TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Media OutReach – 14 February 2022 – An opening is to be held on February 16, at 3 p.m., for “Vital Blooming: Hu Ke-min Retrospective” at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall’s Bo-Ai Gallery where it is due to run until March 2.
Hu stands out as one of the traditional Chinese painting masters who relocated from mainland China to Taiwan in the late 1940s. He is best known for his bird-and-flower painting and copies of Dunhuang murals. On display at this exhibition are nearly 140 works; alongside the “Chromatic Color,” “Achromatic Color,” and “Dunhuang Frescoes” series are a number of snow landscapes and calligraphic pieces.
Also featured are “Hundred Flowers” and “Ink and Wash Vegetables” Hu created in 1958 and 1978 respectively. Of the former, a collection of ink and wash sketches of Taiwan’s great variety of exotic or rare flowers, readily appealing to the eye are his calligraphic touches and boneless painting rendition. A masterly combination of sketch and freehand brushwork painting, the later series depict 36 vegetables common in daily diets.
This exhibition can be traced all the way to the ecstatically palpitating experience of Madame Li Zhong-hua, the curator, when she stood before a Mayling orchid painting of Hu’s for the first time years ago. She went on to study painting under Hu’s tutelage and thus had the opportunity to follow her mentor’s subsequent artistic career up close and personal. Collecting Hu’s works over the years has been her way to cherish Hu’s memory. And now she aspires to extend Hu’s artistic life by getting the world to rediscover his works. To share her treasured aesthetic experience with the younger generation and hopefully with posterity, Li has also put together Hu’s lifetime of works onto the Internet (https://hukemin-portfolio.mystrikingly.com/). Her last wish is to make real her mentor’s—return some of Hu’s works to Changzhou, Jiangsu province on the mainland and house them in a memorial museum in his hometown.