Art Revolution Taipei 2017
Artist Interview (1)

“Art Revolution Taipei 2017” Artist Interview (1)
Interview includes nine artists:
(1) Lu Zongcan, Taiwan
(2) Zhang Jian, China
(3) Wang Dazhi, China
(4) Chen Ju Mei, China
(5) Gong Jun, China
(6) Igor Grechanyk, Ukraine
(7) Tan Jianwu, China
(8) Marco Santaniello, Italy
(9) Liu Tingru, Taiwan

(1) Lu Zongcan
1972, Taiwan

In the path of becoming an artist, started from my love of painting since I was a child. In high school, I saw that a Picasso painting could sell for millions of dollars, which was a great encouragement for me. If my art could be so highly valued, I could use my fame to help as many people as possible, like set up hospitals and help those in need. This is my original inspiration to becoming an artist.

In a TV interview by Mickey Huang, I had talked about how painting makes me feel joy and sincerity. I find that painting often times is a healing process for the artist. Being able to share the love in my heart and my feeling I have for the world, is the most amazing aspect. In addition, I have the opportunity to meet more people, spread my art and be able to help more people!

My latest series has never been done in the history of art. These benches have been painted by other artists, but no one has ever painting the cracks inside the bench. Although it is only part of the bench, you can still see that it is a bench. I utilize the cracks as a representation of flaws and integrity, emphasizing the notion in imperfection can be turned into attributes through our spirit. Only forms that have a spirituality can be closer to eternity, rather than superficial forms in the external world. These external forms are constantly changing.

There are also hidden aspects inside the painting. Here are a pair of love birds, the nest representing the endless cycle of life. The flowers are Begonias, representing that out on the balcony, we will encounter guardians. Two chairs, one brown, the other green, represent a couple. The title of this work is called, “Morning Greetings”, simple but peaceful kind of happiness in life. As with everything, the external world will continue to change and this change reminds of to always cherish every moment.

I really appreciate how ART provides an incredible stage to exhibit. I have participated in this exhibition for seven years! I participate every year. ^ ^

(2) Zhang Jian
1969, China

The 3 pieces I brought to exhibition is a series I call, “On the Table Perspective.” It is a combination of East and West and my respect to both cultures.

I use a flat background, which is an eastern composition technique. I add the theme of small dolls and objects in the foreground and paint them in a three dimensional style, which utilizes western painting perspective. I combine the two so that they meet without any conflict.

Toys represent various human states in today’s world. Between the toys and the books, a dialogue is established. The books also represent the cultural inheritance of the world and thus this can be taken as a dialogue between humans and their cultures.

Since 2005, I began to use toys as an element in my creation because I had children of my own. We accumulated more and more toys and naturally began to appear in my paintings. In fact, every family collects toys, which reflect various human states and moods in today’s world.

In the “On the Table Perspective” series, I always portray toys as ourselves. Some are happier, some more tragically heroic. Through toys I reflect various states of human life.

(3) Wang Dazhi
1971, China

My first works contained flowers and plants. 20 years ago, while attending college in the US, I painted the scenery around me. The works for this year’s exhibition also contains flowers, but now with much more of my own creative language.

I love plants in particular, and even enjoy gardening. At home, at work, in the studio, I have plants everywhere. In the process of painting plants or gardening, I have my own dialogue with nature. Growing plants is actually painting myself.

This work, whether it is composition, or techniques, borrowed from Chinese traditional elements, such as brushwork, French blue porcelain, blue and white porcelain and handkerchief. I personally love blue and green more. The entire picture looks more elegant. My works are united with my own personality and life.

In addition to works of flowers in the exhibit, there are 3 pieces that are particularly special. These 3 paintings have a theme of drifting bottle with plants with a story behind it. Last year, Shanghai and Singapore artists had a city group exhibition. After the show, Singapore artist Chen Shufang, used a bottle she brought with her to make an installation artwork to give to the Shanghai artists. When I returned to my studio, I planted the Marsh Pennywort in water.

The drifting bottle is constantly moving to different places like the identity. Plants living in water are easy to take root, like any of us who change from one place to another city, changing living environments, striving to survive, growing and developing. The painting contains elements of maps, representing the trajectory of our own search. There are small pavilions in the middle for temporary rest, symbolizing that process of constant searching of a spiritual home, a stable paradise supporting us. Just like our journey of searching, we never forget the heart with which we started.

