LIÚ, Yung Jen 劉永仁
Art exploration through Eternal Breathing
by Autumn Lai
translated by Sandra Hornung
Liu Yung-Jen’s consistent creative style is to activate thinking and medium. Naturally roaming between here and there, canvases and oils, reality and imagination, he unceasingly wanders on his own path to search the eternal expression of art spirit. The process of art creation profoundly blends with his philosophy and perception of life; therefore, secular life has been purified into art creation elements in order to express the pure mind and ideal artistic essence.
Series Painting‧Environmental Painting
Yung-Jen’s art creation presents the complicated and subtle evolution of thinking. The structure has stridden across the boundary of concrete and abstract paintings, reflecting his endless self-searching journey and shaped unique and nimble creation. The series of paintings have developed gradually since the 1990s and are as natural as breathing: “Profound Multiplied by Respiration 1996”, “Walled Mind 1999”, “The Osmosis of the Origin 2001”, “Between the Deep Breaths of an Artist 2002”, “Between the Deep Breaths of an Artist 2007.” The sequence of solo exhibitions prolongs the probing of the truth, and continuously mingles with the revolution of respiration, breathing and interpenetrating. Lines and ranges convey the boundless flourishing strength and are close to the primitive life of great nature.
Liu’s creation seems to hide a sudden pleasant amazement, and never falls into a stereotypical habit. Environmental painting subverts the rigid visual depiction and originates from the solo exhibition in the Gallery 173 Semaphore, Adelaide, Australia. In the work, A Journey of Deep Breathing(2007), board paintings with lead, beeswax, wooden boxes and arrow objects extend to 90 or 120 degrees. This exploration experimented with flexibility, amusement and a bit of adaptable rebellion. Environmental painting will catalyze the subjective thought and interact more with the audiences’ inner world.
Activation of the origin‧Experimenting with Medium
The main topic of Liu Yung-Jen’s early academic stage in Taiwan was ink painting. Compared to his Italian period, the ink painting stage was brief, but it cultivated his magnanimous personality and then transcended into the perception of breathing creation. He pursued his ideal artistic dream in Italy from 1990 to 1998. Conscientiously exploring the perfect medium such as ink, acrylic, thin cotton paper and gold powder, he finally found oils and canvases were the best medium to portray the temperate, mildly warm, moistening texture. Blending the essences of oriental techniques, he combines the artistic ideals of the eastern and western worlds and evolves the content in the development of the series and establishes his ideal intrinsic quality of art language.
Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were considered two of the pioneering Neo-Dada artists to pave the crack between abstract expressionism and pop art. They were against the attitude of abstract expression far away from people, and forged the new direction that art creation could return to daily life. Liu’s art language expression is via abundant interface, across the boundary of abstractionism and very close to human life. He considers how to infuse the daily object into the creation as natural as breathing. He intuitively faces life and art to let all hustling and bustling matters settle into tranquillity and transforms them as resources of art essences.
In recent years, lead and beeswax are the ultimate experiments and there is complete display in this exhibition. The typical images of “Crossing Will” and “Breathing Osmosis 05-09” originates from the earlier series, completed recently and contains the ideas from a different series.
Warm and Moistening Phenomenon‧ Succinct Extension
Liu Yung-Jen constantly experiments with various breathing processes in art creation, his latest new works combines the golden beeswax and grey-blue lead to create the warm and moistening phenomenon which possesses multiple interpenetrating and elastic spaces. The interpreting roles of images on the paintings will be released to the audiences’ mind. The multiple combinations can extend the space into a rhythmic and succinct world. The content of the artistic spirit produces a mild, warm, pleasant, and up-to-date feeling.
The Alchemy of Breathing‧Thoughtful Eternity
The title of this exhibition “The Alchemy of Breathing” reflects the continuing creative kernels which highlight inner and outer extending painting spaces and the intrinsic art essence. New visions and images have been explored by this devoted artist, Liu Yung-Jen, who possesses eminent self-recognition. The natural creation of visual images integrates the sincere experience of life progression and evolves eternity in the truth.
Liu Yung-Jen’s creative spirit transforms the life of art in several sequences to the sublime. The redefined neutral tinctures maintain modest and plain luster. The connection and transformation of color, form, medium, time and space gradually direct to clear, bright, resounding and pleasant visual feelings and active meditations. In observing the paintings, we feel as if we are in an immense starry night right after summer showers, or in the extensive ocean, or at the top of the remote Milky Way. Liu Yung-Jen’s eternal devotion creates new images of contemporary abstract art.