Painter Lee Cheng-tan's exhibition featuring great mountains painted with mixed media is running at the Ministry of Culture's Tainan Living Arts Centerthrough the end of June. The opening ceremony took place on June 16.
Lee, 62, moved to Kaohsiung to look for jobs outside the art field after graduating from National Taiwan University of Arts in New Taipei City and serving his military service. When he retired more than a decade ago, Lee continued to learn about new things which have provided him with inspiration for art creations.
This exhibition that fuses designing, photography and printing depicts the changing landscape of Mt. Everest.
Lee joined a club and began climbing mountains at the age of 60. Over the past two years, he has climbed more than 20 mountains over 3,000 meters above sea level in Taiwan. In 2012, he finally challenged himself to climb the world's highest mountain.
Lee started the trek by hiking in the mountains, climbing from Lukla (2,850 meters above sea level) to Kalapatthar ( 5,623 meters above sea level) before arriving at Mt. Everest's south basecamp.
For over 10 days, he walked five to six hours every day and experienced many things, from seeing the blossoming azalea flowers, listening to the prayers of lamas, to walking in heavy snow, rain and hail. He also suffered from acute mountain sickness, breathed so hard due to short of breath that his nose bled, and had to withstand the cold weather with temperature as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Lee later had an aerial view of Mt. Everest by plane before reaching the north base camp in a jeep. Being awed by the natural scenery and local culture, Lee spent a year on creating thirty-two100 cm x 80 cm oil paintings using photography, printing and artistic design.
Mountain climbing is a self-challenge as well as training for one's fitness and will power, while painting is his hobby and strength, Lee said.
"The mountains are just there and the beauty of Nature is waiting for you. Implement what moves you in life, and enrich your life,” he said. This exhibition documents the artist's lifetime journey and portrays the fulfillment of a dream come true.