Painting has been attacked and subverted but it has never gone away.
--- Judith Nesbitt
Curator at the Tate Gallery of Modern Art
The artists who chose painting as their principal medium didn’t express prejudices or concerns about the past traditions. Instead, painting was then considered to be an all-new medium.
--- Gianni Romano
Italian curator and art critic
Impacted by the invention of photography and new media technology, painting has undergone a lot of twists and turns in the development of modern art. One of the more obvious negative assumptions is that painting represents old traditions and systems of art, which resulted in modern artists’ resistance to the medium. Even so, a thinker as profound as Martin Heidegger believed that paintings could still deeply portrays human nature; moreover, in the art market, paintings remain the top option for collectors. In the “Borderless Map: Taiwanese Painting Now.” exhibition, we invite you to see how Generation Y painters from a high-technology island – Taiwan -- decide to express their point of view, their thoughts, and their faith on canvas.
The featured painters in this exhibition were born in the late 1970s and the 1980s. They were raised in a time when martial law had just been lifted in Taiwan. They grew up in the chaotic world of media after censorship had been relaxed, and they engaged with the information brought on by technological advancement. For these artists, the world map consists not just of countries with specific names, but also a virtual society without real borders. Growing up in a highly entertaining popular culture and explosive information era, this generation has developed a new lifestyle, which includes new procedures for creating new content.
Taiwanese curator Lin Hsiao-Yu singles out the word “microcosm” as the most common term denoting the young Taiwanese artists’ creative traits. The younger generation has switched their themes from mapping the macro-environment and political issues to portray personal memories, private visual experiences, and the development of art symbols that are individualistic and highly identifiable, eventually bringing recognition to the artists.
ChienJen Chiu, YaTing Kao, Jean HuaChen Huang and LiangYin Wang observe people and objects around them and demonstrate a sense of freedom, as well as personal emotional and private thoughts in their paintings. Tabo TaiChun Chao, Along ChingYuan Chen pay special attention to the particular scene in Taiwan and transfer the events and role into the comic style paintings. Goody Yiji Hsin expresses herself with an imagination linked to the animals and fairy tale stories, and Juju YinLing Hsu’s art exudes a sense of deficiency and anxiety, made clear through deliberately dreary compositions. Both of them reveal people’s sense of insecurity, brought about by the instability of life, future, and society.
Even though the argument about painting’s being an antiquated form of art has not gone away, the artists in “Borderless Map: Taiwanese Painting Now” are intent on emphasizing a painterly sensibility. Whether or not the artists are aware of their own observation methods, which consist of illustrating and even magnifying their everyday life, is up to the viewer to decide. In actuality, they convey a sharp self-dialectics and social observation. These are among the important characteristics of this generation.
Would it apply to the rest of the art world, filled as it is with Generation Y painters?
“Borderless Map: Taiwanese Painting Now” is curated by independent curator Nunu Hung
About Rooster Gallery
Occupying two floors at 190 Orchard Street (between Houston and Stanton), Rooster Gallery focus its attention not only on up-and coming New York and other U.S.-based artists, but also on artists working abroad. Principals of Rooster Gallery Contemporary Art include Owner/Director, Alexander Slonevsky, with artistic roots in New York City; and Curator, Andre Escarameia, a Portuguese national specializing in contemporary art and particularly knowledgeable about today’s vibrant art scene in Lisbon. Their objectives are: to showcase the most current artistic exploration of quality painters, sculptors and photographers and to create a space for dynamic, multidisciplinary dialogue that both stimulates further experimentation and attracts new audiences.
About Nunu Hung
Nunu Hung is an independent curator and art organizer based in New York. Her background is in marketing and public relations with a concentration in intercultural communication research for which she received her dissertation for Master of Arts. She has been collaborating with various commercial and non-profit spaces in NY, Taiwan, China and Berlin.