Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

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Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
Spacetime: Chu Teh-I Solo Exhibition 2020
2020-05-01 ~ 2020-08-23

 “Curvature” and “curved space” are the fundamental building blocks of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. When observing the deflection of starlight, scientists found the complexity of spacetime structure, that is, spacetime that appears flat is in fact curved. They therefore deduced that the universe is expanding. The early work of Chu Teh-I was influenced by Malevich’s theory of the cosmos as well as space and time. He continually explores the abstract and structural properties of space and time and studies the relationship between color, shape as well as writing and space. The titles of his work or exhibitions, such as “Confrontation,” “Misplace Union” and “Juxtaposition,” clearly show the history of his exploration of space. He probes concepts of different types of abstract art, including suprematism, abstract expressionism, color field painting, support-surface, and creates in a way that is different from modernity.


Chu Teh-I expands the idea of space to a contrast between the maximum and minimum, oneness and difference. On the whole, the dynamic tension expressed in his painting remains consistent, giving us an impression of the boundless expanse similar to the infinite universe. Yet, beneath the paints lies the complexity of inner space closely parallel to the mysterious space of “curvature” and “curved spacetime.” He uses multiple layers of paint and latex in his work. By piling and subtracting, he conjoins positive and negative space in pictorial representation in which the dynamics of visual space reside. On the two-dimensional canvas, he juxtaposes intricate layered images to create a delicate visual balance; and he explores the space outside space to develop multi-dimensional vision and space on canvas. 


Chu Teh-I has dedicated himself to abstract painting for more than four decades. He is an artist and educator. Since he returned from France in 1985, he has committed himself to teaching for more than thirty years. He is currently an emeritus professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts. Although Chu specializes in abstract painting, his students create in a wide variety of art forms and media. His way of teaching is one of a kind: more often than not his students are taken unawares, like receiving a stunning blow from a Zen Master that helps dissipate doubts. A senior student once asked him in class, “Professor, I wonder why you haven’t made any criticism about my performance today.” Many of “Chu’s sayings” have been retold and remembered among alumni until today. His emeritus lecture still attracts a lot of students.

This exhibition has a very special meaning for Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (KdMoFA). Professor Chu Teh-I was one of the founding members of KdMoFA and was the first director of the museum when it was open to public. He was appointed as director during the presidency of Chiu Kun-Liang, Ju Tzong-Ching, Yang Chyi-Wen and Chen Kai-Huang and held that position for more than ten years until his retirement in 2018. With this exhibition, we pay homage to Professor Chu for his effort and contribution to Taipei National University of the Arts.