Yuan Jai

Yuan Jai (袁旃)


Yuan Jai was born in 1941 in Chongqing, Sichuan Province. She was born into a family of art and culture. She grew up immersed in Chinese calligraphy and painting. In 1958, she entered the Department of Art, Taiwan Provincial Normal University (today's National Taiwan Normal University), where she laid a solid foundation of Chinese painting by learning from many masters, such as Pu Hsin-yu and Huang Chun-pi. After graduation, she went to Europe for further studying. After she obtained her master degree in Archeologie et Histoire D'art from Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, she entered Belgium's Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique and learned professional preservation and conservation of cultural relics. Yuan returned back to Taiwan in 1968 and joined the Department of Antiquities of the National Palace Museum. She was in charge of establishing the Office of Technology, the first office dedicated to conservation of cultural relics in Taiwan, in which she contributed what she had learned abroad to the museum and also had the opportunity of viewing masterpieces of Chinese ancient and modern arts.


Yuan Jai did not resume her painting until the age of 45. Since the re-beginning of her painting, Yuan Jai has attempted to find innovative methods of Chinese painting by using the tradition as the foundation and incorporating skills and concepts she learned from Western art. Elements from traditional Chinese painting and amboyant modern strong colors are comfortably combined in Yuan Jai’s paintings. From her early Amazing landscape series to her most recent works, she explores more possibilities of subject matters and colors in Chinese painting in addition to her innovative experiments of the expression methods. Yuan Jai's art unquestionably manages to bridge the yawning gap between Chinese traditional painting and Western art, and she has laid out a contemporary art world for the Chinese of the 21st century.


The solo exhibition of Yuan Jai entitled A Visionary Mind: The Art of Yuan Jai in a Quarter-Century, was held at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan in 2012. Her recent participated exhibitions include: The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+, M+ Pavilion, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong, 2017; Memories Interwoven and Overlapped, Post-Martial Law Era Ink Painting in Taiwan, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, 2017;  Majestic Island – The Development of Modern Art in Taiwan (1911-2011), The National Art Museum of China, Beijing; China Art Museum, Shanghai, 2012; Future Pass – From Asia to the World, Collateral Event of the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011.





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