[[abstract]]Soul Catcher Prologue to the Graduation Exhibition of Liao Mei-lan by Yuan Jin-ta Professor Graduate Institute of Fine Arts National Taiwan Normal University The value of arts is to reflect the voice of an individual within a certain culture. To depict one’s environment means to both criticize and carry forth history, to express recognition of the human condition, to comment on the times and to look toward the future. With sincerity and enthusiasm, a painter uses the impressive connotation of her works to touch the soul of her audience and invites them to touch eternity. The aim of the Chinese painting section of the Graduate Institute of Fine Arts, NTNU is to cultivate consciousness, training, and creativity in our youths. We hope that they can capture the movement of life, catch the soul of society, reflect culture, throw off the shackles of naivete and find the courage to create and walk with the times. Liao is among the very best of the group. Her thoughts and talents are sharp, her emotions are abundant and refined. She has deep feelings towards life and is expressive. During her two years of study at the graduate school, she has never spared her time in learning; she respects tradition but is courageous about reforms. Her works elicit incomparable shock, quite contrary to her light and delicate appearance. She is surprising. In creation, Liao strives to ● translate all she sees and hears and feels into the language of painting to herald the crises in society; ● encourage herself to look forward, to revolutionize tradition, and to find herself a place in the various forms of fine arts; ● view her mind with a sort of happy appreciation, to shake everyone’s soul with the brush through her sense of mission and passion to creation, to let everyone read her attentiveness and pain in deciding the contents of each work and the very thought behind the decision. In fact, Liao’s expectations for herself are also my expectations for each of my students. Liao expresses her strong foundation in painting and outstanding calligraphy in this graduation exhibition-Traces, which expresses her perceptions to life and environment, so that audiences can wander through her beloved worn-out signs and echo her emotions. Everyone has witnessed Liao’s efforts in her learning, her growth shows the essence of traditional oriental painting, which she has finally made her own. We can see traces of her growth in her work, and seeds of her future development. That is the most valuable thing of hers. Liao is exceptionally talented, her attitude is positive, and she is self-motivated, these are all qualities contributing to her present success. I hope she will continue her creation after graduation and make painting her career and ideal, becoming a good soul catcher in the chaotic world. I have already seen a star born in the modern ink painting domain. Creating New Visual Life for Ink Painting Prologue to the Graduation Exhibition Traces by Liao Mei-lan by Luo Fang Professor Graduate Institute of Fine Arts National Taiwan Normal University The greatness of Chinese culture is known worldwide, and painting in particular reflects the philosophies and civilization of our ancestors. The forms of painting which evolved over the times included portrait, floral, and landscape paintings, and different contents and symbolic meanings also evolved from these different forms and representations. Present-day Chinese society has doubtless changed, and the living environment has expanded to the whole world. To continue to grow or to maintain the status quo, that is the issue facing Chinese culture. Some say, “Chinese culture is so great that no one today can surpass its greatness, even at the expense of his life, so how can we create new forms?” They immerse themselves in classic paintings and wander within the world of our ancestors for promised happiness and safety. This way of following the past is thus regarded as a kind of continuance of the Chinese culture. Though we may have our own thoughts, following the footprints of the past is nothing but enjoying the leftovers of history. Since the turn of the 20th century and the advent of the information era, the pace of the society has deeply affected patterns of human thought, and this is also true in the domain of painting. How to continue tradition without neglecting the modern sense? How to care for China’s ancient culture and still penetrate the hearts of modern people? Answers are found in the works of Liao’s Traces. Mei-lan’s world is filled with concern for society and sympathy for mankind. She uses signs, symbols and metaphors to call respect to life, and her ironies reflect the dirty tricks of politicians which would threaten the right to life of human beings. Her style is manifold, using familiar archetypes to express the feelings of modern man, such as the integrity of Chung-kuei, the kindness of the Buddhist, the neglect of Chinese women, the fatalistic worldview of the Chinese, and the corruption of government. These are all themes to be found in Liao’s work. With her fine arts and education psychology background, she can capture the human soul more easily. During her study at the graduate school, she combined the characteristics of both Chinese and Western paintings. She captures the line characteristics of Chinese ink painting on one hand and the concepts of time and space in Western painting on the other, developing her own way. That is quite precious. Arts should always be ahead of the times and create new visual life. It not only guides the aesthetics of appreciation and purifies the soul, but also tells the truth of life and enriches the domain of painting. The work of Mai Lan Liao – The composition of skill, concept, and connotation By Famous Chinese Ink Painting Artist – Yi Huang Kao, at Dow Xiang Tsuen, April 1999 In Chinese history, all the works about art theories give the consent that there is a close relationship between “ Dao”(the way of the universe) and “ Yi”(the art). Art exists for the sake of “Dao.” When the functional viewpoints interact, the traditional theory further depicts that “Dao”, which governs the universe, is the artistic connotation and the source of moving creativity. “ Painters educate people, promote the ethics, reach the ultimate creativity and explore the subtle. Painters also perform like Lio Jing and move with four seasons. They are out from the nature instead of the work,” said Chang Yen Yuen of Tun Dynasty. “ Painters educate people and promote the ethics” explains the educational function of art. “Reaching the ultimate creativity and exploring the subtle” explains that art comes from the ultimate creativity inspired by the universe. “The ultimate creativity and the subtle” of