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“Return: The Semiotic Context of Liao Shiou-Ping’s Works” Shows the Demeanor of the Grandmaster
“Return: The Semiotic Context of Liao Shiou-Ping’s Works,” co-organized by Taiwan Academy of Fine Arts and National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall of Ministry of Culture, will be grandly held at Bo-ai Gallery from today to September 21. The opening ceremony was held today (Sep. 3). Minister of Culture, Lee Yung-te, Political Deputy Minister of Culture, Hsiao Tsung-huang, former Senior Advisor to the President, Liao Liao-yi, former Minister of Council for Cultural Affairs, Chen Yu-shiou, former Minister of Culture, Hong Meng-qi, Director of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Liao Jen-I, Honorary Professor Wang Hsiu-hsiung and Prof. Cheng Shan-hsi of Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, and Dean of Taiwan Academy of Fine Arts, Chiang Ming-shyan, attended the ceremony.

     After partaking in the opening of “President’s Meeting with Senior High School Students,” Minister of Culture, Lee Yung-te, came especially to the opening ceremony and paid the greatest tribute to Prof. Liao. “Besides his professional influence, Prof. Liao exerts his social influence. He is the important treasure of the country.” Lee pointed out that Prof. Liao’s art achievement is recognized at home and abroad with his works collected by the world-famous museums such as British Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Besides, dedicated to exerting the power of the art circle, Prof. Liao established Taiwan Academy of Fine Arts and continues to engage in the art activities of creation, exhibition, and teaching. At the same time, he spares no effort to cultivate and support young artists and shows the demeanor of the grandmaster.

     Former Minister of Council for Cultural Affairs, Chen Yu-shiou, who sees Prof. Liao as her brother, said a large part of her art cultivation originated from the days of studying in Paris. Prof. Liao took her to the art museums such as the Louvre every Sunday, so she had the deeper understanding of fine arts. As a musician, she also felt art and music united as one by watching Prof. Liao painting outdoors because she seemed to hear music when viewing the works. Chen said the most important part for an artist is originality. The exhibition completely presents Prof. Liao’s originality and creative concepts so that his contribution to the history of fine arts in Taiwan can be seen.

     Director-general of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall praised Prof. Liao as not only the father of modern printmaking in Taiwan but also the godfather of Taiwanese art. It’s his honor to invite Prof. Liao to hold the exhibition at the hall. The works include not only the well-known prints but also the oil paintings that are rarely seen in ordinary times. Welcome to seize the opportunity to appreciate the works.

     Prof. Liao said he lived in the neighborhood of Longshan Temple, Wanhua, Taipei, when he was little. His deep affection for temple rituals and Taiwanese folk culture has great influence on his creation. When he studied in School of Fine Arts in Paris, his advisor was intrigued by the joss paper for god worship that he brought from Taiwan and even asked for some as the souvenir. That left a deep impression on him, so he boldly integrated the joss paper symbols in the Taiwanese folk culture into his works, that is, “The Symbol Series.” Prof. Liao shared his experience of holding exhibitions abroad. People were curious about his works, including the symmetrical and balanced composition, the color use of red, black, and golden, and even the prints made with the shapes of diamond. All these come from his childhood memory.

     National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall said Prof. Liao is acclaimed as “the father of modern printmaking in Taiwan” by the art circle of Taiwan. At the same time, he is also an artist with high recognition and visibility. The exhibition at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall presents 84 works, not only reviewing Prof. Liao’s classic works from youth to maturity but also exhibiting the great new works in the recent years and showing his abundant artistic creativity.

     National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall pointed out that the childhood in the neighborhood of Longshan Temple in Taipei is Prof. Liao’s important life experience. He reflects on the nutrients from the land, develops from the folk culture of temples to the academia, and finally connects with the international art trend. Prof. Liao, with the deep belief that art comes from life, represents the temple image in the Taiwanese folk culture through deconstruction and misplacement in painting (mostly oil painting, print, and mixed media) and expands the art system with his unique personal style.

     “Return: The Semiotic Context of Liao Shiou-Ping’s Works” will be held at Bo-ai Gallery and Culture Corridors of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall from today to September 21. Welcome the art lovers to visit the exhibition. For more information, please visit the official website of National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, www.yatsen.gov.tw, or call the service counter, (02) 2758-8008, ext. 545, 546.