Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan Holds First Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial Exhibition

The Hengshan Calligraphy Art Center (hereinafter referred to as HCAC) of the Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts (hereinafter referred to as TMoFA) will be holding the “2023 Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial Exhibition: Era of Principle and No Principle Interwoven—Calligraphy as a Visual Form” from January 20th to April 24th, 2023. The exhibition will focus on the evolution of “calligraphy” in contemporary art in an attempt to bring new energy to contemporary calligraphy art.

2023 Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial 1

An Exhibition that Brings Calligraphy Art to Era of Curated Exhibitions

This is the first biennial exhibition organized by the HCAC, which hopes to turn calligraphy art into a highlight of Taoyuan City in the future, allowing the world to see the possibilities of calligraphy art in Taiwan and Taoyuan in particular, and actively participate in the calligraphy art network in Asia and around the world through diverse cultural perspectives. For the exhibition, Wu Chao-jen, Assistant Professor of the Department of Fine Arts at Tunghai University, and Chen I-tso, Project Supervisor of the TMoFA, formed a joint curation model that expands upon various possibilities and imaginations for calligraphy art. The Exhibition is titled “Era of Principle and No Principle Interwoven—Calligraphy as a Visual Form”, delving into calligraphy art from different angles and providing in-depth discussion and analysis of the positioning of calligraphy art in contemporary art.

2023 Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial 3

Dialog between East Asian Calligraphy Art and Calligraphy around the World

The artists for this exhibition are from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, and France. It will feature works by 42 artists, nearly half of which have created new works specifically for the exhibition to correspond to contemporary calligraphy, creating a joint presentation of the diverse aspects of calligraphy to explore the future and possibilities of the art. This includes the musings of Taiwan’s post-war calligraphy masters regarding the evolution of calligraphy styles and content, as well as how Western abstract art and East Asian calligraphy stimulate and learn from one another.

Works by Taiwanese artists include the wild cursive piece Peaceful Greenery from the Brick House by Pu Tzu, the wild brushstrokes soaring like a dragon through clouds, creating a twist on classical calligraphy; Lee Chun-yi’s Mountain Never Too High transcends traditional brushes altogether, creating square seals out of corks to dialog with calligraphy. Works by artists from China and Hong Kong include Light Script, Heart Sutra by artist Fung Ming Chip, which are based on Chinese characters but also more than one. The light shining through the black background in the work is like lamps in the dark. The image of the characters points directly toward the vision of one’s heart. There is also Xu Jing’s Speculations in Night at a Tiny Window, which features a delicate running script written on vintage prints purchased in France, creating a fascinating contrast between old and new. French artists featured include André Kneib, a well-known Sinologist, who uses Western paints to develop calligraphy, making a dialectic between interpretable and inexplicable words and pictures.

As for works of Japanese calligraphy, Yamamoto Hisashi’s Game extends the legacy of avant-garde calligrapher Inoue Yuichi, presenting a continuation of classics through a strong personal style. There is also Kawao Tomoko, who delivered a live performance at the opening, titled Change/No Change to echo the exhibition’s discussion of the “Principle and No Principle” of calligraphy art. For this exhibition, Korean calligraphy artist Park Jinwoo created the Ink Stick Pagoda, creating the image of a pagoda through ink sticks featuring various words and patterns. These cross-border and cross-generational artists all aim to channel their thoughts and inspiration to the diverse and vibrant development of calligraphy in the contemporary world.

WU Chi tsung Calligraphy Study 001 Single Channel Video 2min 2022

From International to Local – Collaborations with Local Galleries

In response to the exhibition, the TMoFA invites art venues across Taoyuan to hold collateral events echoing the HCAC. The events run from January to May of 2023 at galleries, including the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taoyuan City, Zhongli Arts Hall, Eleven Art Gallery, Living Lab Gallery, and 2Gather Cafe. To promote the Exhibition and the event, people who visit three of them could get an HCAC iPASS (value of NT$350). Furthermore, the HCAC admission and receipt of the 2Gather are mutually discountable.

In addition to establishing a context for conversations on art history, the TMoFA also hopes to inspire visitors’ imagination on the future of calligraphy through diversity of artworks including paintings, video art, and installations. The exhibition will be held at the HCAC from January 19 to April 24, 2023. Talks will also be held during the exhibition. For the latest information, please visit the TMoFA website (https://tmofa.tycg.gov.tw/en).

PARK Jinwoo Ink Stick Pagoda Ink on paper 2022

Exhibiting Artists:

André Kneib, Chang Shun-hsian, Chang Tien-chien, Chen Danqing, Du San-hsin, Feng Ming Chip, Fu Xiaodong, Fu Ying-ying, Hans Hartung, He Huaishuo, Henry Michaux, Hsiao Yi-fan, Hsu Yu-jen, Huang I-ming, Inoue Yuichi, Kato Taikei, Kawao Tomoko, Lee Chun-yi, Lee Mingchang, Li Mao-cheng, Lin Chun-chen, Liu Kuo-sung, Liu Yi, Lee Yih-hong, Mami, Nankaku Koun, Pan Hsin-hua, Park Jinwoo, Pu Tzu, Shi Jin-hua, Teng Chun-hao, Wang Gongyi, Wang Yu-cyuan, Wesley Tongson, Wu Chi-tsung, Xiao Yu, Xu Jing, Xu Jiong, Yamamoto Hisashi, Yang Ping, Yang Shih-chih, Yu Tung-sheng (in alphabetical order)

Hengshan Calligraphy Art Center admissions: NT$100; Half price for Taoyuan citizens, students over the age of 18, military personnel, police officers, and firefighters; Free for visitors under 18 or over 65, volunteers with a Volunteer Card, disabled persons, and their guardian, and tour guides.

KAWAO Tomoko Correlation 2022 cross Ink on paper 2022 1

2023 Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial Exhibition: Era of Principle and No Principle Interwoven—Calligraphy as a Visual Form

Exhibition period: January 20 to April 24, 2023 (Wed. to Mon. 9:30-17:00, closed on Tuesdays and national holidays. Chinese New Year holiday closure: Closed from January 21, 2023 (Sat.) to January 23, 2023 (Mon.). Open on January 24, 2023 (Tue.)

Curator: Wu Chao-Jen
Institutional curator: Chen I-Tso
Location: Hengshan Calligraphy Art Center (No.100, Daren Road, Dayuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan)
Advisers: Taoyuan City Government, Taoyuan City Council, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taoyuan City
Organizer: Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts

2023 Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial

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