The path to the creation of art has a relatively low barrier to entry. Anyone might be able to discover some innate artistic talent and begin attending art classes to train and hone their skills. However, not everyone pursues this path, and not everyone possesses the determination to continue making art.
Since attending my first art class in junior high school, I have remained in this field for almost 30 years. Now, as a curator teaching in the art department, I have the opportunity to instruct and engage with students across various artistic disciplines. This exhibition is the product of an observation that has crystallised over the past few years: More and more students are aspiring to become full-time artists who can support themselves through their creative work. But apart from the commercial art market, are there other channels through which an artist can support themselves? Are there certain paths or methods one must follow to become an artist? Such questions abound within the academic sphere. So, what role does the arts academy play in nurturing and preparing artists for this path?
How we became artists is the culmination of these ideas and inquiries. This exhibition features eight artists represented by Tina Keng Gallery or TKG+ who were born between 1953 and 1984. Through insightful dialogues, we seek to discover, organise, even reinterpret the people and events throughout these artists' careers, both large and small, that have shaped the artists they have become. With time as the main axis of the exhibition, viewers witness a matrix of intertwined relationships with people, schools, institutions, and environments that these eight artists have encountered along their paths to becoming artists. As we reflect on varying phases of Taiwanese art moulded by different generations, methods, and milieux, we might further contemplate how divergent paths of artistic nurturing may take shape today.
Press release courtesy TKG+ Projects.
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