Born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1979, LIAO Yu-An graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Taipei National University of the Arts in 2002 and received his Master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts at Tainan National University of the Arts in 2005. He won the First Prize of Taipei Arts Award with his bird-man Self-Portrait in 2003.
After winning Taipei Arts Award, Liao has held several solo exhibitions, including I think what I am...（2003） at Shin Leh Yuan Art Space, Taipei, State of Weightlessness（2003）at Prototype, Tainan, Perplexity（2004）at Absolutely SPP, Kaohsiung, Drowse（2007）at Butchart International Contemporary Art Space, Taipei, Death Pretentious..?（2007） at IT PARK, Taipei, Fondle Without Tenderness（2008） at Asia Art Center, Taipei, Lame Syndrome（2008）at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, and Intellectual Numbness（2013）. Each solo exhibition of Liao represents the different stage of his artistic practice, truthfully reflecting the transformation in the characters and the narrative. In spite of the change in his artistic style, Liao has always been interested in human’s inner psychological state, the urban life style, and the interpersonal interaction as his main artistic concern.
Since Self-Portrait series, LIAO Yu-An has been developing the artistic character “Birdman” in his works. The series works won him the First Prize of Taipei Arts Award in 2003. Since then, the bulky figure wearing a bird’s head has become Liao’s artistic icon. Liao’s birdman self-portraits feature an obviously big head, beak, and the bulky body. Most of the time, we can only see its back. The most impressive part is its disdainful gaze as it turns to us. The artist has once mentioned that the image of the self-portrait originates from the psychological suppression of his confusion in life and art, which is visualized in the character “Birdman” on the canvas.
From Birdman’s provocative, offensive, and disdainful gaze（as in Self-Portrait and Duckman series） to the sight of its back as it powerlessly curls up at the corner or the frustrating interpersonal relationship （the faked love and Fondle Without Tendernes）, Liao has described his observation on the modern society through the titles of his paintings and the gestures of his characters.
By creating a series of cartoon-like characters, Liao offers a narrative of symbols, telling stories of the syndrome of modern people in a civilized society. Liao not only captures the obsession and selfishness of social relationship but also describes the hysteria emotions. The emotional disorder is reflected on characters’ appearance and visualized in their bodies and eyes.
|English title：||Self-Portrait 1|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|