Skip to main content

Culture Minister grieves the death of pioneer artist Chuang Shih-ho

  • Date:2020-11-20
Culture Minister grieves the death of pioneer artist Chuang Shih-ho

Culture Minister Lee Yung-te expressed his condolences over the demise of avant-garde painter Chuang Shih-ho (莊世和) who passed away on Nov. 18 aged 98. Mourning the loss of the devoted artist, Lee said Chuang was a pioneer of abstract art in Taiwan who had committed his life to promote his artistic vision.

Once describing canvas as a medium for him to express himself, the Tainan-born artist revealed his native artistic talent at a young age.

To break free from the realistic style which was prevailing among Taiwanese artists at the time, Chuang immersed himself with leading-edge painting techniques such as cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Bauhaus style when he studied in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s.

After his return to Taiwan in 1946, the artist founded art organizations, including "the Green House Art Research Association (綠舍美術研究會)" in Pingtung and "the New Style Arts Association (新造形美術協會)" in Kaohsiung, to foster a greater appreciation of contemporary paintings in Southern Taiwan.

Throughout his life, the artist never ceased to create his own distinct painting styles. "I shall fearlessly push ahead to pursue the uniqueness of arts, and to push as far forward as possible," Chuang once wrote in his diary.

To preserve and research Chuang's artworks, the Ministry of Culture commissioned the Tainan National University of the Arts to conduct the "National Research Program on Arts Documents and Resources (國家藝術檔案及資源體系研究計畫)" in 2019 to archive, translate, and publish the artist’s journals, notes, sketching, and manuscripts.

The pioneer artist's eldest son Chuang Cheng-kuo (莊正國), who is also a painter, donated a number of files and archives pertaining to his father to the Taichung-based National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts for future studies on Chuang Shih-ho’s achievement and contribution to Taiwan’s art scene.

The donation which chronicles Chuang's creative experiences was also made to enrich Taiwan's fine arts landscape through offering a fuller picture of the late painter’s reflections on the concept of modernity.