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SEARCHING COLOR.CHASING LIGHT ─ Solo Exhibition by Yung – Lung Kao|Taichung City Seaport Art Center


SEARCHING COLOR.CHASING LIGHT ─ Solo Exhibition by Yung – Lung Kao

k2 高永隆 聖山-靈光 2014 紙 金箔 金泥 礦物顏料 200x150cm
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托林壁影 2021布 礦物顏料 132x160
磅礡 200x150cm (1)
01SEARCHING COLOR.CHASING LIGHT  ─ Solo Exhibition by Yung – Lung Kao
  • Exhibition Date:2021-09-18 ~ 2021-11-07
  • Exhibition Location:Exhibition Room A

Gouache painting has a long history in the Orient. It reached a peak in China during the Tang and Song periods and declined when ink wash painting emerged. With the rapid growth in recent years in Taiwan, gouache painting as well as ink wash painting have been representative of Eastern painting. However, these two types of paintings had been opposed for a while. In Taiwan, in the field of Eastern painting, Yung-Lung Kao is a unique creator, who crosses the barrier between these two types of paintings and has made outstanding achievements in ink wash painting as well as gouache painting at the same time.


Born in Taichung, in 1962, Yung-Lung Kao is a professor in the Department of Fine Arts, National Taichung University of Education and serves as a visiting professor in Rock Painting Research Center of China Academy of Art. In his early times, he devoted himself to ink wash paintings. Since 1984, he has used the traditional ink wash medium to depict modern buildings and cars, which is different from other subjects of ink wash paintings. As a young and successful ink wash painting artist, he has even won first prize for ink wash painting in the Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition and Kaohsiung Fine Arts Exhibition. To make a breakthrough in his creation, he spent many years improving his skills. Since 1995, he has held 25 solo gouache painting exhibitions and has become an influential gouache painting artist. His art career is also a legend.


When Professor Kao studied Japanese painting in graduate school, he started to take interest in ancient heavy-color painting. In 1993, he went to Tibet by himself to learn the art from a Lama. Later, he not only copied murals in Xinjing but also studied ancient murals and traditional mineral pigments around the world and devoted himself to gouache (rock) painting. As for his career in gouache painting, he has never learned it from anyone else in Taiwan. Therefore, without being influenced by stereotypes, he creates his works through self-exploration, using a broad perspective and a synthesis of methods. His works present a unique style and his own identity.


He thinks art creation is a journey in search of the proper medium, subjects, inspiration, and personal styles. The title of this exhibition is “Searching Color‧Chasing Light.” “Searching Color” means that he started to shift his focus from black and white ink wash painting to colorful gouache art. Due to his enthusiasm for ancient heavy-color painting, he has a passion for traditional pigments, which drives him to study and make mineral pigments. Finally he began to use mineral pigments as major medium to create his gouache (rock) painting. Because of his deep understanding of the painting materials, his works feature strong visual impressions based on his multiple techniques, rich materials, and aesthetic feeling brought out by special materials.


“Chasing Light” refers to his art career. For Professor Kao, travel is a way to broaden one’s horizons. His fascination with ancient murals motivates him to visit many ancient artifacts and has even gone to some places people rarely visit. During his travels, he has continually observed the changes in light and shadow and found the profound meaning of the scenery. His works are filled with variation of light, including the light on the mountains, on the water, moonlight, Buddha in glory, etc. He presents each scene in an historical background, which is also his spiritual sustenance.


As he mentioned, the pigments come from nature and the light produces different colors. It is the reason why he is increasingly fascinated with the changes in light and shadow in nature and seeks proper subjects to express light. The changes in light and shadow in the picture are not only the revelation of self-adjustment and self-determination but also a visual language to express feelings.


This is Professor Kao’s retrospective exhibition, presenting his ink wash paintings created from 1984 to 1993. In particular, there are several award-winning ink wash paintings in early times borrowed from another museum. What’s more, it also displays his gouache series, produced after 1993, involving Buddha series, Travelling Alone series, Travel series, Jinshan Sacred Mountain series, Turbulence series, Moon River series, and Home series, which completely presents his art career.