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Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial Extols Ink’s Past and Present
Sponsored | Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts

By Ocula News
Taoyuan
20 January 2023

The Biennial looks at the avant garde of an art form whose popularity has persisted for millennia.

Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial Extols Ink’s Past and Present

Kawao Tomoko, Correlation 2022 -cross- (2022). Ink on paper. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

The inaugural Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial launched on 20 January at the Hengshan Calligraphy Art Center (HCAC), part of the Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts (TMoFA), near Taipei.

Subtitled Era of Principle and No Principle Interwoven—Calligraphy as a Visual Form, the Biennial explores the intersection of calligraphy and contemporary art.

(Left to right): Xu Jiong, Spring Monster・Beautiful New World (2018). Ink on paper. Hsu Yu-jen, Billows from the Island's End Wavesof Dry Ink Writing (2022). Ink on paper.

(Left to right): Xu Jiong, Spring Monster・Beautiful New World (2018). Ink on paper. Hsu Yu-jen, Billows from the Island's End Wavesof Dry Ink Writing (2022). Ink on paper. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

The event presents works by 42 contemporary calligraphers and artists, including the splashy, supersized strokes of Japanese artist Kawao Tomoko, pictured top.

Tomoko performed her work Change/No Change at the Biennial's opening in response to the theme of Principle and No Principle, which captures the tension between tradition and innovation in contemporary ink art.

Park Jinwoo, Ink Stick Pagoda (2022). Ink on paper.

Park Jinwoo, Ink Stick Pagoda (2022). Ink on paper. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

Highlights of the exhibition include Taiwanese artist Lee Chun-yi's Mountain Never Too High (2021), in which the artist set aside the brush to apply ink using stamps made of cork, and Korean artist Park Jinwoo's Ink Stick Pagoda (2022), which he created by rubbing the paper over patterned ink sticks, the blocks of solid ink calligraphers grind down and mix with water to create liquid ink.

Fung Ming Chip, who was born in Guangdong and raised in Hong Kong, presents the work Light Script, Heart Sutra (2011), in which almost the entire sheet of paper is blacked out, leaving only triangles of white, like flames in the dark.

Fung Ming Chip, Light Script, Heart Sutra (2011). Ink on paper.

Fung Ming Chip, Light Script, Heart Sutra (2011). Ink on paper. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

The Biennial also introduces a dialogue between artists from Asia and Europe.

Xu Jing's Speculations in [the] Night at a Tiny Window (2019) feature a delicate script written on vintage prints he purchased in France, while French artist André Kneib contributes calligraphy rendered in paint instead of ink.

Wu Chi-tsung, Calligraphy Study 001 (2022). Single-channel video, 2min.

Wu Chi-tsung, Calligraphy Study 001 (2022). Single-channel video, 2min. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

Other artists featured in the Biennial include China's Liu Yi, Wang Gongyi, Chen Danqing, and Liu Kuo-sung, Taiwan's Pan Hsin-hua, Wu Chi-tsung, Lee Chun-yi, and Yang Shih-chih, Japan's Yamamoto Hisashi, Hong Kong's Wesley Tongson, and French-German artist Hans Hartung.

The Hengshan Calligraphy Biennial is jointly curated by Wu Chao-Jen, Assistant Professor of the Department of Fine Arts at Tunghai University, and HCAC's Chen I-Tso.

Mami, 123456789 (2022). Paper, ink, silk, wood.

Mami, 123456789 (2022). Paper, ink, silk, wood. Courtesy Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Anpis Wang.

'To inspire people to think about calligraphy and pay attention to its future, this exhibition not only answers questions but also poses them,' they said. —[O]

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