Min Tse Chen Oilpaintings00-07


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e-catalog of my oil paintings

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Min Tse Chen Oilpaintings00-07

  2. 2. 1996 GRE The School of the Art Institute of Chicago SAIC SAIC
  3. 3. 2007.6.24
  4. 4. Path of Yearning – Author’s Preface When I finished graduate school at National Taiwan University in 1996, it never occurred to me that I would be engaged in art throughout my life. My generation regarded artists as indigent vagabonds, or, at best, art teachers. Being an artist was considered not a career, but rather a hobby. Children were instead encouraged to learn other fields that interested them so that they might secure stable positions in the future. I was not an exception. Though my artistic talents emerged early in childhood, the fact that I could succeed in school in almost any subject I chose pointed increasingly toward a future bourgeois life. I was too young to break ‘the social norm’ by chasing after my desire to make art into an unknown future – so instead, I followed it. I then succeeded in passing one exam after another and finally obtained my master’s degree in engineering from a top university. Everything looked as if it had been pre-arranged from the start. Even though I had put this desire for art aside, my heart was conflicted. I could not help but feel envious when I spotted other students’ works showcased in our high school’s Student Gallery. I did not pick up art study until I had successfully completed all coursework recognized by society as defining a ‘good’ student. I went to Original Art Studio, a private studio in Taipei, and began with the most basic art skills – drawing. Art then became a passion which I pursued with infectious vigor. My days were spent honing my talents under art instructor Chien Chung-Wei, who focused and refined my skills. Stepping into a role in environmental engineering was aimed at realizing my dream to help protect the environment and contribute to society. However, the harsh truth of the matter finally disappointed me in the end, as I concluded that it was impossible for me alone to change anything. Then, I turned to art which I had always longed for but had no opportunity to explore when I was young. To move increasingly toward my dream, while working a high-pressure job, I commenced preparations for overseas study, including admission tests, TOEFL and GRE, recommendation letters and an art portfolio. I relied on sheer determination to get me through that series of challenges. With pride and ambition to compete with world-class talents, I made up my mind to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The three years at that school set my life on a new course, though I was truly torn between heaven and hell. The course was so inspiring that it allowed me to make breakthroughs in my thoughts and enhance my capability. In spite of the demanding course, learning itself was more than fun. However, the expensive tuition and living costs were always been a truly heavy burden for me; the piercingly cold weather threatened my already-fragile health condition. What was worse, the loneliness and discrimination of life in a foreign country was a constant torture, draining me spiritually and mentally.
  5. 5. Thanks to those years abroad, I have clearer understanding of myself and the world. What impressed me most was the yearning for home. Brought up in the hustling and bustling city of Taipei, I thought I had less emotional attachment to places. I liked to walk around in the countryside sometimes to get close to nature, but such contact was not a necessity of life. Moving from Taipei to Chicago would be as normal and easy as a tour to any other city in the world; as long as I got used to using the language, everything would be fine -- at first, I really thought so. But things turned out differently. Lake Michigan offers a truly panoramic view; however, it is the ocean with the salty air, deep blue water and strong waves hitting the shores that commands a more extensive and profound vista than any lake can provide. No matter how magnificent the architecture and how developed the urban green areas of big cities, it is the mountain forests and natural landscape that satisfy me; artificial scenery cannot substitute for real. The green house in the botanic garden was one of the places I particularly liked to visit, as its damp air, smell of soil, and deep green tropical and subtropical plants reminded me of the low-elevation mountains in Taiwan. A small library in Chinatown was another place that I often visited to appease my hunger for Chinese reading. Dwelling in a land where I was not recognized made me realize the importance of our culture and soil of origin. Creation is motivated by a yearning for communication with others. As for who with and what to communicate, it is up to artists themselves. The concept of the artist as a personification of individualism remains popular. I am convinced that the higher value of art is its power to touch its audience and even inspire creative thoughts, positive emotions and feelings within them. Moreover, the ideal of an “art for all” is not only my belief but also my goal. If you would emotionally move others, first do so for yourself. Thus, those subjects that I care about appear in my art. I want them to convey the idea of yearning, an experience common to all that strikes a chord in our hearts. Yearning is a beautiful state of mind, whose basis is love– no love, no yearning. Though it may sound clichéd, love can make the world better. This is my belief, and from it I draw strength to continue making art. Each artwork has its backstory. Through it, the paths of yearning can be mapped out – to that time, with those people, filled with those emotions. It takes you back, and touches you. I would like to share my passions for art and stories, and I hope that my art can be a tool of service to others. Chen, Min-Tse in Beijing, on June 24th, 2007
  6. 6. 2000 10 12 Valley in Mt. Yang-Ming My family and I used to go and have fun at Yang-Ming National Park in Taipei. This triptych is also a milestone of my painting career, and thus is very special to me.
