Preface 序文


Huang Kuang-nan, Minister without Portfolio, Executive Yuan

In the art circles in Taiwan, because of the accomplishments in his water-ink paintings, Mr. Hu Alfred Nien-tsu is a venerated painter.

No matter whether it was in his earlier stage at National Taiwan Normal University or later at Lishui Chinshe, his endeavors won high acclaim. In addition, his frequent international activities prove him to be an energetic artist. In addition, he has established his own style of landscape painting for Taiwan. Moreover, his fine brushwork landscape painting or lyrical landscape painting contain visual feel and environmental features of modern times. Likewise, his paintings evolve from the complicated upon a simple touch. The wonderful realm and sublimity in his fine works demonstrate his significant accomplishments in painting.

More importantly, he is widely praised for following the theory and aesthetic of Chinese painting; yet he can get inspiration from modern and international signs. In his works, he uses traditional "sanwei method" or "wrinkle method" to depict the texture in landscape paintings, insisting on the importance of working on the "realm before painting", "forgetting appearance once the implications are grasped", and "scholarly painting." As a result, the content of his paintings is rich and substantial. In addition, he also uses simple signs in "abstract" and "concrete" manner. Regarding the charm and color of water-ink in his painting, he can apply them in the form and substance that are recognized by society. Perhaps, we can call his style realistic or modern.

With these major principles, there are many themes in Hu Nien-tsu's painting. One of them is small landscape painting with a scholarly touch. In these paintings, Nien-tsu injects years ago, he held an"80 Years Old Birthday Painting Exhibition"at the National Museum of History. In short, his ideas and concepts in art, and endeavor in painting is worthy of our respect.

Professor Hu can paint a small landscape picture about an inch wide, and he can also paint huge works more than 10 meters wide 20 meters tall. In his huge scale landscape painting, he shows grandiosity and charm. On the large plane, we can see small and neat paths or vivid and natural tiny characters from time to time. Regarding form, he always has creative ideas, painting something new. Sometimes, his works surprise the viewers, like rock falling down the tranquil sky. At other times, he demonstrates much inspiration in his works. Meanwhile, his paintings are immersed in dreamy realm, or present bird- eye views from a lofty place, cleansing the mind and inspiring the heart of viewers. Regarding his use of color, although he uses dark red, dark green, dark yellow or dark blue as contrast sometimes, he prefers to use light and elegant tones. Regardless of the color he uses, he never shows to be vulgar in his paintings. In short, Professor Hu's paintings are the fruits of five thousand years of humanistic thinking and poetic charm in China. With his technique of heavy brushstroke cracking method, his light stroke withering skills, Western ideas of using color, and innovative concepts in modern painting, his works are magnificent and charming, opening up a new and wide road for Chinese painting.

Being his close friend for more than 30 years, I realize him to be an upright, modest, and lofty person. All he seeks is to ceaselessly innovate. In his first retrospective held in Beijing, upon invitation, he has especially selected a few of his recent paintings in the Cosmos series. From his endeavors, we can see his perseverance in art and his respect to his career. It is my greatest pleasure to have Nien-tsu sponsor"Hu Nien-tsu's Retrospective Exhibition"in the National Art Museum of China. I would like to thank the director Fan Dian and the planner Professor Chang Yu-ching for their contributions. Without their help, this exhibition would not be held successfully.

I have known Master Hu for over 30 years. He is a modest and lenient man of integrity, who cares nothing about fame and fortune, but always striving to create something new. Since the opening of his personal exhibition"Looking Back and Forward- Nien-tsu Hu's Way of Art"in May 2009 at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, there have been various invitations from art galleries and museums in Wuhan, Changsha, Shandong, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other regions. A new fan club was also established. The Nien- tsu Hu Fever has spread around China. I am pleased to see it received great receptions wherever it reached and there is no doubt why it was so. The new exhibition"New Cultivation of Old Herdsmen: The 87 Creation Exhibition of Professor Nian- tsu Hu"includes over 200 pieces of work, of which more than 90 are new. Many of these new pieces are also creative masterpieces. Although at an age of 87, Nien- tsu Hu remains full of energy and creativity. He sets a great example for us all. Here I would like wish Professor Hu good health and reaching a higher level in art. May the new exhibition run smoothly and be a successful and perfect one.

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