Interview with Hsi Chun Huang
Hsi Chun Huang (1985) was born in Taipei, Taiwan.
After getting an art degree at the National Taiwan University of Arts, Hsi Chun chose Europe as a starting point to begin his full-time creation in 2013. He loves to observe and portray the moments that touch him in his daily life, obsessed with just saving bits of memories, of moments in time.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
My name is Hsi Chun Huang I'm an artist from Taiwan.
Since my mom is an accountant, there's always tons of scrap paper in my mom's office. I’d collet it and scribbled on it when I was a child. When we went out to relative's house, they would find me some papers, like some papers of calendar. My mom said that I could always be a well-behaved child if I found the paper.
I remember I drew many dinosaurs, and they’re eating, flying, or some of them were fighting, surrounded by trees, and sometimes there’s a lake. In the background, maybe one or two volcanoes with lava flowing there, normally I drew a big one if I only drew one volcano, or a big one with a small one if I drew two volcanoes.
Apart from dinosaurs, one of my favorite subjects is sharks, I would draw a great white shark jumps out of water attacks boat. Now I recollect the days of my childhood, I think I was influenced by Steven Spielberg and his movie a lot, I love Jurassic park and Jaws!
There were others I used to like to draw, like some character of video game, zombie, or vampire. l could sit quietly and drawing while adults were talking after dinner, then they would look at my paintings and said I would be next Picasso. So my parents sent me to study art when I was in junior high school, and I started learning painting techniques from the basics. From that moment, I had been studying art until the university.
A friend of mine once asked me, she wondered what happened between my childhood paintings and the paintings I am working on nowadays, because there’s usually no dinosaur in my recent works, what made me keep being focused on people’s daily life? I think the influence of impressionists since when I was an art student can be a good answer, or maybe it’s just because I become an adult and they’re what I like in different periods. I miss my dinosaur....
“Are you still keeping your dinosaur paintings?” she said, “They are still staying in my childhood!” I said, “ahh that’s sad but I hope they are still doing well in there!” she said, “I think they’re doing well like in the heaven!” I said to her. Of course I still like dinosaur and shark, they’re the reasons started a friendship between me and one of my close friend, and I’d stop changing the channel when I see them on television. I think I talk too much dinosaur ha ha!
Few years later after getting an art degree, I met my classmate Bee, who is a one of most important person to me, and a main reason why I started being an artist. She’s been doing art in Melbourne a year before I began my full time creation in 2013. She motivated me and has faith in me so I could live as an artist until now. We’ve been working together and helping each other since 2013.
I would like to share more about her if I am allowed to do:
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
I am emotional and a person of sensibility, always have feelings and sympathetic understanding about many things. Those feelings are likely to make me attempt to create something, especially when I’m very happy or sad. It pains me to say this because I sometimes feel disturbed if I think or feel too much, and I need to find my way out.
Thankfully, my artworks is like the path to unconditional self-acceptance, and the way to express my inner world. I feel like I’m writing my diary when I’m creating the work base on my feeling, I feel like I’m saying something honestly, there’s a sense of satisfaction from the deep of my heart while I’m doing it. So from my point of view on my artworks, I’d say that they’re part of me and something I desire by expressing it openly.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I can say it’s almost everywhere, I love to observe and portray the moments that touch me in my daily life. They’re just some ordinary subject matter, such as a messy sheet which shows a person just woke up and left, some dirty socks waiting to be washed in a laundry basket, the mugs on the table with desk lamp.... I like the image which can shows the way people live, where you can see someone is living here and this person can be me or people around me.
There’re several times I was moved by my breakfasts while I was having them recently, some mixed salads including berries and eggs with roasted sweet potatoes on my plate, besides a cup of coffee, milk tea or juice. I was staring at them on wooden table, feeling the air in the morning, they looked great, and I thought, this is a beauty of life and I’d be in the mood for drawing them.
I’m fascinated with painting people doing everyday things. For example in a painting of mine, there’s a girl was putting on make-up in her nightgown, my eyes were captured by how focused she was. I looked at her fingers, hair, and then I saw toothbrush, toothpaste, some cosmetics were placed there quietly. The sunlight in the early summer morning went in through the window and everything was covered by it. I think I’m obsessed with just saving bits of memories, of moments in time, they’re type of things that I have an interest in personally, and want to see them realised in an art form.
Speaking of art form, I am deeply influenced by impressionists, especially the way they use color and how did they skillfully contrasted warm and cool colors in their paintings to create stunning effects. If you look up closely at many of Claude Monet’s paintings, you can see just how many colors he used all through his paintings. You will notice that he rarely used a static color, but rather a myriad of broken colors which optically blend together when viewed from a distance. Yet when you step back, everything works in a peaceful harmony.
Moreover, reading books and music are also help me a lot to promote thinking.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
There’re always some emotions that might not right to be shown in public. There’s a girl I used to like and she was with another man, once I saw her boyfriend was facing a problem, I was pleased secretly. Something like this kind of stuffs, my artworks give me the freedom to be who I am and say what I feel. Nothing can be hidden there even though I’ve tried.
I’d say my artwork is a gentle way to invite viewers to share my own world, and hope the story behind every each work may resonate with someone who has had a similar experience, so they would smile at my paintings knowingly.
Some friends of mine described my paintings as "emanating warm feelings”, I guess it’s not only because they can experience beautiful sense of light and environment, but also I'd like to build understanding on a deep emotional level with viewers, and this is what I want to keep up with.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
When I managed to turn my feelings into a painting, and have said what I felt moved to share.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
My paintings were chosen to be exhibited at New Artist Fair's 'Summer Exhibition' London 2017. I'm so happy that I got an email from the fair director Oliver, he told me it's an absolute pleasure having me exhibit with them and always welcome to show with them again in the future, and thanks to me for producing this video, He shared it on some Facebook pages and also put it on the front page of website.
3 Days in 3 Minutes! Here’s my experience of exhibiting at the New Artist Fair's 'Summer Exhibition' London 2017, through my eyes and showing a wee taster of one of biggest and best art fair in London, for those who didn't make it:
How long does it take to produce one work?
I tended to be fluent in drawing and be able to finish one work in a week, when there’re some moments I have a strong desire to preserve, the best way to deal with them is to translate them into painting as soon as possible, the fresh inspiration is like the supper that is ready, you must hurry up and finish the meal before it turns cold.
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
In my view, my life during the past few years is a great memory. Even today, I wonder how much things I missed that I had not seen because they were just too subtle. When I look back and notice they’re waving with a smile at me, I cannot help but smile. Those are what I would like to pick them up and keep producing. And I’ve been always thinking about drawing acrylic on canvas, and will do at the right moment.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I’m sure I’ll have my next solo exhibition held this year, but I’m not really sure when due to the reason that everything is still being planned.