Xiao Ru-Song's Watercolor Painting Exhibition at AU’s Museum of Modern Art

  • 2023-01-15

Asia University’s Museum of Modern Art held "The non-figurative school of Taiwanese watercolor: A traveling exhibition of the 100th anniversary of Xiao Ru-Song," starting from December 23, 2022. Divided into six exhibition areas, more than 100 paintings, manuscripts, and ancient cultural relics by Ru-Song Xiao were exhibited. Ru-Song Xiao is regarded as one of Taiwan's most important watercolor artists and a seminal figure. His unique painting style is highly praised in the art and literary worlds. This exhibition marks his 100th death anniversary.

President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai, president of Asia University. (4th from left), Pan Fan (2nd from left), Director of Asia University Museum of Modern Art, Secretary-general of Hsinchu County, Ji-Yuan Chen (Left 5), Hsinchu County Cultural Director An-Yu Li (Left 3), and others took a group photo in the opening ceremony.

Professor Jeffrey J.P. Tsai, President of Asia University (AU), stated that the AU’s Museum of Modern Art is the second private museum in Taichung City and the first university-affiliated art museum in Taiwan, marking a new milestone for Taichung City and universities in Taiwan as well. Ru-Song Xiao is renowned as the "interpreter of Hsinchu County's beauty," and he holds a significant place in Taiwan’s art history. Right after AU’s Museum of Modern Art passed the private museum certification in October 2022, the university chose Xiao's touring exhibition as the opening exhibition in the hope that more people can come to appreciate the beauty of his paintings.

President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai emphasized that through Xiao's paintings, one can feel his love for nature and his vibrant expression of it. Through the aesthetic education conveyed through art, the goal of harmony between human beings and the environment as well as the pursuit of sustainability can be achieved. He is not only a local painter but also an international painter, and surely an outstanding artist and an educator. This is an art exhibition with epochal significance.

Secretary-general Ji-Yuan Chen of Hsinchu County observed that Ru-Song Xiao taught at National Chutung Senior High School in Hsinchu for many years. His masterpieces such as "Group of Students," "National Chutung High School" and "Green Shade" are based upon his observation of campus scenes and life. His gift for watercolor, using unique brushwork and colors to present a concise and vivid style, is worth savoring for the viewer.

President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai (right) listened to Director Pan Fan’s introduction of Xiao Ru-Song's works.

Professor Fan Pan, Director of the AU’s Museum of Modern Art, observed Ru-Song Xiao is a productive and versatile painter who creates landscapes, still life, and figures. Due to limited financial resources, he chose watercolors to paint, and yet he still could utilize opaque watercolors to express a sense of textual depth and layering, like oil paintings. He was brave to abandon the mainstream figurative painting in his peak; instead, he adopted abstraction to express his artistic vision in his unique style.

Director Pan suggested to the viewers that when viewing Xiao's painting exhibition, they might stop at the still-life exhibition area for a while to appreciate a balanced tranquility of sense and sensibility. This is the power of Xiao’s paintings.

This current exhibition will end on April 9, 2023. The six major themes of the exhibition include: "Purity of Nature: Sketches and Essays," "Deconstruction of Objects: Still life," "Amusement in Nature: Landscape," " Gaze at Humanity: People," and "Paintings of Xiao: Appreciation of Works." Art lovers cannot afford to miss this innovative and important exhibition.