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Article

Lesley Ma

[Zhuang Zhe]

(b Peking [now Beijing], Dec 12, 1934).

Taiwanese painter of Chinese birth, active also in the USA. Chuang Che was a son of Chuang Yen (1899–1980), the calligrapher, connoisseur, and chief custodian of the Chinese imperial art collection, who moved his family alongside the national treasures after the eruption of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937, settling in Taiwan in 1948, and becoming the first deputy director of the National Palace Museum in Taipei in 1965. In 1958 Chuang Che graduated from the Art Department of what later became the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei and joined the Fifth Moon Group (Wuyue huahui), a leading modernist painting society in postwar Taiwan.

Chuang’s solid foundation in Chinese calligraphy and painting acquired through his upbringing prompted him to seek alternative ways to continue the legacy. In his early career, he made expressionist, mostly abstract, oil paintings, deliberately avoiding the familiar Chinese materials of ink and brush. Inspired by the abstract paintings of ...

Article

An-Yi Pan

[Xiao Qin]

(b Shanghai, 1935).

Chinese painter and teacher, active also in Taiwan, Italy, and the United States. Hsiao Chin’s father, the renowned music educator and composer Shio Yiu-mei (Xiao Youmei), died while Hsiao was young, and the boy was raised by an uncle. Hsiao moved to Taiwan in 1949, and in 1951 enrolled in the Art Department at the Provincial Taipei Teacher’s College (now National Taiwan Normal University). His 1952 encounter with Li Chun-shan (Li Zhongsheng), father of Taiwan’s modern art movement, definitively impacted his life as an artist. Li’s teaching method inspired Hsiao to explore the use of color as well as Fauvist expressions using traditional Chinese opera imagery (Chinese Opera Characters, 1956; Barcelona, priv. col.).

Hsiao co-founded the Ton Fan Art Group (Dongfang huahui) in 1956, and in the same year received a scholarship to study at Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid. Seeking freedom from the school’s conservative academic curriculum, Hsiao delved into Barcelona’s modern art movements. In ...

Article

Chitqua  

David Clarke

[Tan Chet-qua; Chen]

(b possibly 1728; d Guangzhou, 1796).

Chinese portrait modeler. Chitqua ran a business in Guangzhou making portrait figurines for clients among the Western traders. His statuettes (generally around a foot or so in height, and thus easily portable) were executed in the medium of unfired clay subsequently painted. Chitqua’s work is characterized by a realism which places emphasis on accurately individualized representation of facial features and attention to detail in the treatment of dress. Similar figurines, albeit of lesser sophistication, exist from earlier in the 18th century.

Chitqua visited London between 1769 and c. 1772. He produced a number of figurines and (reportedly) busts during his time in England, and attained a high degree of social celebrity, meeting King George III and many prominent individuals. James Boswell and Josiah Wedgwood both record meeting Chitqua, for instance, and the latter also sat for a portrait, which is lost today. Regarded in England as an artist rather than an artisan, he exhibited one of his portrait sculptures in the second Royal Academy exhibition (...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Yamaguchi Prefect., Sept 6, 1906; d San Francisco, CA, March 11, 1957).

Japanese painter and writer. In 1929 he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, where he researched Tōyō Sesshū for his thesis. In 1930 he went to Paris where his work was selected for the Salon d’Automne; on returning two years later to Japan, he exhibited in the 19th Nika Ten (Second Division Society exhibition). In 1948 he exhibited At the Lake (1948; Kobe, Kōnan Senior High Sch.) in the 12th Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai Ten (Society of Independent Artists exhibition) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. In 1951 he corresponded with Franz Kline, exchanging views on Eastern and Western cultures. He exhibited Rhapsody: At the Fishing Village (frottage on paper mounted on four-fold screen, 1952; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.) at the Nihon Gendai Bijutsu Ten (Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art), organized by the Tokyo Reader’s Digest in 1952. A year later he had a one-man exhibition at the New Gallery, New York and was a founder-member of the Nihon Abusutorakuto Āto Kurabu (...

Article

Jungsil Jenny Lee

[Kim WhankiSuhwa]

(b Kijwa Island, South Chŏlla Province, 1913; d New York, 1974).

Korean painter. He was a pioneer of abstract art in Korea. He studied art in Japan and joined the avant-garde art trends during the mid-1930s and led Korean modern art circles after his return in 1937. Despite the turmoil of the Pacific War and the Korean War during the 1940s and 1950s, he presented semi-abstract oil paintings combining traditional Korean themes and modern sensibility. He then stayed in Paris (1956–1959) and ultimately settled in New York (1963–1974), where he presented mature abstract paintings called “dot paintings,” with monochrome colors and geometric but organic forms.

