Ou Hau-nian was born in Maoming County, Guangdong Province, China in 1935. He has a birth name of Chie, and is the leading inheritor of Lingnan Art School. Ou showed great talent and a young age, exhibiting his paintings throughout Southeast Asia in joint exhibitions in 1956. Soon after, he started giving lectures and having exhibitions in many parts of the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, the United States and Europe. Ou became a lecturer at the Fine Arts Department of Chinese Culture University in 1970. He had also been a review committee member for the "Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition", Sun Yat-sen Literature and Arts Award, and National Award for Arts; counseling committee member of the Provincial Fine Arts Museum; and preparatory and review committee member of the 7th~14th “National Art Exhibition of the Republic of China.” He was awarded an honorary degree from the Chinese Academy (known as Chinese Culture University today) in 1974; Golden Nobility Award from the Republic of China Painting Association in 1975; International Communications Medal from the Government Information Office under the Executive Yuan in 1990; Grand Prize of National Galleries of the Grand Palais Exhibition from the French National Fine Art Society Biennial in 1993; PhD in philosophy from the Wonkwang University in Korea in 1994: PhD in art theory in the University of Indianapolis in 1995; and the Second Global Outstanding Personalities Gold Dragon Awards in 1999.
Waterfall and Rainbow (1989) incorporates ink-and-wash painting skills and plein-air painting skills from the west to create a vast, amazing world. He applies various calligraphy techniques, such as center tip, side tip and slanted tip, to present natural landscape. The solidness of rock walls on the sides are enhanced through dry brushstrokes covered with wet “wrinklings.” The painter then continues using a wet paintbrush to paint a glowing rainbow among running waters. The varying layers of ink and wash symbolize moving clouds and rising mist. In all, Waterfall and Rainbow exhibits unlimited power and magnificence. As master painter Chang Ta-chien praised, “Ou is able to create the whole universe with a few brushstrokes. He is truly as powerful as the Creator.” Such a statement indicates how magnificent Ou’s paintings are. His paintings are inspired by free-flowing semi-cursive and running scripts. His skilled use of blanks, dots and dyes bring the beautiful changing nature to life. The painter’s sharp observations on life, moreover, form an extraordinary world of ink and wash painting.
Born into an intellectual family in Lingnan, China, Ou has a solid knowledge base. He used to study calligraphy and painting on his own. In 1950, the artist moved to Hong Kong with his parents. At age 17, he became a student of Chao Shao-ang of the Lingnang art school and was influenced by predecessors Kao Chien-fu and Kao Chi-feng of the same school. The painter has developed a unique style in ink and wash painting. He paints landscape, human figures, birds, insects, fish, animals and many other things. Ou can even incorporate poetry into his paintings. Famous Japanese painting critic Kawakita, Rinmei spoke highly of Ou for his style: “When compared with contemporary Japanese painters, Ou Hau-nian’s style resembles that of Takeuchi Seiho, although Takeuchi’s is more refined, and Ou’s is more magnificent. Perhaps this also the major difference between the two peoples.” The Lingnan painting school, founded by Kao Chien-fu, Kao Chi-feng and Chen Shu in the late Qing Dynasty, was rendered a new look after Ou introduced elements of western painting. He has not only made breakthroughs in the history of modern ink and wash painting, but brought the category to a new peak.
|English title：||Rainbow and Waterfall|
|Medium / Classification：||ink painting and calligraphy|
|Collection Unit：||National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||Unique Vision Ⅱ：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|