“Chuang Che Collage& Paintings 1962-2005” is a collection of works curated by Shanghai Longmen Art Projects for the 2016 Autumn season. There are 35 collage and painting works by Chuang Che executed over span of nearly 40 years, most of which are borrowed from private collectors and patrons of Longmen Art Projects (formerly Taipei Lung Men Art Gallery) and it also published a compilation of relavant articles taken from the past Chuang Che exhibitions as well as documentary records from the gallery archive.
Chuang Che was born in Beijing, China in 1934, but he grew up and received his education in Taiwan. He entered the National Taiwan Normal University fine arts department in 1954.After graduating in 1958, he joined the Fifth Moon Group the same year,becoming one of its main members. Also in 1958, he participated in the Sao Paulo Biennial for the first time. Chuang Che had his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the National Art Gallery (now the National Taiwan Arts EducationCenter) in Taipei. And in 1962 he won the gold medal at the 2nd Hong Kong International Salon of Paintings, with the landscape The Shadow of a Cloud -painted with oil using the fluid brushstrokes of calligraphy. Receiving considerable encouragement and praise, he embarked on an artistic adventure, embracing this concept and technique. From 1963 to 1973 Chuang Che taught in the Tunghai University Taiwan Taichung department of architecture. In 1966 he won the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award and traveled to the United States tostudy contemporary world painting. Influenced by abstract expressionism, he devoted to abstract landscape paintings early in his career. At the same time, he was also inspired by the burgeoning Pop art expression and created partial collage works on canvas with different materials.
Chuang Che first used collages where he tore and cut out paper shapes and affixed them to canvases as early as 1964, in order to discover its unexpected effect, in fact, not looking for a basic understanding of the sporadic. He felt lines and planes were two legs of a painting. The distribution of a plane dominating large structures while sporty lines rhymed the rationality of “plane”. So it is a matter of course to attachpaper shapes to paintings and integrate with lines; this method carried overwell into his later period works.
From 1972 to 1987, Chuang Che moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spenthis time traveling throughout America, witnessing the magnificence andabundance of nature. Subsequently, his works during his Ann Arbor period werepredominantly embodiments of what he saw in nature.
From the late 1980s, Chuang Che started working in a studio that was renovated from a decommissioned brasserie in New York.Alongside his increasingly maturing abstract paintings, he also made use ofdrifting objects he picked up from the Hudson River and put them in his paintings to make a special three-dimensional visual effect on a flat surface, which led to a series of mixed medium sculptural paintings with these objects. Meanwhile,in 1992, 1998 and 1999, he completed the self portrait series, Trees and Rocksseries, the Original series, head portrait series and body composition series that combined newspaper collage and paintings with complex media and materials.By doing so, Chuang Che struck up a direct conversation between individuals,history, Western civilization and nature, which not only inherited the features of his collage from the 1960s, his magnificent mountains and water paintings from the 1970s and 1980s, but also led to the Mountains, Water, and Humanseries that he developed after 2000, as well as his never-published Eastern series, such as the Snow Boat series and Small Waters and Mountains series.
Chuang Che’s abstract landscape paintings originally began as depictions of the external appearances of nature, and then turned to expressing form and spirit as their ultimate goals. He introduced the lines, shapes and structures of calligraphy into his paintings, manifesting an intrepid, spirited grandeur through the ethereal fluidity of his brush. The modulations and rhythmic pauses of his brushstrokes,to the accompaniment of colors, pirouetted through his spaces in a nearly ecstatic state. His pictures frequently expressed the dispositions of nature -gradual erosion, collision, frostiness, dense mistiness, moist lushness. With dense, expansive undulations – vertical or horizontal, shrinking or expanding -his images, alternately chaotic and soaring, blazed many new visual trails.They genuinely reflect a sudden inner realization of wisdom on the part of the artist.