Zhong Cheng 2023 Autumn Auction「Modern And Contemporary Art」

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    CHIU YATSAI (1949-2013)


    Oil on Canvas
    117 x 91 cm

    Signed Chiu Yatsai in Chinese

    Estimate TWD 700,000-1,000,000
    USD 22,000-31,400
    HKD 0-0

    Hammer Price TWD 0
    USD 0
    HKD 0

With a certificate of authenticity from gallery


Illustrated:"Chiu Yatsai," Goethe Art Center, Taichung, Taiwan, 2013, Page 86-87



Born in Yilan, Taiwan in 1949, Chiu Ya-Tsai's life was marked by a tumultuous journey. His early years were defined by the hardships of his educational path and the barriers in his interpersonal relationships. These experiences molded his character into one that was introverted, reserved, and reticent. However, it was during his military service that the influence of literature began to shape his perspectives, igniting the spark that would later fuel his artistic creativity and emotional refuge.

Upon completing his military service, Chiu Ya-Tsai embarked on a journey of artistic expression during his leisure hours. Inspired by the success of the American exhibitions by the painter Hong Tong, he embarked on a year-long quest for guidance from the president of the "Artist" magazine, which organized Hong Tong's exhibitions. His persistence bore fruit in 1977 when he secured the opportunity to hold his inaugural solo exhibition in Taipei, ultimately establishing himself as one of Taiwan's most celebrated portrait artists.

Chiu Ya-Tsai's commitment to his craft remained unwavering throughout his life, with a distinct inclination toward the art of portraiture. Interestingly, most of the figures in his works were not real individuals but products of his vivid memory and boundless imagination. Employing the traditional Chinese brushwork technique, he portrayed these figures as refined gentlemen, yet their countenances betrayed an underlying sense of profound solitude.

Influenced by Picasso's “Blue Period," Chiu Ya-Tsai masterfully harnessed the power of blue to convey an atmosphere of melancholy in his art. His compositions featured solitary figures standing against empty backgrounds, evoking emotions of isolation, desolation, serenity, and introspection. The silence that enveloped these male figures concealed their tumultuous emotions, which surged beneath the surface.

With a deft and nuanced brushstroke, Chiu Ya-Tsai delicately outlined the contours of his subjects, while employing rich, dark hues to highlight their individuality. This technique mirrored the inherent conflicts and contradictions between human nature and culture, imbuing each canvas with an understated but poignant sense of melancholy.

Chiu Ya-Tsai once remarked, "The gracefulness of the characters in my paintings embodies the beauty I have always sought. The loneliness and solitude they exude perfectly mirror the hardships I have endured in life." His inner dialogue remained a deeply personal and introspective journey, one that he transcribed onto the canvas with an unadulterated, solitary honesty. Through his art, he eloquently conveyed the purest and most authentic essence of the craft, representing a distinctive portrait style that was undeniably emblematic of his era.

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