Born in 1927 in Yentai in Shandong Province, Hsia began to study painting under the famed Tianjin artist Li He-shen at the tender age of 10. He specialized in painting flowers and birds, and entered the Yentai Provincial Normal University at age 14, where he studied sketching and watercolors with Professor Zheng Yue-po. He graduated at age 20, and worked as a substitute art teacher at the Taidong Sixth Street Elementary School in Qingdao in 1948. Hsia followed the KMT to Taiwan in January of 1949, where he worked in a variety of jobs including graphic and commercial art (1951), in furniture design (1962), batik painting (1968), and eventually established his own interior design workshop (1973). He held a joint exhibition with Zheng Yue-po at Stanford University (1962-73), and in 1988 received the Innovation Award at the Modern Brush and Ink Competition from the Taipei Municipal Museum of Art. In recent years, his work has been rediscovered by the domestic and international art circles, and he has exhibited at the Pacific Cultural Institute (1995), National Museum of History (1996), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art (1997), the Sutherland Gallery in New York (2000), and the Taipei City Hall Art Salon (2008).
Hsia Yi-fu’s work has evolved through several incarnations from his early freehand method, to a dry-brush method. Carefully creating the detailed textures of mountains, rocks, clouds and waves through friction with a semi-dry brush, Hsia has broken through previous boundaries of the dry-brush technique. His work mainly consists of dry brush, and eschews the blurred stains of traditional ink paintings. The overlapping layers of clouds, water, mountains and rocks are created by rubbing the dry brush against paper. The special atmosphere he creates from the rhythm of the lines is unique. After 1995, he began fusing ink with the application of color, with detailed grasses and plant life added with a fine brush. His extensive design experience enables Hsia to combine the perspectives and contrasts of Western painting, with dry-brush and embellished with detailed fine brush sketches to create scenes in nature that, at first glance, appear to be black-and-white landscape photography that are rich in Eastern flavor. He successfully developed an artistic style that represented a major breakthrough from traditional Chinese painting. This work combines four segments. In addition to the variety of detailed textures, he recreates the majesty and multi-faceted nature of the mountains with the overlapping peaks and valleys.
Hsia Yi-fu was only able to devote himself to his art when he retired from his design profession in 1978 at the age of 52. It was under the guidance of Fu Juan-fu, that Hsia began on this new path. In 1988, his work was selected for “The Era of Ink and Color—Contemporary Brush and Ink Exhibition” at the Taipei Museum of Fine Art, where he was awarded the Innovation Prize, and his work has received critical acclaim. Professor Li Chu-tsing at the University of Kansas once described Hsia’s work as exemplifying the contemporary spirit of Chinese landscape painting, expressing a new spirituality in Chinese brush and ink work.
|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：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|