techniques. He would first apply flat color blocks and then outline the edges with broad strokes, finally using gouache (a watercolor method) to detail parts such as hair ornaments or clothing. His lines are powerful and elastic, with the brushwork displaying strong wrist control and delicacy. He would then combine, distort, deform, and overlay various geometric shapes to create opera scenes or portraits of women that are rich in his personal style.

When it comes to signing his works, Lin Fengmian typically wrote the two vertical strokes of the character “Lin” first, followed by the horizontal stroke. The last stroke of “Lin” would often be combined with the first stroke of “Feng,” showcasing significant wrist strength in his signature.

President of the ATCT Steven Ouyang was interviewed by the media.

Understanding the painting styles and signature methods of these two masters, combined with identifying signs of aging on the canvas, oxidation or discoloration of the oil paint, and using scientific authentication methods such as ultraviolet light tests for fluorescence, can help determine the authenticity of their artworks from both subjective and objective perspectives.

Additionally, highly recommended is Master Hsing Yun’s single-stroke calligraphy, which rivals the depth of calligraphy by several other modern masters featured in this exhibition. Unlike the calligraphy of the other masters, which often conveys the philosophy and life reflections of their free-spirited personalities and emotions, Master Hsing Yun’s works are characterized by their introspection and profound Zen wisdom. While both embody ink art, they differ in the presentation of thought and spiritual realm.

A notable piece from the late Ming Dynasty is Bada Shanren Zhu Da’s calligraphy scroll in running script. This work reflects why a Ming Dynasty royal descendant chose monastic life, expressing his disillusionment and the vicissitudes of life through his artwork and calligraphic expressions.

The organizers and co-organizers posing together in front of Master Hsing Yun and Qi Baishi’s calligraphy.

This exhibition encompasses the works of masters in traditional Chinese painting, oil painting, and calligraphy from the late Ming and early Qing periods to modern times. Highlights include Bada Shanren’s calligraphy, Leng Mei’s calligraphy combined with meticulous painting, Qi Baishi’s traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chang Dai-Chien’s portraits of women and lotus flowers, and Master Hsing Yun’s single-stroke calligraphy.

In the oil painting, sketch, and watercolor section, the exhibition features representatives of the Eastern Fauvism movement, Sanyu and Lin Fengmian, alongside renowned modern artists Xu Beihong, Pan Yuliang, and Wu Guanzhong. Additionally, the exhibition showcases Qing Dynasty palace treasures such as Field-yellow stone seals, decorative items, fine porcelain pieces, lacquered wood boxes, and Hainan wild agarwood ornaments. This large-scale cultural and artistic event is a rare collaboration involving several international and Asian renowned yet discreet collectors and connoisseurs.

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Country: United States