Artists

CHIANG Chiu

CHIANG Chiu

Derived from a unique observation of nature, the invigorating works by the free-minded CHIANG Chiu are poetic as they are sincere, with the painter’s passion evident in every stroke. Born in 1964 in a remote area of China, CHIANG led a pristine life growing up in an environment surrounded by nature. “I have always loved drawing as a child. When I was six or seven years old, I needed to help my parents herd. There were many big flat stones alongside the road, so I would pick up a nail and draw on them. Getting older, I then looked for new cupboards in neighbors’ home to decorate them with painting,” recalled CHIANG. It was this childhood experience that gave rise to his refreshing depictions of landscape and the power of nature. Curator LIN Chuan-Chu commented that the demand for originality in contemporary art has resulted in an exhaustion of art forms with works permeating anxiety. In contrast, CHIANG’s paintings communicate not only freshness, honesty and vitality, but also the unlimited freedom of creativity brought by an inimitable set of motivations and ideas.              

CHIANG paints strictly from imagination rather than live observation of subjects. In this way he becomes a man of his own creative act, a practitioner of his own believes and a subjective painter who not only dictates every form, color and style of his works but at the same time achieves persistence of self. However, as persistence of self is something that should be avoided in the doctrine of his religion, CHIANG resolves the dilemma by instead deploying abstraction as his artistic language. And it is because of his acceptance and observation of man’s ever-complex mind that he can switch so comfortably between realism and abstraction. In curator LIN Chuan-Chu’s eyes, this is as much a conversation of religious thinking as it is a dialogue between aesthetics and poetry. “The best surreal and abstract paintings perhaps originate from poetic thoughts, and not rational revolt of art.” A man of religion and a self-taught artist, CHIANG benefits from ultimate artistic freedom, and the result is a body of artworks that are intense, defined and profound. 

I have always loved drawing since I was a child. When I was six or seven years old, I helped my family herd in the mountains. There were large stone slabs along the roads that I would draw on with nails. Intrigued, many of my fellow companions then gave me different subjects to draw- one even grabbed a frog and put it on one of the rocks. At the time, I felt sorry for the frog and was worried that it would die, so I hurried to finish the drawing quickly. I did not think the finished piece was good but my companions were very happy, which in turn made me happy.

Later on, more and more children in the village would ask me to mold various animals out of mud for them, or draw various things for them. I was happy to make them happy, and thus, I always had a group of children following me wherever I went.

A longer period of time passes.

It was the custom of my hometown to have highly decorated cabinets within homes. I loved to draw but had no place to draw, so I would often ask around to see if any family has just purchased a new cabinet, and then ask the family if I could paint for them. Of course not everyone agreed.

After news of my work spread, however, people would seek me out, and suddenly I had more than enough cabinets to paint. Slowly I began to earn a salary.

I met Kalu Rinpoche when I was 17, and I became a monk and began learning about Buddhism from him.

However, after arriving at the temple, Kalu Rinpoche asked me to help build the temple as well as paint and sculpt for it. I was worried that the work would take time away from my learning of Buddhism. One day, I asked Rinpoche when he was going to teach me Buddhism. He replied, “Today, all of your conduct and deeds, whether it is painting or sculpting, are for Buddhism, and Buddhism is for all living beings. Therefore, all that you have done until now is practice.” I listened to his words, and began working non-stop in the temple – painting, sculpting, etc. Later, Rinpoche also guided me in painting the Buddha.

Many years later, I have received much help and encouragement through fated meetings with artists of different nationalities, and thus have continued to make art even today. 

Chiang Chiu 2011

Author / CHIANG Chiu
  • Language
  • PriceNT$600
  • PublisherThe Eslite
  • Size23.5x27.5 cm
  • Publication Date2011/08
  • ISBN9789868631564
BUY
Chiang Chiu 2011

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