A Heaven Within: the Solo Exhibition of Hsieh Hong-Lien

2019.03.09 - 2019.04.21

A Heaven Within: the Solo Exhibition of Hsieh Hong-Lien

Sing for love and beauty

In the era of shallow reading and visual priority, the sensational, audacious, and creative graphics grab public attention easily. The subject matters with subversion, nudity, concepts of redemption and the darkest side of humanity gain the support and consensus among younger generations. Ms Hsieh’s paintings by contrast transcend anger, sadness and failure.  Her paintings sing for love and beauty instead. She has bravely chosen a relatively difficult path in the world of contemporary art.

A shark preserved in formaldehyde in a vitrine or a sparrow sitting on a tree, which is more topical? A three-year-old could answer the question easily. However, it would be more difficult to answer by asking which has more profound meaning? Ms Hsieh depicts and praises love and beauty in her paintings not because she holds a high position and lives an easy and comfortable life, indeed she has experienced uncertainty and sorrow in life. She failed in the business world, she was defeated in marriage, and she was deprived motherhood. She survived sorrow and heart break, she encountered death threats and torture. She has overcome all the harshness and survived all her trials. She found the key to a spiritual world. Art is her savior and means everything to her.

Not surprisingly, when art becomes an outlet and redeemer, emotional outbursts and life experiences tend to be the major topic of one’s paintings. However, in Ms Hsieh’s paintings, all the harshness in her life seems as if they never happened. Her creations are all about singing and praising the beauty of life. “It is the result of healing” said Ms Hsieh. Her answer explains why her ideas are presented so straightforwardly and intuitively, once she found the light in this chaotic world. Everything in life becomes simple again. “To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower” all the simple and tiny things in life hold eternal truth. “Love” is truth and reason.

Ms Hsieh said “Love is my belief. I consider it is my task in life to deliver the message of love and beauty through my creations.” In the trend of contemporary art, this kind of declaration is overlooked and isolated. Her paintings are neither speculative nor judgmental. They are not too complex to understand. She has chosen to walk onto this difficult path which could possibly bury her talents in art. Nevertheless, she continues to faithfully hold onto her belief.

There are many art works presenting in the name of love, but only few can provide a sense of joy and contentment. People feel joy when looking at Ms Hsieh’s paintings. Her paintings seem to have magical power; maybe it’s simply the power of believing in love and beauty!

Pureness of colors reveals the clarity of mind

Ms Hsieh adopts common themes, but uses unique and bold colors. In her paintings, she insists on using a profusion of heavy texture oil paints on canvas. The colors on her palette reflects the colors in her mind. The colors she uses present a satisfying balance. Combinations of colors that exist in harmony are pleasing to the eye. Ms Hsieh unfolds her thoughts in her creations, through her journey of purification. Pureness of colors reveals the clarity of her mind

Western media meets Eastern ideas save 

It is hard to categorize Ms Hsieh’s painting as solely Eastern or Western paintings. While oil paints are common medium in western painting, the manner in which Ms Hsieh expresses her ideas comes from her eastern background. Zao Wou-ki, the famous Chinese-French painter, and Wu Guan Zhong, who studied in France and returned to their hometown in China, were both considered the greatest contemporary Chinese painters. Their artworks had both Western and Eastern influences. Artists form Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia try hard to find distinctive features to present themselves.

However, Ms Hsieh, focusing solely on intuition and sensibility, doesn’t confront these kinds of conflicts. In her painting world, there is only one universe. There are no border boundaries. Flowers can grow in French castles, but also be planted in Chinese gardens. Most artists seek to cross the issue of Eastern and western boundaries and or try to overcome it. Ms Hsieh easily leaps over the gap and settles all those conflicts. The love and beauty she holds onto is the resolution and truth in the universe. Heavenly colors and pure minds reflect her eastern origin intact. There is no boundary in her paintings, but through her art she clearly expresses her identity and her uniqueness.