An Undefeatable Quest for Freedom and Beauty: The Life and Art of Huang Tu-Shui
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An Undefeatable Quest for Freedom and Beauty: The Life and Art of Huang Tu-Shui

Session Information

Number of Sessions
An Undefeatable Quest for Freedom and Beauty: The Life and Art of Huang Tu-Shui
日曆圖案 2023/03/25 09:00 ~ 2023/07/09 18:00

Event Details

An Undefeatable Quest for Freedom and Beauty: The Life and Art of Huang Tu-Shui
2023. 03. 25 — 2023. 07. 09
Gallery 102

Curator | Hsueh Yen-Ling

Supervisor | Ministry of Culture

Organizer | National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Special Thanks | ESUN Foundation



Born in Monga, Taiwan under Japanese rule, Huang Tu-Shui (1895-1930) was recognized as the sole representative of Taiwan’s sculptural scene between the 1910s and 1930s. He was nurtured by Japanese culture when he was a student who graduated with flying colors. Upon the recommendations of the head of civil affairs, Government-General of Taiwan and the principal of the National Language School, Huang was admitted to the Department of Woodcarving, Tokyo Fine Arts School (now the Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1915. Being the first Taiwanese artist studying Western sculpture in Japan, Huang finished his advanced training at the Tokyo Fine Arts School in 1923. From 1920 to 1924, Huang had been selected four times in a row for the Teiten where he had competed with Japanese sculptors, and such laurels made him famous in both Taiwanese and Japanese art circles. Huang’s personal glory galvanized many young people to devote themselves to artistic creation, which ergo ushered in the era of new art in Taiwan.

To achieve his artistic ideal and secure his source of funding, Huang had since 1926 accepted commissions for statues of political bigwigs and business tycoons, such as Emperor Shōwa’s parents-in-law, governors-general of Taiwan, and president of the Taiwan Power Corporation. He also created the sculptural work Sakyamuni Buddha at the commission given by the Bangka Lungshan Temple, and cooperated with the Taiwan Daily News in producing animal statues from the Chinese zodiac. The fund raised therefrom allowed Huang to devote himself to artistic creation without worries. During the Japanese colonial period, the social network among these political bigwigs and business tycoons in Taiwan was interlaced by Huang’s works, and the stories of their patronage for young artists who strived towards success in a foreign land were nothing short of captivating epics.

Between 1928 and 1930, Huang had committed his boundless creative energy to the bas-relief Taiwan Buffalos with the intention of partaking in the Teiten again, only to die of a sudden illness on 21 December 1930. It’s a great pity that he couldn’t complete this work. Huang’s life and glittering career came to an abrupt end at the age of 36. Nevertheless, his creative style vividly reflected Taiwan’s natural conditions and social customs as well as Taiwanese people’s diligence, making him an iconic figure in Taiwanese art history. Bequeathing Taiwan artistic treasures as priceless as immortal, Huang was one of the pioneers of carving who marked the dawn of the history of modern sculpture in Taiwan.

After meticulous studies and organization conducted on Huang’s invaluable oeuvre and related archives, with reexaminations and constructive work also executed, on view in this exhibition are 37 artworks by Huang and also an extensive selection of archives. The objective is for the original ionic artworks by Huang to be exhibited and to offer an opportunity for the public to gain an in-depth understanding of this extraordinary sculpture artist. Moreover, these priceless artworks and archives will continue to be preserved and passed down, for Huang’s outstanding contribution to the development of Taiwan’s art history to be recognized and continue to instill impact.

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Attachment(s) Description of Attachment(s)
展覽說明 展覽說明
Introduction to the Exhibition Introduction to the Exhibition
展覽說明書 展覽說明書

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