b. 1965, Taiwan

Kuo Chwen Biography

Kuo Chwen was born in Taiwan in 1965. He went to the National Taiwan Art School. Soon after his graduation from the School of Visual Arts in New York, he won the First Prize from The 3rd Annual Grand Award of "Prix de Paris". He has participated times at the Taipei Annual Arts Competition.

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Kuo's earlier works display all the characteristics of someone in the midst of change, someone seeking his own voice, letting go the austerity of his education without sacrificing the best of it. As the strong social criticism faded away, he turned to the exploration of the mind. A number of surrealist elements remain as he moved away from the powerful surrealism of his architectural works into a more macabre world.

The reoccurring theme in his work is the solitude of life, the purposeless of existence, and the blindness of love. An important image of his work is the blushed skulls that are characterized by their lively postures, playful expressions and lust in their eyes. The skull symbolizes death as the base of life, men ripped of their flesh and left with their bones. Sometimes the skeleton is presented along with mixtures of animal figures, which serves as a metaphor for the beastliness within men. Eyeballs are also frequently shown in his work, it presents the artist's eye that is looking at reality and the virtual landscape of the mind.

A dream-like quality of his images suggests a literary-poetic nature in the artist. As he puts it: "I am very interested in Surrealism since it is my way to look into myself. This is the most important thing for me as an artist. I want to look at something in the ark areas within myself, you know, violence, cruelty, and so on. For me as an artist I have to explore the unconscious."

As a strong believer of Art, he painted till the end until he died of cancer at the age of 46 in 2012, leaving us with his last exhibition, the "Floating Mind".

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