(4) Chen Ju Mei
1959, Taiwan

I am of Hakka decent. The Hakka cloth is something I have seen since my childhood, something I am so familiar with. I see Hakka cloth everywhere in my life, for curtains, window cloth, sheets.

When I was young, I loved to wander around. I never expected that years later I would return to my roots and embrace the Hakka culture in my art. I am a mother of two children. When I was a child, I heard common sayings like, “May fortune come year after year, May all your wishes come true, May prosperity and wealth come to you like flowers in full bloom.” These were all just old sayings to me yet now I am older, I find myself returning to those timeless prayers, like Peace is Bliss.

Hakka people often wear blue shirts. My grandmother and my mother helped me to collect blue shirts and was lucky to have collected several pieces. Many people think that Hakka ladies wear only blue shirts. In fact, they do not. Our clothes are quite gorgeous. In my art, I have made changes, but the background is of course Taroko, one of the very beautiful landmarks in Taiwan. We actually have a great relationship with the aborigines, so I use Taroko as the background.

The Tung blossom cloth is synonymous with the Hakka people. It makes people feel very festive. You feel that life is so beautiful, full of flowers, red, green colors. The children feel safe when wearing it and adults feel very jubilant when getting married, to be together for an entire lifetime.

The black bear series shown at ART is a continuation of my original artistic conception. The black bear is an endangered species so we have to raise awareness. Because this is an important topic for the earth, it affects everyone around the world.

Splash-ink painting is my continuation of my teacher’s style of Zhang Daqian, which is also one of the important topics when I was studying in San Francisco's Bay area. I enjoy splash-ink technique because it suits my current state of mind. Splash-ink corresponds with the concept of spirituality. ART has been very good to me. Because I was selected into ART, I was able to continue this style from two years ago. This is one of the reasons for me to continue my creations.

This work is created on canvas boots, which is considered larger works this year. Thank you to ART for selecting my work to join the exhibition.

(5) Gong Jun
1970, China

When I created this series of ladies, my original creative idea was to return to the feel of Song and Yuan Dynasty, especially the visual effect and the humanistic spirit embodied in paintings of the Song and Yuan. I used stones, remnant louts and withered trees to express this type of feeling.

Tranquil Lotus series is also a reproduction of the paintings during the Song and the Yuan Dynasties. The composition referred to Ni Zan of the Yuan Dynasty.

~ ~ Mr. Gong Jun lives in Leshan, Sichuan. This year he came with his wife, a very simple couple. Mr. Gong began to study painting on his own when he was 12 years old. He loved to read poetry since his was little, so his paintings also display a strong style influenced by Song and Yuan Dynasty~ ~

In the booth, a group of young girls was having a discussion in front of a painting. They were art students. Attending many large and small exhibitions, they were attracted by the lotus painted by Mr. Gong, saying that it is very difficult to draw using a light and thin layer of oil, and that they themselves have attempted to do the same several times with no success. Yet the way Mr. Gong created the lotus was so skillful that they should learn from him. ^ ^

(6) Igor Grechanyk
1960, Ukraine

This is my first time to join the exhibition. I am very happy. This is a great art expo. I am honored. This is my second time to exhibit in Taiwan. People here are very nice. Everything is wonderful. I am happy to be here in Taiwan!

Art is like voice, a beautiful voice. You hear the melody, music ~~ Sound to music is like the raw material, it is a long journey to go, but a wonderful journey, just like me coming from Europe to Taiwan, which is a beautiful journey.

This is the elephant head represents deep feeling, about nature, history and life. This work of woman and animal, based on the image in the ancient Greek mythology, relates to a lot of legends and stories. The work of woman and high tower allows people to feel the soul of this young woman and the high tower ~~ like Taipei 101 Tower is a wonderful building.

The last leave is about life. Life is very short. Life is also beautiful. The work presents a strong sense of time and powerful feeling. I hope my sculptures have souls, have echoes, being able to leave impression on people in Taiwan. Thank you! I am very happy to be here.