  7. 7. Valley in Mt. Yang-Ming oil on canvas, 91x337 cm, 2000
  8. 8. 1992
  9. 9. In summer 1992 I went on a trip to the Silk Road in northwestern China. On the way the highland area and Jiuzhaigou impressed me the most, and Highland Barley Valley and Running Water were created based on photographs taken at those two places. “Highland Barley Valley” was also the piece shown in my BFA exhibition at SAIC.
  10. 10. Highland Barley Valley oil on canvas, 91x152 cm, 2001
  11. 11. Running Water oil on canvas, 91x117 cm, 2003
  12. 12. 1996 97 2003 17 1997 1997 Shuang-Lian Pond was a beautiful and impressive place to me during the years I participated in an environmental protection organization called Society of Wilderness (SOW), and SOW has been working hard trying to protect this precious wetland. Shuang- Lian Pond 1997 was based on an aerial photograph taken in 1997, in memory of its unique aspect before it suffered damage.
  13. 13. 1997 Shuang-Lian Pond 1997 oil on canvas, 91x117 cm, 2003
  14. 14. Looking through the window of an airplane on landing approach, the night scene of the city is like the Milky Way on Earth, and the homes of my friends and I are the stars scattered in it. In memory of a special flight experience that helped me make an important decision of life.
  15. 15. Milky Way on Earth oil on canvas, 91x117 cm, 2003
  16. 16. 2004 East Coast Taitong, the county at the eastern border of Taiwan, is my childhood hometown; the Pacific Ocean it faces is the scenery I never get tired of, and it always comforts me when I am in need.
  17. 17. East Coast oil on canvas, 90x146 cm, 2004
  18. 18. Les Ulis 2003 Les Ulis ERE 50 Les Ulis Although I paint landscape, there is always a memory of a person or a group of people related to that place behind the painting – I don’t miss Paris, except for the one who lives at the edge of the Woods in Les Ulis, a small town in suburban area of Paris.
  19. 19. Les Ulis Woods of Les Ulis oil on canvas, 65x91 cm, 2004
  20. 20. N Edge of the Land is a landscape painting with an adjusted perspective of Kenting, located at the very south end of Taiwan. The title of this piece is an equivoque – a description of the geographic location as well as a frame of mind. Kenting marks my solitary but abundant year of seventeen.
  21. 21. Edge of the Land oil on canvas, 90x150 cm, 2007
  22. 22. The estuary of Tamsui River was a must-go place for school field trips when I was growing up. The original pictures of Estuary and Field by the Estuary were photo records from a highway planning project that I participated in; the engineers working on that project contributed a lot of effort trying to reduce the environmental impact of construction, and that moved me deeply.
  23. 23. Estuary oil on canvas, 105x75 cm, 2006
  24. 24. Field by the Estuary oil on canvas, 90x120 cm, 2007
  25. 25. Pine Woods and Bridge There are beautiful forests and natural sceneries up in the high mountains in Taiwan, waiting for people to experience and protect them. What nature can bring to us is a lot more than we expect.
  26. 26. Bridge oil on canvas, 60x60 cm, 2006
  27. 27. Pine Woods oil on canvas, 90x120 cm, 2007
  28. 28. 1980
  29. 29. Le Temps Scelle 2004 The 13-layer Smelter at Jinguashi, originally the smelter for gold and copper mine, is now the most spectacular industrial ruin in Taiwan. Golden Castle represents a dream – expecting its value in culture could resurrect it, and shines like gold once again.
  30. 30. Golden Castle oil on canvas, 90x240 cm, 2007
  31. 31. Map compresses the real space and objects on the ground into symbols. Unfolding the maps of places where you have wandered around is like opening the boxes of memories; scenes and events in those journeys come to life again.
  32. 32. 1 Map 1 oil on canvas, 70x50 cm, 2006
  33. 33. 2 Map 2 oil on canvas, 60x60 cm, 2006
  34. 34. 3 Map 3 oil on canvas, 80x60 cm, 2007
  35. 35. 2004 ”Living Jewels” 20 Untitled The patterns of insects turned into highly decorative abstract paintings.
