Born in Beishan village, Guningtou, Kinmen Island, Lee Shi-chi graduated from Kinmen High School. Due to his excellent performance in painting, he was recommended for admission into the Department of Fine Arts, Teachers College of Taipei. In 1957, he woodcut print was selected by the “Free China Art Exhibition.” His innovative style was noticed and acknowledged by Chin Song, a senior at the college. Soon Chin introduced him to become a founding member of the Society of Modern Printmaking in 1958. In 1959, he started participating in major international exhibitions and won many prestigious prizes. After the 1960s, his made woodcut prints of elegant architectural shapes composed by lines and created works of vivid gradient colors in Pop art style. In 1974, he exhibited the Sacrifice to the Moon series and then the Spinning Dance series (1977), the Travelling in Time series (1979), the Momentum of Life series (1984) and the Epiphany series (1986). In the early 1990s, he layered raw lacquer to create the Starkly Black series. Afterwards, he used the same medium with the concept of the “tangram” to develop lacquer paintings of the Post Orientation series, Ten Essays about Life and the Orientation Sprouting from the Root series created since 2004. He is an artist with acute sensibility.
Orientation Sprouting from the Root-14 (2005) was one of the Orientation Sprouting from the Root series developed since 2004. Compared with the previous pieces in the series, it extends and stretches much more in terms of the artist’s vision. It is not about thinking in a single frame. It was created directly on the wall in the exhibition space. The visual vocabulary in the image gathers the styles of his previous works including the bleakness and power of rubbing prints on clothes, the flow and gracefulness of Chinese calligraphy, the smooth and sheen of lacquer painting, the simplicity and nimbleness of geometrical composition.1
1Hsiao, Chong-rey. “Orientation Sprouting from the Root and Lee Shi-chi—the Pitch-shifting Bird Calling the Deities Back to Life.” Orientation Sprouting from the Root and Lee Shi-chi. Shanghai: Shanghai Cultural Association, 2005. 133.
There are two significant starting points for Lee’s art of modern painting: influences from folk culture and traditional ethnic elements and his interest in Western modern art. “Orientation” is the traditional legacy for Lee’s art and the modern support for his work. “Orientation” illustrates how he seeks the locality of culture in a postmodern perspective as he strives to keep up with the international art trends in the mean time. His Orientation Sprouting from the Root series was developed on basis of the Orientation series (late 1960s) and Post Orientation (late 1990s). Looking at Orientation Sprouting from the Root-14, we find every elements of his previous pieces are included. Nevertheless, the piece is rather a new approach of simplicity, freedom and variety than a simple reiteration of these elements.
|English title：||Orientation Sprouting from the Root-14|
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|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|