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Exhibition Title: Joy for Art, Cultivation and Reading—Chen Shi-Hou Creations Exhibition|Taichung City Seaport Art Center


Exhibition Title: Joy for Art, Cultivation and Reading—Chen Shi-Hou Creations Exhibition

68-78 鍾馗
  • Exhibition Date:2021-05-15 ~ 2021-07-04
  • Exhibition Location:Exhibition Room A

An artist is a person who creates an aesthetic experience by expressing, through specific images, ideas or emotions that the viewer cannot articulate. Artists are also able to discern the most valuable aspects of nature and human affairs, which always change as time goes by. Chen Shi-Hou is this type of artist, learning from nature and demonstrating his experiences and thoughts through his works. With the help of paint and brush, he shares his aesthetic experience with spectators.

Because he grew up in the rural area of Qingshui District, Taichung City, he is quite familiar with the four seasons of farming, and this familiarity has become the nutrient for his creativity. In his middle age, he chooses to live in seclusion in the mountains of Daxi, Taoyuan and grow his own fruit and vegetables. He lives a solitary life similar to what Tao Yuan-Ming depicts in his poem, “I pick chrysanthemums next to the fence on the east, In the distance the Zhongnan Mountains stretch out.” He lives alone with nature and engages in painting on his side of the mountain. Thus, he is known as a rural painter, farming painter, bird-and-flower painter, even known as the modern Tao Yuan-Ming. In recent years, besides bird-and-flower painting as well as freehand figure painting, he has also become known for his meticulous painting of Buddhist statuary.

After graduating from Cingshuei Senior High School, he gained admission to the National Taiwan College of Arts. He was an outstanding student. He won first place in the school art competition and was given the honor of being selected for the school’s permanent collection. In the same year, he also won first place in the category of tertiary students both in the domestic student art exhibition and the 5th Youth Calligraphy and Painting Competition, which turned out to be the backup to push him on the path to art. Later he worked for Echo Magazine but finally decided to retire at middle-age and become a painter until the present.

In his early years, he engaged in freehand brushwork and later gradually became absorbed in gong bi (meticulous painting). However, he always pays full attention to the composition. It really takes energy and time to complete a gong bi, requiring making a draft, a final draft, outlining and coloring. That’s the reason why he always devotes himself to his gong bi in good spirits. In his gong bi, he also employs visual language and spiritual intention, which are the basis of freehand brushwork. Therefore, spectators can feel the vital rhythmic flow and the sense of amiability in both his still-life object paintings and Buddhist paintings.

In his paintings, most of his ideas come from the variety of plant and animal life in his garden. As he cultivates these plants, he always takes a close look at the changes in them throughout the four seasons and sees insects and birds that visit and live in the plants. All of these give him ideas to create works such as Auspicious Loofah Picture, Camellia and Taiwan Blue Magpie, Peony and Peacock, Sunflower, Wisteria, Phalaenopsis Aphrodite and so on. 

His paintings always focus on rural life, the blooming plants and the vitality of animals. Due to his surroundings in his early years and his personal experiences, he always demonstrates his feelings toward nature in his works. Chen Shi-Hou has always said that a gong bi can vividly express the texture of green leaves. To him, everything could be a painting idea. It is no wonder that his wife, Zheng Yu-Mei, often teases him about his enthusiasm for plants.

In this exhibition, the artist from Qingshui, is going to meet us with his enthusiasm for beauty and feelings toward nature. We are looking forward to your participation. He is going to use his paintings to convey his spiritual and aesthetic ideas to us.