  36. 36. 1 Untitled 1 oil on canvas, 73x53 cm, 2004
  37. 37. 2 Untitled 2 oil on canvas, 91x65 cm, 2004
  38. 38. 3 Untitled 3 oil on canvas, 65x91 cm, 2004
  39. 39. In the Café oil on canvas, 73x53cm, 2005
  40. 40. Ansel Adams Salute to Ansel Adams oil on canvas, 91x117cm, 2003
  41. 41. Night oil on canvas, 60x60cm, 2007
  42. 42. Autumn Tone oil on canvas, 60x90cm, 2006
  43. 43. 1 Impression 1 oil on canvas, 60x50cm, 2007
  44. 44. 2 Impression 2 oil on canvas, 80x50cm, 2007
  45. 45. Ride Alone oil on canvas, 50x80cm, 2007
  46. 46. Look oil on canvas, 50x70cm, 2007
  47. 47. Couple oil on canvas, 60x50cm, 2007
  48. 48. Trio oil on canvas, 60x60cm, 2007
  49. 49. Group oil on canvas, 50x60cm, 2007
  50. 50. Spirits oil on canvas, 60x80cm, 2007
  51. 51. Your Place Yearning is like the scent of rosemary permeating the air Light, tender but could not be blown away This is the way I miss you Walk the paths you walked Breathe the air you breathed Wander in the landscapes you knew Though I know now you are thousands of miles away And would not show up to my face But At this place filled with the sense of you I almost see your warm smile In the sunlight coming down through branches and leaves Just the same as before
  52. 52. 1972 2001.5 (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bachelor of Fine Art) 1996.6 1994.6 2007 “ ” 2006 “ ” - 2003 “ " “ ” 2006 “ ” “ ” 2005 “Animal Logic and the Lack Thereof”, Three Walls, “A Friend is a Friend is a Friend”, Axtyryx, 2004 “Sketches, Scrawls, Scribbles and Such III”, The Wiggle Room, “ ” “Burnin’ Down the House”, Unit B (Gallery), 2003 “Sketches, Scrawls, Scribbles and Such”, Unit B (Gallery), 2001 “Turn”, Gallery B, “Parson's Group Show”, Parson's Group “Ink”, Walsh Gallery, “ ”, Gallery 2, “Art Window”, 1999 “Artbash”, Gallery 2, 1998 “ ” “ ” 2005 “ ” (Brian Clegg) 2005
  53. 53. Min-Tse Chen Born in 1972 in Taipei Education 2001 Bachelor of Fine Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1996 Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University 1994 Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, National Taiwan University Solo Exhibitions 2007 The Returned of Beijing, Gallery 41, Taipei 2006 Weird Resplendency, Stock 20 in Taichung Railway Station, Taichung 2003 Based on Reality, Smoke & Snake Art Center, Taipei Min-Tse Chen Landscape Paintings, SOW Gallery, Taipei Group Exhibitions 2006 19th Century Europe Meets 21st Century Taiwan, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Taichung Alluring Rendezvous: a meeting between artists of today and tomorrow, Windsor Hotel, Taichung 2005 Animal Logic and the Lack Thereof, Three Walls, San Antonio, Texas 4-people show, Cathay Bank Art Center, Taipei A Friend is a Friend is a Friend, Axtyryx, San Antonio, Texas 2004 Sketches, Scrawls, Scribbles and Such III, The Wiggle Room, San Antonio, Texas TrinOty, Art Gallery at National Taiwan University, Taipei Burnin' Down the House, Unit B (Gallery), Chicago 2003 Sketches, Scrawls, Scribbles and Such, Unit B (Gallery), Chicago 2001 Turn, Gallery B, Chicago Parson’s Group Show, Parson’s Group and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Ink, Walsh Gallery, Chicago BFA Thesis Show, Gallery 2, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Art Window, Michigan Avenue, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 1999 Artbash, Gallery 2, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 1998 Discovering the Beauty of Original Art, Original Art Association, Taipei
  54. 54. 天涯海角 Edge of the Land 作 品 清 單 90x150cm List of Plates 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2007 陽明山坳 Valley in Mt. Yang-Ming 河口 Estuary 91 x 371cm 105x75cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2000 2006 青稞谷 Highland Barley Valley 河口旁 Field by the Estuary 91 x 152cm 90x120cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2001 2007 源頭活水 Running Water 橋 Bridge 91 x 117cm 60x60cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2003 2007 雙連埤1997 Shuang-Lian Pond 1997 松林 Pine Woods 91x117cm 90x120cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2003 2007 地上的銀河 Milky Way on Earth 黃金城 Golden Castle 91x117cm 90x240cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2003 2007 東海岸 East Coast 地圖1號 Map 1 90 x 146cm 70x50cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2006 Les Ulis的森林 Woods of Les Ulis 地圖2號 Map 2 65 x 91 cm 60x60cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2006
  55. 55. 地圖3號 Map 3 人物印象1 Impression 1 60x80cm 60x50cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2007 2007 無題1 Untitled 1 人物印象2 Impression 2 73x 53cm 80x50cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2007 無題2 Untitled 2 千里走單騎 Ride Alone 91x65cm 50x80cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2007 無題3 Untitled 3 望 Look 65x 91cm 50x70cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2007 咖啡館內 In the Café 偶 Couple 73x53cm 60x50cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2004 2007 向Ansel Adams致敬 Salute to Ansel Adams 三 Trio 91x117cm 60x60cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2003 2007 夜 Night 群 Group 60x60cm 50x60cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2007 2006 秋調 Autumn Tone 靈 Spirits 60x90cm 60x80cm 布上油彩 oil on canvas 布上油彩 oil on canvas 2006 2007
  56. 56. David Parker Author Min-Tse Chen Editor Min-Tse Chen Photographer Tsai-Ming Hu, Yang Chao, Min-Tse Chen Translator David Parker, Min-Tse Chen