Artists> Featured Artists> > Shiou-Ping Liao



 
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Shiou-Ping Liao
Background
L IAO Shiou-Ping : Born in Taiwan in 1936, Liao graduated with a B.A. degree in Fine Arts form the National Taiwan Normal University in 1959. From 1962 to 1968, he furthered his studies at the Tokyo University of Education and L'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris respectively. In 1969, he moved to New York, U.S.A. Liao returned to Taiwan and taught printmaking at the National Taiwan Normal University and Culture University form 1973 to 1976. In 1974, he published his book "The Art of Printmaking". In 1977, he was invited by the Tsukuba University in Japan to set up a working studio of printmaking and he taught there for two an a half years. In 1988 and 1991, he was also invited by China Academy of Fine Arts and Nanjin Academy of Fine Arts in China, being a visiting professor in a printmaking class. In 1994, he returned to Taiwan being a visiting professor at National Institute of the Arts. He was an adjunct professor of Art at Seton Hall University in New Jersey for 12 years (1979-1992), retired for the reason of nose illness. He was a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, Graphic Association of R.O.C., and Graphic department of Salon d'Automne in Paris, France, and an adjudicator of the International Biennial Prints Exhibition of Taiwan R.O.C. and the Print Section of the National Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition.

He has held more than 70 solo exhibitions in New York, Paris, Tokyo and many big cities around the world. Many of his works are collected by the museums over 40 countries, for example : British Museum in London, England; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, U.S.A.; National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Japan; Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taipei, Taiwan; Shanghai Museum of Art in Shanghai, China,…etc..

Marvel and Reflection: Paintings and Prints by Shiou-Ping Li
E arly in his career, Shiou-Ping Liao's chosen artistic motif was the gate, sign of promise and challenge. Gates unlock new worlds. Closed, they elicit curiosity, for beyond lies mystery and adventure. Open, they invite us to enter, yet, at the same time, compel us to leave. Crossing a threshold always implies a greeting and a farewell.

Gates had a personal meaning to Liao as well. As a child in Taiwan, he lived close to a Buddhist temple. Behind its double doors vas a marvelous world, full of colors, noises, and smells. Gilded and multi-colored statues shimmered in the half-dark of the temple interior. The sound of temple bells mingled with the soft clicking of the augury sticks hitting the ground. The smell of incense filled the courtyard. Inside the gate, vendors sold joss paper, printed with mysterious symbols in red and gold.

These impressions, Liao carried with him as he moved, first to Paris, then to Japan, and the United States. The further he moved away from home, the more meaningful the gate and the symbols became. Indeed, throughout 1970s and 1980s, these motifs served as pretexts for the artist's constant experimentation with new forms, media and techniques. As he opened ever new doors on life and on art, it were the memories of his childhood that lent him confidence and stability.

From the early 1990s onward, Liao abandoned gates and symbols for still lives composed of teapots, wine bottles, fruits, cups-objects reminiscent of friendship and togetherness. Often these objects are shown against backgrounds that suggest the four seasons-signifiers of the passing of time and the cyclical nature of life. The forms in these still lives (which Liao refers to as "Seasonal Chats") are simple and repetitive, evoking the repeated elemental pleasure friends take in getting together over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. But their colors and textures, as well as those of the backgrounds against which they are set, are sumptuous and luxurious, hinting at the rich foil of memories that underlies old friendships.

The chromatic splendor and textural variety of these works are achieved by an incredible technical virtuosity, the fruit of decades of artistic experience. In his paintings Liao combines oils with gold leaf and collage materials. His works on paper show a mixture of graphic techniques, such as silkscreen and calligraphy, or silkscreen and drawing.

In his most recent works, Liao has radically abandoned the opulent richness of his "Seasonal Chats". His "Knots" are black and white woodcuts, done in a simple pointillist technique. Liao likens them to the bleakness of winter that inevitably follows the rick colors of fall. However, they also reflect his discontent with the unprecedented luxury of our epoch. These prints are a return to basics, to the simplicity of black and white, and to a technique that requires nothing but a piece of wood and a nail.

Knots speak of connectedness as well as entanglement and it is possible to see Liao's "Knots" as reflections of human relations, inevitably marked by mutual dependence and conflict. Indeed, Liao's work, in general, though not concerned with the human figure, is ultimately about human life. His paintings and prints express the artist's changing view of life-first as adventure and mystery, then as a state of attachment to other human beings that is both utterly meaningful (love, friendship) and utterly inescapable.

Written by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Seton Hall University

Awards
1 998 Prize "National Literature and Art Achievement", Taiwan, Republic of China
1996 Prize for contribution to modern painting , Li Chun Shen Foundation of Contemporary Painting
1993 Silver Medal, Norwegian International Print Triennial, Norway
1980 Grand Prize of the First International Exhibition of Miniature Prints, Seoul, Korea
1979 Prize "Wu San Lien Creative Arts", Taiwan, Republic of China
1976 Prize for best engraver, Chinese Graphic Society, Taipei
1972 "Graphic Art Mini-Grant" of New Jersey State Council on the Arts
"Purchase Prize", International Print Exhibition, São Paulo
"First Graphic Award", Rochester Festival of Religious Arts, New York
1971 "De Cordove Museum Purchase Prize", Boston Printmaker's Exhibition, Boston
1970 Honourable mention, the 7th International Print Biennial, Tokyo
1969 Honourable mention, Pratt Print Exhibition, New York
1965 Silver Medal, Salon des artistes français, Paris


More Work of Art
A Retrospective of Shiou-Ping Liao's Works -
http://www.123soho.com/artist/shiouping_liao/retrospective/index.swf

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