J.C. Kuo Exhibit at Asia Art Center

J.C. Kuo - Lady in the Water
Lady in the Water

Today was the last day of this exhibition

This morning on the way to the flower market on Chien Kuo South Road we passed the Asia Art Center and decided to go in. It was our first visit. The gallery itself was small (only the first floor and basement) and took about 10 minutes to walk through. It was worth the visit though (especially if you are in the area).

They were currently having a J.C. Kuo solo exhibition. The young assistant Vivian told me J.C Kuo is the first Taiwanese contemporary artist and is the first one to fuse traditional Chinese painting styles with modern Western art. I have no idea what that means. I liked the colors, the energy and the implications of the pictures (but mostly the colors).According to the profile on the Center's website:

J.C. Kuo was born in 1949 in Lugang, Taiwan. Since 1980s, J.C. Kuo uses his striking stroke to describe the disorder of Taiwan society and develop his own unique painting style. He uses characteristically heavy and bold black lines, juxtaposed shapes and images, and traditional ancient stories to produce a strikingly colorful style to describe Taiwan vividly. In his painting, he articulates the phenomenon of the turbulent overlapping of ancient and modern history and Chinese and Western culture through the method of temporal juxtaposition. His painting style which arose from his personal self-awareness and experimentation has a strong style of expressionism. He uses this way to discover the collective psychology of Taiwanese. For Kuo, his paintings are the media to express his observation, imagination and criticism for Taiwan.

Instead of being an ontlooker, Kuo tries to walk into society and do the research about Taiwan with his exquisite observation. He uses post-modern way to depict the diversity of Taiwanese culture. In recent years," balloon" is his new painting image to describe Taiwan. In his large painting "Totem and Taboo – Floaters(2007)", he depicts young men and women full of vitality. Brimming with physical energy, they exhibit a vibrant, attractive physical condition and form a ritualistic rhythm of group dance. In this painting, he uses the image of balloon to symbolically refer to the current state of Taiwanese society, which means the collective psychological state of anxiety that commonly exists in Taiwanese society. His latest master pieces will be displayed in Asia Art Center(Taipei) in his 2009 solo exhibition "Before & After 2008 – Floating." Kuo’s paintings will lead us to find a way to seek for the inner peace as well as identity of ourselves.

Once again, I must say I just liked the pictures. Some of the pictures are shown below. Personally, my brain is probably paper mache and probably looks like the brain below.

J.C. Kuo - Brain News
Brain News

This conference one was also pretty cool. I liked the talking heads transoposed on the flags. I am sure there is meaning there but I just liked the colours and contrasts.

J.C. Kuo - Conference

Once again, had no idea about the symbolism but the flowing colors made it interesting.

J.C. Kuo - Fluid Motion

This one gave me a sense of power and weakness and the struggle to keep the earth moving forward. Thought it was fairly dramatic.

J.C. Kuo - Atlas Heaves
Atlas Heaves - 1

J.C. Kuo - Atlas Heaves 2
Atlas Heaves - 2

This one was still kind of interesting but I felt a little boring. I liked the flowing hair but didn't figure out any symbolism. There probably was some but anyway, I would not buy this one for my house.

J.C. Kuo - Lady

If you look closely at the bottom. These guys are squatting on the flags of the world. Thats about right!

J.C. Kuo - Guys Squatting
Squatting on Flags

I liked this one with the man striking the woman down. Its almost magic.

J.C. Kuo - Strike

This ones cool. Look closely and you will see newspapers in there mouth so they are either swallowing everything the read or they are spewing it out. One or the other. I liked it!

J.C. Kuo - Propoganda

This one was really cool and had a lot of dramatic elements inside it. The pic below is a section of a much larger picture.

J.C. Kuo - Life

First, from the above you probably figured out I (Paul) know nothing about art but, both Queenie and I enjoyed the exhibit. Actually I just looked at the brochure and today was the last day, so we got lucky! However, Vivian the assistant told me they will have more edgy, modern pieces in the gallery in the future and that the next exhibit will be one with sculptures. The gallery is worth a visit if you are in the area (but I wouldn't make a special trip UNLESS you are an Art Addict) the gallery is really too small.

Address: 177 Chienkuo South Rd. Sec. 2 (close to Hoping E./Chienkuo S. intersection)
Tel: 2574-1366


  1. You say you're not into Art Paul... but I reckon form some of your comments you could be a critic...

  2. ha ha ha...my comments would be "not bright enough"....thanks for the comment Simon. Take care.

  3. Anonymous22 June, 2009

    what does jc stand for i think i have one of his pieces i bought from a estate sale signed jonhson kuo ??

  4. Hi There Anon,

    I don't know what the JC stands for. There is no mention of his name on the Asia Art Center website. If you have one of his paintings, great. I liked the pictures in the exhibit.

    Have a great day


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