Interview with Cliff Tseng
Born in 1974 in Taiwan, I studied art at National Taiwan University of Art, I has had solo and group exhibitions in UK, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and China. I create the first series “ In-between” in 2002, the second series “Out of the window” in 2006 and now “The beginning of life” start in 2013. My art was nurtured by Eastern background, the pursuit of inner spiritual calm of Eastern art, while Western art pursues satisfaction in terms of external appearance. I try to make a perfect match between the spirit of Eastern art and the materials and form of Western art to create my own style.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
I was born in 1974, and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of National Taiwan University of Arts. I currently reside and create in Taiwan.I set myself the goal of becoming an artist at the age of just five years old and persisting in pursuit of this dream, I have painted for more than thirty years.
I create the first series “ In-between” in 2002, the second series “Out of the window” in 2006 and now “The beginning of life” start in 2013.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
These art pieces of “The Beginning of Life” are the first collection of my “Life” painting series. They were created by using acrylic and charcoal to create shadow effect, depicted by semi-abstract painting skill to construct the initial state of living matter, and composited by applying dots, lines and two-dimension into frames to create 3 or 4 dimensions effects. Similar to “Chinese Painting Style” and "Zen", these art works had left a large space of blank and only use pure colors.
The universe was created by tiny particles. These particles were generated constantly from gathering together or being apart from each other in harmonious energy areas. They are tangible and intangible living matter, including mountains, oceans, air, clouds, animals, and plants. The status of their existence sometimes are obvious to be seen but sometimes are hiding. They are growing, disappearing, developing, or evaporating. These particles live in this universe by their own unique individual ways, they come and go, they release energy without being noticed, and they burst into youthful vitality.
These particles exist in the same space simultaneously and they represent all forms of life that are mutual living matter and are all equal.
I created semi-abstract and near-abstract symbols to represent living matter. I am a Buddhist I use the way of art to communicate the true meaning and spirit of Buddhism. I believe we should respect, love, care, appreciate, and adore all forms of life.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My art was nurtured by my Eastern background, the pursuit of inner spiritual calm of Eastern art, while Western art pursues satisfaction in terms of external appearance. I try to make a perfect match between the spirit of Eastern art and the materials and form of Western art and, in doing so, create my own style. Also, as a believer in Buddhism, a Zen element can be felt in my works, a kind of introverted plane and artistic conception, a kind of richly poetic still beauty.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
Artistic creativity is the thing I most want to do in my life. In my 30-old years of creating art I have stuck to my own ideas, not followed trend, constantly thought and strived to create. As I became older, I gradually formed my current painting style. I hope that my artistic creations can transcend the barriers between race and religion and be elevated to become a common visual language for humanity, in this era characterized by turbulence, speed and unbridled lust, injecting an element of refection and purity so people can be spiritually cleansed and taken to a higher level. I hope more people can appreciate the artistries conception and beauty in my works.
When do you know that an artwork is finished ?
This is a bit difficult for me! Because when I think the work has been completed,
but a few days later I watch this work again I think it must add a line or a dot…
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
I have exhibited in some countries, such as Paris, London, Berlin, Japan and China, many viewers are interested in my works and asked me a lot of questions, they are interested in such as media, techniques and oriental aesthetics…I really like the viewers share them feeling with me, This is an exciting moment for me.
How long does it take to produce one work?
Usually three days to two months I can complete a work.
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
I will cooperation with a gallery in China this year, we are planning to follow my painting style to combine with Chinese famous ancient paintings and have an exhibition to salute to Chinese famous ancient paintings and grandmaster, this is a very difficult, but this is a very challenging and Interesting project.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I will have one solo and some group exhibitions in this year, and planning to
participate some international art fair in the future.
Where do you see your art going in five years?
I am going my “The Beginning of Life” series painting, this is the first collection of my “Life” painting series. I will going in next five years. Hope to participate in more international exhibitions in the future.