Overview

“One should always try to explore the limited physical space to the maximum and to generate maximum energy in the confines of space, to learn in a material world that transcends the boundaries of time, and in so doing to grasp the deeper meanings of life. And it is through my awkward brush work and the bright primary colours that I achieve such goals.”
— Hsiao Chin, 2015

 

In the 1950s, Hsiao Chin started to explore abstract art which was based on his core concept of “Eastern Spirit”: the quest for Eastern spirituality and modern artistic expression. Hsiao established his own artistic approach as well as a unique vision on how art should be created. Like his senior masters Lin Fengmian and Zao Wou-ki who travelled to France, Hsiao Chin was greatly motivated by Western art during his stay in Spain and subsequently moved to Italy, but developed an interest in Zen and Taoism – in particular the ideas of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu – around the 1960s. Drawing artistic nourishment from his study of traditional Chinese culture and Eastern philosophies, he was capable of understanding and capturing the complex dialects between the void and the solid, strength and weakness. Freely transforming them into his abstract visual language, Hsiao showed great ambition to develop his own style of abstract painting that emphasized the dichotomous nature of the world, which would be at once distinguishable from, yet reflective of, Western abstract art at that time. Having lived and worked abroad for 60 years, Hsiao has been successfully integrated his extensive studies of Western aesthetics and Eastern philosophies, as well as his interest in space science, in his artistic creation. With the efforts of self-discovery and a spiritual quest for transcendence, Hsiao’s creative process is rooted in his perpetual exploration of the deepest meanings in man’s spiritual world. With the endless adventure of abstract art and self-reflection, throughout his lifetime Hsiao has been pursuing the ideal realm of “Nature and Man in One” greatly beyond the boundaries of life and death.

 

With a group of artists who shared his aesthetic vision, in 1955 Hsiao Chin co-founded the Ton Fang Art Group, the first post-war Chinese modern art group, which blended techniques from traditional Eastern art with Western modernism, while promoting Chinese modern art overseas. In 1956, Hsiao embarked on a series of travels in America and Europe, moving first to Madrid and finally settling in Milan, where he has lived for over half a century. In 1961, Hsiao Chin co-founded the Punto International Art Movement, the first ever international avant-garde art movement initiated by an Asian artist with the aim of promoting Oriental philosophy of “calm observation”.

Works
Exhibitions
Video
News
Publications
Documents