Tender Portrayals of Difficult Lives: The Works of Hung Jui-Lin and Images of Miners
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Tender Portrayals of Difficult Lives: The Works of Hung Jui-Lin and Images of Miners

Session Information

Number of Sessions
Tender Portrayals of Difficult Lives: The Works of Hung Jui-Lin and Images of Miners
日曆圖案 2022/09/28 09:00 ~ 2023/02/17 17:00

Event Details

Tender Portrayals of Difficult Lives: The Works of Hung Jui-Lin and Images of Miners

 

Date | 2022.09.28~2023.02.19
Venue |
 Ministry of Culture – 1F Gallery

 

In the art history of Taiwan, veteran artist Hung Jui-Lin is the pioneer in depicting the theme of laborers and is dubbed “the mining painter” and “humanitarian painter.” Hung dedicated his entire life to portraying miners and holds an important place in the art history of Taiwan. In 2019, the Ministry of Culture received a donation from the artist’s eldest son Chin C. Houng, and the 1,467 works were immediately handed over to be categorized and cared for by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA). The works were created between 1924 and 1995, spanning over 70 years, and were foundational and major works of the artist’s career. To commemorate Hung’s legacy and contribution to the art of Taiwan and as a way of celebrating his artistic style, the NTMoFA specially selected works featuring the theme “miners” and the imagery of “laborers” in the exhibition.

 

Throughout Hung’s creative career, Jean-François Millet was his spiritual guide who inspired him to create works that feature the humble and difficult lives as well as the nobility and dignity of the working class. Hung formed a deep bond with the miners after spending ample time with them, and because the artist worked and lived with the worker, he believed that documenting the sanctity of the miner’s work through painting was his artistic calling. The sketches that the artist left behind and his simple style with fluid, skillful brushstrokes capture the roughness and humbleness of the miners, presenting us with unadulterated images of sentiments such as despair, restlessness, suffering, desperation, and emotional desolation. Hung’s work resonates and touches hearts because he was both physically and spiritually invested in pursuing the truthfulness of art and the inner, psychological states of his subjects, which he portrayed through tender compassion and truthfulness.

 

The sketches selected for this exhibition are mostly from Hung Jui-Lin’s sketchbooks from the 1950s in Huai-Shan Coal Mine and 1971 in Daxi Coal Mine. Meanwhile, the photographs are borrowed from Houtong Miners’ Culture and History Museum, which is located on the original site of Ruisan Mining Industry Company. Although Ruifang Pit No.2, which was where Hung used to work, no longer remains, we can still gain a glimpse of the world depicted by the painter’s brush through the historical photographs of Houtong Miners’ Culture and History Museum. Mining is an exceptionally strenuous work. Miners had to endure the dark, high temperature, and narrow working spaces, slowly crouching forward at the risk of the mine exploding or collapsing. From the photographs provided by the Houtong Miners’ Culture and History Museum, we see the hardships of the life of miners and gain a deeper understanding after the images are paired with Hung’s paintings of miners.

 

※Due to limitations in the exhibition space, works displayed in this exhibition are replicas that have gone through 20% enlargement of the original works.

 

Supervisor: Ministry of Culture
Organizer: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Special Thanks: Houtong Miners’ Culture and History Museum

Venue: No. 439 Zhongping Road 13 Floor (South Building), Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City.
Open Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00  (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays)