Hsiao Chin: His Unexplored History

15 March - 15 April 2023
My creative inspirations are all drawn from the intangible, invisible yet omnipresent vitality of the universe, a power I call "essence." I then trace back to the origins of the universe, following the flows of "Chi," carrying out metaphysical, phenomenological thinking on the existing forms of the myriad things, and conveying how the ubiquitous vitality and natural forces of creation are the source and wellspring of "Chi" – Hsiao Chin

Supported by Hsiao Chin Art Foundation, this exhibition showcases major paintings of the artist's various transformative periods, from 1958 till present. 


Hsiao Chin is one of the artists that allows us to see the distinctive abstract art movement in post-war Europe, that is at least as ambitious and interesting as that of the US.  It reveals Hsiao Chin’s remarkable artistic achievement as a post war abstract master and his groundbreaking contribution, bringing Eastern spirituality and western abstract art together.
Hsiao Chin has a strong claim to be the most important living Chinese artist in Europe and the most important European artist in China. His 'in-between' status is the reason why art history cannot quite find the right place for him, despite his presence in museum collections from New York's Metropolitan to Rome's National Galerie and from Hong Kong's M+ to Shanghai’s Long Museum, and recent one-person exhibitions at the Song Museum, Beijing, Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils and Musee Guimet, Paris.
In 1958, Hsiao Chin arrived in Spain, befriended Tapies, introducing him to Buddhism - and forged a remarkable idiom for a ground-breaking body of abstract work. In 1960 Hsiao Chin moved to Milan where he co-founded the avant-garde movement Punto, became close friends with Lucio Fontana - and made a body of work that has some connection with Kenneth Noland's abstract work - but fuses, in acrylic, circles, Chinese aesthetics and an absorption in space travel (he had applied to NASA to be the first artist-astronaut). In 1967 he left Italy for a brief spell in New York before returning to Italy in 1972. Hsiao Chin returned to Asia, and visited Beijing in early 1980s, witnessing the new modern China.
This exhibition showcases major paintings of various transformative periods, from 1958 till present (related works are in major museum collections) together with photographic documentation of his place in Spanish and particularly Italian avant-garde life, with images of Hsiao Chin in the Punto circle. It also reflects the artist's life-long passion for exploring the meaning of life and boundless energy in outer space from the 1960s till present, and through a significant transitional period in 1990 when Hsiao Chin experienced the devastating loss of his daughter Samantha.
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