The son of an affluent family on a small island, he went to schools in Seoul and in Tokyo, Japan. In 1933 he enrolled at the Department of Arts of Nihon University where he was inspired by Japanese avant-garde artists such as Fujita Tsuguharu and Tōgō Seiji. In 1934 he joined the Avant-garde Art Institute and was actively involved in the early movement for abstract art in Tokyo through group exhibitions such as Jiyu Bijutsuga Kyōkai (Free Artists Exhibition) with Korean and Japanese artists. His work from this time is characterized by the attempt to amalgamate Cubism, Futurism, and abstract art. After his first solo exhibition in Tokyo in 1937, he returned Seoul and held a solo exhibition in 1940 during the difficult wartime period in colonial Korea. After liberation in 1945, he formed Sinsasilp’a (New Realism Group) with other abstract artists and actively promoted modern art in Seoul. He taught as an art professor at Seoul National University (1948–1950) and Hongik University (1952–1955) in Seoul. During the Korean War he interacted closely with writers and artists gathered in the refuge city, Pusan, and depicted the difficult life of the refugees in a contemplative and humorous way with warm colors and simplified forms. His work from this time is characterized by the attempt to amalgamate Cubism, Futurism and abstract art. and actively promoted modern art. In 1956 he traveled to Paris, where he stayed for three years, studying European art and holding six solo exhibitions. After returning to Korea he worked as a dean and professor at Hongik University (1959–1963) and as chief director of the Korean Art Association. In this period, he worked with such traditional Korean motifs as symbols of longevity, including the moon, mountains, clouds, trees, plum blossoms, and cranes, and such traditional objects as white porcelain, simplifying their form and emphasizing the Koreanness of their style and essence. In 1963 Kim left Korea to become a commissioner of the 7th São Paulo Biennale in Brazil and went on to settle in New York, where he lived until his death. In the 1970s he devised a painting style in which he used repeated, regular dots of color, based on Korean lyrical sentiment and metaphysical understanding of the universe and the self. Nowadays, his dot paintings from his New York period are highly valued in Korean and global art markets. His wife and art critic, Kim HyangAn (1916–2004), established Whanki Museum in Seoul in 1992, the first private museum in Korea dedicated to an individual artist....

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Tokyo, May 22, 1911).

Japanese painter and teacher. His grandfather was the celebrated Nihonga (Japanese-style) painter Gyokushō Kawabata. In 1934 Kawabata graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music). From 1939 to 1941 he lived in Italy and France. In 1950 he became a professor at the Tama Art University, Tokyo, and the following year he exhibited at the first São Paulo Biennale. In 1953 he was a founder-member of the Nihon Abusutorakuto Āto Kurabu (Japanese Abstract Art Club) with Jirō Yoshihara, Takeo Yamaguchi and others. In 1958 Kawabata went to the USA and participated in an international exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, where he was awarded a prize. He exhibited Rhythm (1958; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.) at the Sengo No Shūsaku (Post-war Outstanding Works of Art Exhibition) at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo (1959...

Article

Shigeo Chiba

(b Wakayama Prefect., Nov 10, 1892; d Tokyo, June 5, 1966).

Japanese painter. He started painting while at school and in 1912 went to Tokyo to study at the Taiheiyō Gakkai Kenkyūjō. In 1917 he first showed work at the exhibition of the Nikakai. During this period he modelled himself on Sōtarō Yasui. From 1920 to 1923 and 1924 to 1929 he lived in France: during the first stay he made many copies of works by Domenico Tintoretto and Titian; on the second occasion he studied under André Lhôte and Fernand Léger, his work tending towards that of Auguste Renoir and Marc Chagall. His fantastic and Surrealist pre-war works, for example Girl and Shells (1934; Wakayama, Prefect. Mus. Mod. A.), were attempts to create an individual style from the influences under which he had come during his studies in France. After World War II his work moved towards abstraction (e.g. Strange Shadow, 1953; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), as is clear from his role in the formation of the ...

Article

Shigeo Chiba

(b Nagoya, June 4, 1901; d Kyoto, Dec 18, 1951).

Japanese painter. He studied painting at a private art school from the age of 18. When he was 29 he entered the art school run by Seifū Tsuda (1880–1978) and submitted works to the Nikakai (Second Division Association) and Dokuritsu bijitsu kyokai (Independent Art Association) exhibitions. Following the introduction of Surrealism and abstract art to Japan, he began, after a period of trial and error, to create works that possessed an individual quality of fantasy; in 1937 he painted Spikenards (Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), the first of a group of works that are notable as examples of Japanese Surrealism.

In 1939 Kitawaki took part in the founding of the Bijutsu bunka kyokai (Art Culture Association). From that date until 1941–2 he produced paintings of geometrical figures and structures; completely unparalleled at the time, they were the forerunners of Shūsaku Arakawa’s Diagram paintings. After World War II he energetically participated in avant-garde art movements in Kyoto, struggling but unable to surpass his pre-war achievements. The painting ...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, July 2, 1891; d Tokyo, June 3, 1955).

