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b. 1950, Taiwan

Hsieh Tehching Biography

Tehching Hsieh was born in 1950 in Nan-Chou, Taiwan. His father, Ching Hsieh, was an atheist and his mother, Su-Choung Hong, a devoted Christian. Hsieh dropped out of high school in 1967 and took up painting. After finishing his army service (1970-1973), Hsieh had his first solo show at the gallery of the American News Bureau in Taiwan. Shortly after this show, he stopped painting. In 1973, Hsieh made a performance action, Jump Piece, in which he broke both of his ankles. He was trained as a sailor, which he then used as a means to enter the United States. In July of 1974, Hsieh arrived at the port of a small town by the Delaware River near Philadelphia. He was an illegal immigrant for fourteen years until he was granted amnesty in the US in 1988.

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Beginning in the late 1970s, Hsieh made five One Year Performances and a Thirteen-year Plan, inside and outside his studio in New York City. Using long durations of time as context for the work, making art and life simultaneous, the first four One Year Performances made Hsieh a regular name in the art scene in New York; the last two pieces, in which he intentionally retreated from the art world, set a tone of sustained invisibility. 

Since the Millennium, released from the restriction of not showing his works during the period of the Thirteen-year Plan, Hsieh has exhibited his work in North and South America, Asia and Europe. Hsieh's One Year Performance 1978-1979 (often referred to as Cage Piece) was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Performance 1: Tehching Hsieh in 2009One Year Performance 1980-1981 (often referred to as Time Clock Piece) was included in The Third Mind: Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989, at the Guggenheim Museum, 2009, the Liverpool Biennial in the United Kingdom and the Gwangju Biennial in South Korea, both in 2010, and in the São Paulo Biennial, 2012. One Year Performance 1980–1981 was also shown in a solo exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China and Carriageworks in Sydney, Australia. 

In 2013, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority/M+ Museum in Hong Kong announced the acquisition of the six individual performance works realized by Hsieh between 1978 and 1999, making it the most comprehensive collection of Hsieh’s work to be held in a public institution.

Hsieh and his wife, Qinqin Li, now live in Brooklyn.

Hsieh Tehching Featured Artworks

One Year Performance (Cage Piece) by Hsieh Tehching contemporary artwork
Hsieh TehchingOne Year Performance (Cage Piece), 1978–1979Silkscreen print, statement, poster
Asia Art Center Enquire about this work
Jump Piece by Hsieh Tehching contemporary artwork
Hsieh TehchingJump Piece, 1973/2017Framed archival pigment print mounted to 4 ply museum board
166.1 x 49.8 cm
Sean Kelly Enquire about this work
Tehching Hsieh 1978 - 1999 by Hsieh Tehching contemporary artwork
Hsieh TehchingTehching Hsieh 1978 - 1999Posters and statements mounted on boards in 6 parts
56 x 66 cm
Sean Kelly Enquire about this work
Tehching Hsieh by Hsieh Tehching contemporary artwork
Hsieh TehchingTehching Hsieh, 1978–1999Posters and statements mounted on boards in 6 parts
Sean Kelly Enquire about this work
Jump Piece by Hsieh Tehching contemporary artwork
Hsieh TehchingJump Piece, 1973/2017Framed archival pigment print mounted to 4 ply museum board
162.9 x 44.8 cm
Sean Kelly Enquire about this work

Hsieh Tehching Represented By

Hsieh Tehching In Ocula Magazine

Profile: Tehching Hsieh at the 57th Venice Biennale Ocula Insight Profile: Tehching Hsieh at the 57th Venice Biennale By Elliat Albrecht

Taiwan's contribution to the 57 th Venice Biennale is an exhaustive record of the passing of time—an ostensibly banal proceeding that has here been reframed in a monumental way. Staged in Palazzo delle Prigioni, Doing Time (13 May–26 November 2017) is a long overdue presentation of Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh's oeuvre of time-based...

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Hsieh Tehching In Related Press

11 national pavilions and exhibition to see at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 Related Press 11 national pavilions and exhibition to see at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 23 May 2017, Art Radar Journal

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play — United Arab Emirates Curated by Hammad Nasar, commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the exhibition features existing, new commissions and re-fabrications of 'lost' works by five UAE-based artists. The...

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Slow and Steady: Tehching Hsieh in Venice Related Press Slow and Steady: Tehching Hsieh in Venice 11 May 2017, ARTnews

From September 26, 1981 to September 26, 1982, Tehching Hsieh lived outside in New York City, never seeking shelter in a building. He was 31 when he began the performance work, which he titled One Year Performance 1981–1982 (Outdoor Piece), and 32 when he finished it. Now he is 66 and representing Taiwan at the Biennale, where records of that...

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57th Venice Biennale: Get to Know the Artists of the Must-See National Pavilions Related Press 57th Venice Biennale: Get to Know the Artists of the Must-See National Pavilions 10 May 2017, MutualArt

The most important global art event of the year is upon us, as thousands descend upon the slowly submerging islands in the Venetian Lagoon to view the microcosm of the art world that is the 57th Venice Biennale. In keeping with the theme of the exhibition by this year's curator, Christine Macel, Viva Arte Viva, in which she 'orientate[s] the...

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Tehching Hsieh to represent Taiwan at the 2017 Venice Biennale Related Press Tehching Hsieh to represent Taiwan at the 2017 Venice Biennale 1 August 2016, Art Review

The Taipei Fine Art Museum (TFAM) has announced that performance artist Tehching Hsieh will represent Taiwan at the 57th Venice Biennale. For the pavilion, curated by British curator Adrian Heathfield, Hsieh will develop a new iteration of his One Year Performances (1978–99), a body of extremely physical and psychological challenges which...

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