Feature Story

Art

International Analogy

Taiwan, Tai Chung - Gan-Cheng Village No.6 is a tranquil village filled with colorful and vivid drawings which bring fantasy and imagination to visitors. The 88-year-old Mr Wang is the only artist; encouraging words and auspicious blessings are expressed through his drawing.

Recording a long history is no mean feat. Small wonder then that Tai O today is a treasury of artistic handicrafts and statuary dating from prehistoric to modern times. Tai O, a jewel to inspire the artistic soul, has numerous places to discover varied public art, sculpture and historical creations, just like an open air art gallery.

Stepping into Tai O, you will find Chinese ink paintings, Chinese landscape paintings, hand-carved wooden masks, calligraphy, Tai O pastoral poetry and unique works by local artists. These art pieces of every hue witness the place's glorious past and give a glimpse of its distinctive heritage and culture.

Cheung
Wan Tam
Lo Sai Hei Kan Yuk Kwong

Local artists

Cheung Wan Tam

Chinese landscapist, wood sculptor and Dean of the Academy of Tai O - Ecology, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.

This artist was prominent for his praise of quintessential Chinese culture, disseminating Tai O culture by blending its natural scenery into Chinese landscape paintings and sculpting vivid wooden masks for more than 20 years. Mr Cheung was also obsessed with ancient history, longing for the career of a literati and official in feudal China, and emphasised keeping one's distance from earthly concerns, money and power.

Depicting mountains and water motifs, Mr Cheung's Chinese ink paintings primarily relied on vivid brushwork and varying degrees of ink intensity to portray his emotions, passion, personality and perception of nature. His art pieces were not found in museums but in his little log cabin, a clear example of how deeply Mr Cheung's principle of indifference to fame and wealth have permeated his life.

Lo Sai Hei

Contemporary artist and manager of Tokyo Store

The unique character of Tokyo Store tantalises visitors' curiosity. This corner of a busy Tai O pathway reflects the extraordinary artistic perspective of a mischievous 83-year-old artist named Lo Sai Hei. Tokyo Store offers an insight into Mr Lo's unique fantasy world through imaginative stories and a mixed display of decorative pieces made of thick cardboards with bright colors.

Although an indigenous inhabitant of Tai O, Mr Lo shows a distinctly different artistic perspective from the other local artists. Instead of revealing a vision of Tai O's real natural scenery, he is more fascinated by his completely original artistic creations, inspired by the fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and the traditional Chinese zodiac.

The most amazing part is that Mr Lo always combines Chinese and Western cultures in his art pieces, telling unbelievable but engrossing stories like "Snow White's Search for a Spouse." Other captivating works include a beautiful embellishment of the Chinese traditional zodiac animals, making up their stories in an unrestrained and vigorous style that brims with talent and creativity. Mr Lo never rushes in creating his art work, and if you take a chance and come to his store, he will share the marvelous story of his past and show you his one of a kind art pieces.

Kan Yuk Kwong

Contemporary calligraphist

The scrupulous collections of Mr Kan's calligraphy are virtual time machines that invite curious minds to unravel the ancient culture of penmanship. Passing by Tai O side alleys, the walls, gates and canopies of Mr Kan's store were all ornamented with his calligraphy in different styles, e.g. cursive, clerical script, regular script, seal script, etc. Besides calligraphy, the artistic Mr Kan even showed his talent for writing in seven-word poems, e.g. "Tai O's Past & Present" and "Tai O's Scenery." By using the poem's name as the first word of each verse, Tai O's picturesque views were vividly depicted in a mere 28 words. Calligraphy was always incorporated into Mr Kan's drawings as well, having two elements complementing each other, the poetic imagery and artistic conception mutually reinforced.