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SZETO Keung and Friends Under His Wings

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Post date:2022-10-20

Updates:2022-11-14

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SZETO Keung and Friends Under His Wings
Event Time
Tue.-Sat. 11:00~ 19:00
Event Location
B1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Born in Guangdong in 1948, SZETO Keung went to the United States after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University in 1973. He received his MFA from the Pratt Institute in 1979 and passed away in New York in 2011. SZETO originally studied China’s Lingnan School ink painting, but during his studies in the US when photorealism was all the rage, he broke through the creative bottleneck of his time with super-realistic techniques and the concept of pop art. His pursuit for realism went beyond “likeness in form” and into the realm of “likeness in quality”. With that as the foundation, SZETO Keung let his creativity burst in the 1980s, using brushes and airbrushes to paint, as well as bringing everyday objects like shriveled leaves, feathers, light bulbs, and envelopes into his images. In particular, roses that frequently found their way into his creations became a representative motif of his. In later paintings, the Milky Way, nebulas, and light were common themes. Through the fusion and refinement of artistic techniques and aesthetic thinking from both the East and the West, he was able to convey a profound artistic mood reminiscent of classical literature.

SZETO Keung’s studio in Soho was a must-go spot for Taiwanese artists visiting New York City. SZETO was always welcoming, taking them out for meals, hanging out, visiting exhibitions and galleries. He also offered help whenever he could and guided younger artists, many of whom had developed a life-long age-transcendent friendship with him. The Chinese title of the exhibition is derived from SZETO Keung’s signature Cantonese accent. Causailou (湊細路) means taking care of younglings; loujaugei (老友記) refers to a group of good friends hanging out together. To these younger generation artists, SZETO Keung was like an older brother/mentor who gave them guidance like a beacon in their life in a foreign land and also in their creations.

Seven Taiwanese artists are featured alongside the late artist in this exhibition. Some were under his tutelage when SZETO was an artist-in-residence at the Taipei National University of the Arts, while some met this textbook-worthy artist during their artist residency in the Big Apple. They never got the chance to stage an exhibition with SZETO, making this opportunity all the more meaningful. Through artworks, they express their gratitude as they cherish their memories with SZETO. YAO Jui-Chung’s Hedonist: The Immortal of SZETO Keung tell how much they are missing SZETO. HUANG Yen Ying’s After the END depicts a long-awaited still life using leftover oil paint. HUANG Hai-Hsin’s One of Those New York Nights shows a group of people gathering in SZETO’s studio and having a blast. SU Hui-Yu’s Stilnox Home Video: The Midnight Hours alludes to the intimate memory of how the two of them were suffering form insomnia. In addition, works are created to document their memories of SZETO. Liang-Pin TSAO’s A Recollection of Szeto Keung is a collage of photographs of SZETO’s works combined with photographic prints and his image creation. CHIU Chao-Tsai’s Clockwork Pattern—Up and Down is a metaphor for SZETO pure creations and his life like clockwork. The shot in CHEN Ching-Yao’s Papatzul, Soho (“I ♥ NY” Series) was taken at a restaurant right next to SZETO’s studio.

Through these works, the artists recreate the SZETO Keung they hold dear and pay tribute to this wonderful “older brother” who lives on in their hearts.

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