the universe is the intrinsic derived from the existence of art. From the above, we can tell that Chinese ink painting not only surpasses the nature, requires the skills and shows lively ambience, but also needs the essential implications from the artist’s perception toward art. Ms. Liao graduated from the Art & Craft Education of National Taipei Teachers College. She used to do her teaching in San Xia Primary School, Taipei County and is now teaching in the Yu Sheng Primary School. She is very serious in doing teaching and is welcome by students as well as their parents, therefore she won the national “Excellent Award In Teaching” in 1995. Ms. Liao had been equipped with excellent skills in calligraphy and Chinese ink painting before she graduated from the college, so she performed very well in many contests. Ms. Liao kept her learning after the class to prepare for her postgraduate study. She studied the skills of ink painting with me in 1996, when I found her attitude and spirit toward the study of Chinese ink painting is very respectable. Under the pressure of teaching and preparation for examinations, she never missed a class. She submitted numerous artworks and joined various life-painting excursions. Therefore, she improved a lot in her painting skills. One year later, she entered the National Taiwan Normal University with top score and started her study for MSc in Fine Art. What unparalleled is her belief that further improving the basic skills is still very important in postgraduate study. In the hope that the Chinese ink paintings can be resolved into modern life and fully show their modern style, she kept enhancing her painting skills and theoretical understandings when the course was very intensive. Her persistence and hardworking attitude is very respectable. The creativity and value of her work is of the intention to mix her solid skill with Chinese culture and to touch our soul. It reflects the structural change of modern people’s mindset and modern society, and the issues worth our thinking to re-live the good social consciousness and ethics. This is a very thoughtful intention. After two years’ study, she is about to graduate. I sincerely congratulate Ms. Liao and am glad that her graduation works well result from her efforts. She applied the traditional skill and space concept in her works and is brave enough to try various new techniques such as transparent paint, rubbing stamp, clippings, and paint-gun painting. In terms of the subjects, she shows the motions of the society and connects her works with the trend. Other than the value of her works, we can perceive the hidden risks and the unrest from her works, which consent the functions of art mentioned by Chang Yen Yuen, “educating people and promoting the ethics” (“ Chen Chao Hua, Zhu Ren Luen”) to waken people’s morality and wisdom. In addition to the pursuit of painting skills and lively ambience in her works, she also embodies her work with greater implications. Before her graduation exhibition, many teachers encourage her, select her works for publishing to memorize this exhibition, and ask me to write this preface in the hope that the senior artists of this field will provide her with advice. Wish her a successful exhibition and further accomplishment in painting. The revealing of her delicate and sensitive sentimentality - the “ Trace” series by Liao Mai Lang by Liang Show Chung – professor, the Fine Art, National Normal University Liao Mai Lang is a gentle and hardworking girl and also a thoughtful young people. She has been fond of calligraphy ever since she was a child. She won the “Excellent Award” in Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition when she was just twelve years old. She graduated from the Art & Craft Education of National Taipei Teachers College In 1981 and did her teaching in a primary school afterward. She entered the Counseling Study, the Educational Psychology, National Normal University. In the course of ten years, she insisted in calligraphy and won the leading awards and the excellent awards of the national and international contests several times, which is great recognition and encouragement to her. In 1997, she successfully got into the creative artwork division of Chinese Ink Painting of the Fine Art School in the Normal University to pursue for advanced study. She took the course of ”the study of modern portrait” in my class, during which she studied very hard and never missed a class. When she had new works, she shared them and discussed with people. In this exhibition, she demonstrates the study of the “Trace” series and shows her delicate and sensitive feeling in each artwork. Other than skills, a painting work has close relationships with a person’s personality, thinking, mood, and academic training. Therefore in the process of her creative working, Ms. Liao takes care about the interesting part of Chinese ink painting, the state and ambience, and the oriental style. She also shows her own thought through her understanding about psychology and humanity as well as her analysis on a person’s character and the social phenomena The psychological analysis of the conflict in the internal world and its applications to artwork is depicted in chapter Four of her essay. This is one of the features of her works. Because of her fondness toward the calligraphy, she demonstrates her proficient skills of calligraphy in some of her works, ‘ The Silhouette Of Buddha”, “ What Love Is All About”, and “The Bureaucratic” to enrich the strength and content of the visual. In this exhibition, audiences can appreciate her marvelous skills as well as the thoughts of her experiences in this age. People say the most difficult part in a portrait is to sketch a person’s hands. In this exhibition, you will find that Mei Lang not only depicts a person’s facial expression and body language, but also emphasizes the “expression” of “hands” in her works such as “Panic Chung Qai”, “ the Silhouette of Buddha”, “ Life Inside The Wall”, “ Fate”, “Crying In The Dark” and “ The Shackles of Relationships.” She reckons that hands are important parts of a body and govern the most matters of life. Hands are also the bridges of communication, therefore she specially emphasize the motion of hands and increase the impact of the visual. The exhibition shows her effort of conquering the “difficulties” and reasons why she can succeed. Although the duration of two-year postgraduate study is short, I believe that she gained more new and profound knowledge to create such great works. I am unwilling to say good bye to her for her graduation but would like to write this letter and hope she can continue her efforts in this field.
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.