Japanese printmaker, poet and book designer. He studied at the Tokyo Art School from 1910 to 1915. Influenced by Yumeji Takehisa (1884–1934), a painter of highly popular sentimental portraits of women, and later by Edvard Munch and Vasily Kandinsky, he moved towards the expression of his inner feelings, which he termed lyricism. In 1914–15, with Shizuo Fujimori (1891–1943) and Kyōkichi Tanaka (1892–1915), he founded Tsukuhae (‘Moonglow’), a magazine of poetry and woodblock prints, in which he published abstract prints. One of these, Bright Time (1915; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), is possibly the first purely abstract Japanese work. He also produced polychromatic figurative woodblock prints, such as Ripples (1939; priv. col., see Kubo, pl. 202) and The Author of Hyōtō (‘Ice isle’, 1943; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A., see Kubo, pl. 224), a portrait of his close friend, the poet Sakutarō Hagiwara. Works such as the illustrated poetry collection ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

[Masuko]

(b Manshū, Manchuria, March 28, 1913).

Japanese calligrapher and painter of Manchurian birth. She learnt calligraphy from her father from 1930 to 1945. In 1940 she held her first one-woman exhibition at the Kyukyodo Gallery in Tokyo. From c. 1945 she began the production of abstract paintings using sumi (ink). In 1954 she exhibited at the exhibition of Japanese Calligraphy at MOMA, New York. In the same year she produced mural calligraphy for the Japanese pavilion at the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the city of São Paulo. In 1955 she exhibited at the Nichi-Bei chūshō bijutsuten (exhibition of Japanese and American abstract art) at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and at the Sumi no geijutsuten (exhibition of sumi art) which toured Europe in 1955–6. From 1956 she held numerous one-woman exhibitions in Europe and North America, and in 1961 she was invited to exhibit work at the 6th São Paulo Biennial. The following year she created a relief mural for the lobby of the Kyoto International Conference Hall, and in ...

Article

Shigeo Chiba

(b Toyama, Toyama Prefect., Dec 7, 1903; d Tokyo, Jan 1, 1979).

Japanese writer and critic. He was already fascinated by Surrealism when he graduated from the English Department of Keio University, Tokyo, in 1931, and had translated André Breton’s Le Surréalisme et la peinture (Paris, 1928) in 1930. He also had a profound concern for the visual arts, regarding Surrealism as a ‘metamorphosis of the power of poetry’. In his major work Kindai geijutsu (‘Modern art’) he discussed the opposition between abstract art and Surrealism as a means of identifying the nature of contemporary art. Because of his involvement with art movements, in 1941, with Ichirō Fukuzawa, he was arrested by the political police, who regarded Surrealism as a branch of the Communist Party, and he was detained for eight months.

After World War II and particularly during the 1950s, Takiguchi continued to be involved with art movements and wrote criticism in which he showed a sharp sensitivity capable of detecting the contemporary vanguard. His translations of work by ...

Article

An-Yi Pan

[Chu Teh-Tsui; Zhu Dequn]

(b Xiao County, Anhui Province, Oct 24, 1920; d Paris, Mar 26, 2014).

French painter of Chinese birth. Chu Teh-Chun was born to a family of doctors. His early passion for art was inspired by the family’s collection, as well as his father, an amateur painter. At 15, he entered the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. After a brief teaching stint there, and later at the Central University in Nanjing, he relocated to Taiwan in 1949, where he taught at the Provincial Taipei Teacher’s College (now National Taiwan Normal University). He immigrated to Paris in 1955, became a French citizen in 1980, and in 1997 was inducted as the first ethnic Chinese permanent member into the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

Chu’s early education at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts centered on classical European traditions, with a curriculum based on painting models and plaster casts. At the 1957 Paris Salon of French Artists, he received a silver prize with a realist portrait of Tung Ching-Chao...

Article

Shigeo Chiba

(b Osaka, Jan 1, 1905; d Ashiya, Feb 10, 1972).

Japanese painter . He was mainly self-taught as an artist. When his friendship with Tsuguharu Fujita and Seiji Tōgō began, he moved towards abstract painting and before World War II showed work at the exhibitions of the Nikakai and of the more radical Kyūshitsukai. After the war he was active as one of the principal promoters of avant-garde art in the Kansai region. In 1953 he was a founder-member of the Nihon Abusutorakuto Āto Kurabu (Japanese Abstract Art Club) with Minoru Kawabata, Takeo Yamaguchi and others, and in 1954 he both sponsored the foundation of and represented the Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai (Concrete Art Association; see Gutai ), whose central figures were the young painters Kazuō Shiraga (b 1924) and Atsuko Tanaka (1932–2005). They held regular exhibitions in Kansai and Tokyo and published a journal, Gutai.

In his own work Yoshihara continued almost consistently to pursue abstract painting, despite the various anti-art activities of the Gutai members, which challenged traditional concepts. Like other members of the group, in the late 1950s he was influenced by the forms of ...