Lee Shi-Chi
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Artist Statement

Lee Shi-Chi was an important participant in the modern painting activities in Taiwan, which bourgeoned inthe late 1950’s and boomed in the mid 1960’s. The activities during this period not only changed the style of Taiwan paintings, but were also considered a complete overthrow of the traditional “realism” and “reformation” thinking into the modern paragon of “variation” and “transcendence,” from the point of view from the recentChinese art. Looking closely at the art life of this so-called “The out of tune bird of painting industry,” it reflects exactly the concrete transformation of thinking, which is the core of Chinese modern art.
Ever since the beginning of his artistic career, Lee Shi-Chi has walked a path midway between the “Great Tradition” and “Little Tradition”. While seeking inspiration from the works of the great literati of the past, he also found new meaning in the folk wisdom of ordinary people. Over the years, he has continued to position himself at the meeting point of art and handicrafts, painting and installation art, gambling equipment and art, art and design, painting and woodblock printing, modern and traditional, Chinese and Western, crossing and exploring the boundaries between these seemingly different spheres. The range of different techniques and media that

Lee has made use of during his career is immense; it includes woodblock prints, parachute cloth, gambling equipment, calligraphy, dominoes, dice, candles, rubbings, silkscreen printing, spray-painting, lacquer-ware … Lee Shi-Chi is a true magician when it comes to artistic media, and has been responsible for the development of many new artistic techniques. Within artistic circles, Lee will always be remembered for the way in which he has changed the “modulation” of his artistic “song” over the years, while always singing with the utmost clarity and beauty.

What Lee Shi-Chi’s works embody is not so much advanced learning or deep philosophical meaning, as a range of unexpected ideas, and the energy to put these ideas into practice. Lee is a master at using traditional media to present a contemporary artistic vocabulary. In his work, materials, forms and content combat and overlap one another to eventually achieve dialog and harmony. Just when it seems that there is no way forward, the path ahead suddenly becomes illuminated; the wind rises, and a magical spring of water gushes forth.

Lee Shi-Chi is without question one of the finest and most productive artists that Taiwan has produced in the post-war era. Among his contemporaries, Lee stands out by the way in which he has continued to remain at the forefront of innovation in contemporary art, constantly developing new styles and techniques while always seeking to give them a truly Chinese character. He is a truly great artist who, by disregarding the boundaries between different media and categories of art, has created works of immense emotional power.

Exhibition History at Gallery 456
2004Blocks Shifting