(7) Tan Jianwu
1971, China

I am from Beijing. This is my second time to participate in Art Revolution Taipei. I am very honored! My creative theme is mainly urban young women, combined with music and dance, expressing aesthetic mood. Maybe because of my own personality, I prefer simple and pure things. My style is also advocating neoclassicism.

The aesthetic theme should be a more popular theme for most of people, because of people's pursuit of and longings for good things. So I take the aesthetic, realistic art to touch people's heart.

Another series I brought was “Tibetan Children”, which is derived from my own experience. I’ve visited Tibet many times, where I saw the local children's clear innocent eyes, left a deep imprint in my heart. From the busy, restrained urban life, I suddenly entered a world of clarity. This feeling is particularly profound. Under the pressure of life, it’s very easy for people to ignore the essence of life, the truth. That is why I want to present it through the innocence of children.

In this year's A.R.T., I noticed there are more realistic paintings, especially the ones with aesthetic theme. I think this is also reflecting the market. The public may be more receptive to aesthetic works, but it also means the aesthetic, realistic paintings hold its unshakeable status in the market.

(8) Marco Santaniello
1981, Italy

In the beginning I did a lot of works about celebrities and portraits of people because honestly, if you want to promote yourself, the first thing you do is to do portrait of celebrities, you can get some attention immediately because nowadays, you can be an artist as you want, but if you do not get any attention, it is very hard, this is how I started.

You can see the rainbow wall in the behind of this portrait. The rainbow wall appears in every piece of my works. To me, this is because my general idea is that we are basically all the same. We are all blood and flesh. It does not matter about the money, or what you are, or positions you have in your life.

This topic is easy, simple but real. So it is wonderful to express this point in the art world. I think this point very important. So I began to call myself “superstar” to respond to this busy and colorful world.

I said I admire Andy Warhol. He is the only artist that I learned from when I first started art creation. After living in New York for two years, I got in touch with many pop artists. I felt this is not the direction that I really want. So I began to change. I felt that this kind of artists is a kind of shallow, too superficial, and I am a more solid person.

When I said that I myself is pop artist, I am serious. I keep deep contact with people. “Pop” is not the kind of “pop” as people have known. Instead, it the kind of “pop” tend to happen after your contact with people ~~ Behind the rainbow wall, everyone can be a superstar ~ everyone is actually himself. You are already a superstar because it is difficult to be yourself. This is the concept I want to stand out.

For example, this work titled “Escape in the City Street Scene”. Some are expressing my own experiences. Some have more details, like “Chinese Chess Players”. My works all started from high definition pictures that I take during my trip to the world. I have been to Hong Kong, Beijing, Portugal, Florence, New York, and everywhere. These trips also gave me a lot of life experiences.

Traveling is the way I communicate with people. Compared to school or any book that I read, traveling is very important. It gives me a lot of life experiences. After taking the picture, I process them with computer programs, then I use photoshop to do coloring, this is how these works came out. There is not much abstract meaning about these. These are mere street scenes. I just represent the reality. This is my way to connect to people,

I work on the streets, I go miles and miles in every city I go. I don't like to stay in one city for two or three days. I stay for a month or longer. To observe the city, I try to get lost in the city. Some people said that I am like a courier roaming into the deep bottom. I go on the street, breathe the air of the street, get in touch with people, to dig out the deepest spirit of the city. And this is the topic of life that I think most important, to deeply explore the place I stay.

(9) Liu Tingru
1998, Taiwan

I enjoyed drawing when I was in middle school so I made a decision to study in the fine art department when I attended high school. During my senior year, my teacher recommended me to attend art competition in Ilan County, and I received an excellence award, which gave me some encouragement. The theme of the competition was science so I drew test tube and plants with acrylic and lithography.

Then I drew the test tube on the canvas, adding some elements of the plant to create a warmer feeling. This was the origin of my art creation. I found that the feeling of acrylic and lithography is very different. After comparing acrylic and lithography, I preferred acrylic so I began to use acrylic.

The theme for my Hundreds of Celebrities Charity work was “plants.” I like to stay close to nature. I like to hike in nature. Plants give people very warm, very energetic, very vibrant feel every day. I personally like the pink tones myself, so I changed the green leaves into pink, for the very warm feel.