Existence of Non-Existence: Hsu Yung Chin Solo Exhibition
Landscapes In Between: I Nature.
‘Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, “We are as we are, of ourselves.”’ - Tao De Ching
Our place is not to go beyond nature, but to learn from it.
Over the past few decades, as Hsu Yung Chin’s inner world has transformed, so too has his choice in art forms. Without effort or pretense, the calligrapher gradually entered the world of painting. His new paintings are not a distortion of pure calligraphy, nor are they simply abstract paintings: they are a new aesthetic, created by free movement of both body and paint. These paintings express both the subtle and the profound. They are an open-minded and insightful look at the self in the world, a self that is sometimes at ease and sometimes in chaos.
The viewer can always find the starting point in Hsu Yung Chin’s work. This point extends and grows throughout the piece, the lines intertwine into planes and the planes combine to create a grand and nuanced space. When standing before Hsu’s work, the viewer is able to wander into them at their own pace, to find their own way. As they wander, they discover that his paintings are not filled with representations of the outside world. Instead, each piece is the distilled essence of the artist’s state of mind during its creation. When appreciated in a serene state of mind, the paintings become an unspeakable essay on the unspeakable, a rendering of a moment in which the viewer becomes absorbed. Once absorbed, a dialogue between the artwork and the self begins.
Hsu Yung Chin’s work is exceptional not only in the world of calligraphy but in the world of painting as well. The qi, so evident in his lines, creates forms that are very different from what is typically found in Western paintings. Furthermore, the paintings do not have a hidden or implied meaning for the viewer to unravel, they are instead a captured experience which radiates out from the paint and canvas. Indeed, in the past five years, Hsu Yung Chin has shown he is not limited by his choice in medium. From ink and paper to acrylics and canvases, the artist has brought the true essence of calligraphy into his paintings.
In Taoism, awareness has varying depths. At the deepest level, one is surrounded by Tao and simply allows it to be, allows its invisible influence to flow. Human beings do not need to ask others for nature, for we are nature. This is something that is easy to forget. Hsu Yung Chin’s work helps the viewer not only remember this truth but also guides them towards the joy and peace this truth entails, allowing it to both flow through and embrace the viewer.