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The Retrospective of Paul Chiang (江賢二): A great musical feast of the visual arts

Paul Chiang (江賢二) lived in the Europe and the US for 30 years. He came back to Taiwan in 1999.
Photo by the DOCA
Paul Chiang (江賢二) lived in the Europe and the US for 30 years. He came back to Taiwan in 1999.

A corner of the gallery of Chiang’s Retrospective.

Photo by the DOCA
A corner of the gallery of Chiang’s Retrospective.

By Dory Chung
 
“Paul Chiang : A Retrospective,” has been on exhibition since March 28th. The curator, Chia Chi Jason Wang (王嘉驥), selected the representative works of Chiang to show his creative history from the 1960’s to today. Chiang’s expatriate life led him to diverse types of visual creation. This exhibition shows all of them completely.
 
From the 1960’s to the 1980’s, young Chiang went to Paris and New York to find inspiration. The reality of life’s burdens infused darkness into his works. In his early years, Paul would cover all the windows to paint without any natural light.

From the left, the curator of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Lin Ping, the artist Paul Chiang, and the curator of the exhibition, Chia Chih Jason Wang.
Photo by the DOCA
From the left, the curator of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Lin Ping (林平), the artist Paul Chiang (江二賢), and the curator of the exhibition, Chia Chih Jason Wang (王嘉驥).

One of Paul Chiang’s works–A Hundred Year Old Temple (百年廟).
Photo by Taipei Fine Arts Museum
One of Paul Chiang’s works–A Hundred Year Old Temple (百年廟).

Chiang came back to Taiwan in the 1990’s. He was inspired by a temple in his hometown and created the series “A Hundred Year Old Temple (百年廟).” Like his works in Paris, the “Notre Dame Cathedral (巴黎聖母院)” series, both used dark colors to capture the spirit of religion.
 
From the year 2000, Chiang’s “Silver Lake (銀湖)” series showed abstracts of the sea, a mirror, snow, and stars. In these works, the abstract blended with reality. People who looked at these paintings could feel the artist’s emotions.

Silver Lake (銀湖) has features of realism and abstraction.
Photo by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Silver Lake (銀湖) has features of realism and abstraction.
 
After 2008, Chiang moved to Taidong and his works became more colorful. The “Dream of Pisirian (比西里岸之夢)” series and the “Golden Goblet (金樽)” series reflected splendor and glory through their bold use of color.
 
Chiang has loved western classical music since he was young. He extols classical music in many of his works. The audience can find clues from both the pictures and the names of the works. For example, the musicians Bach, Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Schönberg, and their music have all been Chiang’s subjects.