Hsia Yan, born in Xiangxiang, Hunan on July 27 1932, his real name is Xia Zuxiang. He first moved from Nanjing to Taipei caused by war, then he went to Paris and New York alone to pursue his artistic dream. He returned to his home country in later years and currently lives in Shanghai. Yan is one of the founders of Chinese first abstract art group, “Ton-Fan Group”. Making Chinese traditional art more cosmopolitan and seeking the characters and status of traditional art in the world art has become the direction of Yan’s artistic exploration.
"Xuanxie" means lyricism, which is also a homophones for "catharsis" in Chinese. Hsia Yan's art not only contains the freehand concept of Chinese painting, but also carries the free spontaneous spirit of folk art. He's good at portraying "people", seems to be painting the lives of others, yet he actually has been telling his own stories and releasing emotions.
"Xingbian" is the continuous advancement and change throughout life. It also presents the change of Yan's artistic style. He went away at a young age and returned home as an old man, Yan's wandering life created various artistic styles.
Hsia Yan tried to adapt thick and thin lines to depict figures and abstract paintings in early years. In Paris, he mixed thick and thin lines into signature work of "Fuzzy People", in sharp contrast with the ultra-flat background. In New York, he used 1/8 shutter to capture pedestrians, forming erratic silhouettes, created with Photographic Realism. Around 2000, Yan began to create the metal sculpture with light-weight paper and soft lines elements. Moved to Shanghai until now, Yan is calmer and uses the elements of the living environment and the nature to create large-scale landscape paintings with free and casual lines.
This Catharsis | Vicissitude exhibition displays Hsia Yan's paintings and sculptures from 1971 to 2020, covering large-scale landscape series, "Fuzzy People" series and traditional folk myths series. Among them, the large-scale landscape painting, "Landscape 6", which was created in this year. It is the first time to public exhibit.