Hsiao Chin – 蕭勤

Biography

(b. 1935, China)
Lives and works in Taiwan

Belonging to the second generation of Chinese diaspora artists, Hsiao Chin was born in 1935 in Shanghai with Guangdong ancestral roots. In 1949, Hsiao, together with his uncle and aunt, left China for Taiwan where he enrolled in art studies at the National Taiwan Normal University, graduating in 1955 under the tutelage of prominent artists Chu Teh-Chun and Li-Chun-Sen.

The following year, Hsiao left Taiwan to study painting in Spain. A radical of his time, Hsiao also co-founded the Ton-Fan artist group, dubbed the “8 Great Outlaws,” and sought to promote abstract art in the Chinese-speaking art world. During the active years of the Ton-Fan group, Hsiao helped organize some 30 exhibitions, hailing in a new era of Taiwanese art on the global stage.

In 1959, Hsiao relocated to Milan and subsequently spent the next forty years between Italy and New York, painting, teaching and exhibiting. With a successful career under his belt, Hsiao returned to Taipei in 1996, teaching at Tainan National University of the Arts until his retirement in 2005, at which time he was appointed Professor Emeritus. That same year, Hsiao was also conferred the title of “Knight of Italian Solidarity Star” by Italy’s President.

As a key member among the generation of artists promoting the avant-garde in China in the 1950s, Hsiao’s contribution to the modernization of art in China is founded in his new expressions incorporating Chinese traditions with Western contemporary ideas. His paintings are deeply rooted in Taoist and Zen philosophies, which became particularly characteristic in his art following the loss of his daughter in an accident in 1990, after which Hsiao began to delve into notions of “rebirth.”

Hsiao has exhibited extensively around the world and has been the subject of several retrospective exhibitions including in Milan, Taiwan and Shanghai, among others. He participated in the 7th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2000 and his works are represented in major institutional collections such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Taipei National Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The artist currently lives and works in Taipei.

Artworks

Untitled
1962
Ink and watercolor on paper
60×42 cm

 

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