Paul Chiang was born in 1942 in Taichung. He graduated from the National Taiwan Normal University Fine Arts Department in 1965. As a student Chiang worked in Abstract Expressionism. In 1964 he formed the Era Art Association with classmates C. J. Yao and Gu Chong-guang, organizing an exhibition in the Taipei Provincial Museum (now the National Taiwan Museum). The group was a major force in the post-1960 modern painting movement. In 1965, Chiang was selected to participate in the Sao Paulo Biennial. He moved to Paris in 1967 and to New York the following year. Chiang returned to Taiwan to live in 1997 after spending 30 years abroad. He set up studios in Guandu and Taitung. His paintings became increasingly bright in use of color.
Chiang's first solo exhibition after graduating from university was held in 1966 at the Provincial Museum in Taipei. While abroad he also held a solo exhibition at Lamagna Gallery in New York in 1975 and at O.K.
Harris Gallery also in New York in 1994.
Since returning to Taiwan in 1997 he has had an impressive output of quality art works and has held several solo exhibitions. In 2007 Chiang held a solo exhibition at the Taishin Holdings building called "Plane and Space" where he displayed abstract iron sculptures for the first time.
Meditation on Eternity 01-33 is inspired by the author’s transcribing experience of the Heart Sutra. Scripture transcription is a like a ritual and a spiritual training. It often enables the person to feel the pureness of the mind. Like in Chiang’s other works, “light” remains a critical element in this painting. Gold paint is used to create a hazy effect, while dots of light are neatly arranged to induce a slow, steady rhythm, which leads viewers to meditate in silence.
Chiang was at university at the same time abstract painting was at its height in Taiwan. The Tong Fang Painting Association and the Fifth Moon Group had already held numerous exhibitions. And many modern abstract art groups were founded around this time. Chiang set up the Era Art Association with several of his classmates in 1964 and organized exhibitions of abstract works. Because he left Taiwan very early and spent 30 years abroad, from the mid-1960s to the 1990s, Chiang had no contact with the different art trends in Taiwan over that time. However he was hardly affected by his time in New York and the international art movements he came into contact with. Chiang held his first solo exhibition in 1966. He had already adopted an abstract style, which suited him the most, and he clung to his own pure artistic vision.
Chiang was enamoured with the lonely, craggy sculptures of artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) and the music of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). He was moved and comforted on many occasions by the work of these artists. This made him believe that art could purify the heart. His work focuses on the sense of being of human existence. It expresses high regard for human spirit and spiritual belonging. The minimalist form of his work communicates a tranquil and deep religious awareness and a sensual ambience that invokes an emotional response. Rare in the Taiwanese art world, Chiang remained committed to spiritual expression through art for a long period of time.
|Chinese title：||對永恆的冥想 01-33|
|English title：||Meditation on Eternity 01-33|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Dimensions：||190×150 cm×2 pieces|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1941-1950|