The Centre Pompidou in Paris will be launching a solo exhibition for renowned Taiwanese painter Yuan Jai (袁旃) from Feb. 5 through April 27. As a former research fellow at Taiwan's National Palace Museum, Yuan is well-known for her large-format works using ink and color that bridge the gap between Eastern traditional paintings and Western avant-garde art.
Catherine David, a senior curator at Pompidou, has been committed to extending the center's artistic horizon beyond Europe and United States. She explains that Yuan's creations include luxurious landscapes, imaginative creatures, biographical elements, and contemporary motifs, all intermingled with European and Asian art styles. Unlike the standard viewpoint of dualism, Yuan's art questions the malleability of complex cultural narratives and occupies an important position in Taiwan's contemporary arts.
To create her own vision of the world, Yuan uses abstract painting techniques juxtaposed by angular framing inspired by Western geometric concepts, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. Her artwork colors are bright and vibrant, almost childlike, yet still elegant and dignified.
Yuan's painting style has been enriched by her background and experience with Chinese antiquities and materials. She studied Chinese painting in the Fine Arts Department of the National Taiwan Normal University, then delved into the history of art and restoration at Louvain University and the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Belgium. She then returned to Taiwan and worked at the restoration department at the National Palace Museum in Taipei for over three decades, eventually becoming the department's director.
Yuan's distinct artistic style will be highlighted at the solo exhibition, including her experimentations with the colors of traditional crafts, such as painted pottery or silk, as abstract compositions of contemporary art. Her playful works effortlessly combine elements of traditional Chinese painting and flamboyant modern colors.
Additionally, Pompidou has planned a special English-language forum for the exhibition. The Feb. 7 event will invite independent researcher Francesca dal Lago, Brandeis University professor Aida Yuen Wong (阮園) from Massachusetts, and Taiwan's Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts Director Huang Chien-hung (黃建宏) to discuss Yuan's legacy. Screenings on Taiwan's contemporary art scene will also be hosted by Pompidou on April 1.
The French-language press release is available here.
‘Yuan Jai Exhibition at Centre Pompidou’
Date: Feb. 5 – April 27, 2020
Venue: Centre Pompidou
Hours: 11am – 9pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Forum: Feb. 7, 2020 (2 – 6:30pm)
Cinema in Action: April 1, 2020 (7 – 9pm)