Chief Executive Officer
of Lih Pao Cultural Arts Foundation
◆ What does “Art” mean to you?
What’s great about “Art” is that it conveys human’s real emotions, inner-passion, and the mystery of life. To me, art is an instinct feeling. Just like when we see a beautiful art piece or a lively sculpture. They bring the audience a sense of pleasure, we can be moved or surprised. I also agree with Jiang Xun’s words:“ Art is also a process of discovery a type of philosophy and practice for daily aesthetics. The beauty of every generation differs.” Having the eyes for discovering beauty, we are drawn closer to art, and with the warmth of passion for life, we can find meaning and value in our lives through art.
◆ What inspired the Lihpao Cultural Arts Foundation to found “The Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards” to promote sculpture art?
There are 2 purposes of “Lihpao Cultural Arts Foundation’s “Sculpture Biennial Awards”. The first is to cultivate the emerging local artists, and the second is to pass on Taiwanese sculpture art. “Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards” was first held in 2011, and it’s heading towards its tenth edition. We find that sculpture can not only create harmony with the spaces but also creates conversations with the architecture. Sculpture gives both visual and tactual sensation. Many sculptures carry vivid daily memories. By holding the “Sculpture Biennial Awards,” we hope that with the platform for sculptural art, we can pave a way for the emerging Taiwanese artists. By supporting these artists, we can make Taiwan shine in the world. We gather artists from all over the world to exchange ideas through sculpture art. “Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards” is the first large-scale sculptural competition. Lihpao Cultural Arts Foundation expects to strengthen the foundation of art and culture in Taiwan. Making art constantly flourishing will propel the growth of culture and creativity, and various aspects of sculpture art will surely be seen in the near future
◆ Regarding artwork and architecture, how do you see the connection between these two?
It is often said that “the architecture is the grandest sculptural work.” The legendary architect Han Pao-teh once said, “Public art is not about stealing the spotlight of architecture, but increasing the value of it.” Architecture can be seen as a rational and professional scientific technique, whereas sculpture shows contemporary cultural aesthetics. For Architecture and sculpture, I think they are entitled to the social responsibilities to “improve environmental aesthetics” and “move the audience.” Art comes from life and is inseparable from architecture,
space, environment, and society. A great piece of public art has a great influence on its surroundings. It also becomes a significant symbol of civic spaces. Besides stimulating conversation and imagination for the locals, it also pushes people to reflect on the connection between architecture, city, and life.
◆ In terms of the development of sculptural art in recent years, what do you think is its future development?
I think Taiwanese artists are full of creative energy. They are very talented. For young sculptural artists, they lack the opportunity to be seen. Taiwanese emerging artists generally don’t have enough visibility in the world. They lack the boost of strategic marketing and the brokers’ support. Therefore, Lihpao Cultural Arts Foundation started the “Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards” 10 years ago to cultivate emerging talented artists. With the “Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards,” more artworks and ideas can be exchanged in Taiwan. We hope that their creativity and talent can be scouted. With the award, we hope to make the artists shine in the world.
◆ Does Lihpao Cultural Arts Foundation plan on any new art projects? Which artist (in regards to style) do you want to collaborate with?
In the near future, in Puli Township, Taiwan, we will build a therapeutic and cultural recreational space. Lihpao spent years designing a 45-hectare “Nantou Puli Chihkan Top Theme Park.” The foundation is to build a sculpture park. It provides not only a live stage for the artists, but also allows the public to better connect with the artwork from new perspectives. As for the collaboration with the artists, we are open to any type of it just like the sea can hold the water from thousands of rivers. I see this with an open attitude. As long as the artists are talented, they are all potential partners in the future.
◆ In terms of the development of sculpture art in recent years, what do you think is its future development?
Throughout history, sculptures have always played an important role in people’s lives. It reflects the historical backgrounds, nature, culture, environment, and society. In the early years, Taiwanese sculptors were mostly folk artists specializing in the statue of Buddhism, and their work often had educational or religious meaning. As the social structures changed in Taiwan, Taiwanese sculptural creation has changed as well. In terms of the materials, conceptual discourse, or presentation, they have become much more diverse. I think everyone will perceive the artwork with a more open-minded attitude in the future. In my opinion, the development of sculptural art requires a connection with society, nature, and the environment. Artists acquire a broader perspective to demonstrate compassion for social and cultural matters. With the creative atmosphere in Taiwan, we expect to see more various forms of artwork in the future.
◆ What’s your (recently) favorite artist/ artwork?
I really like the Taiwanese artist, Dai Shi Wei, who is the winner of the fourth “Lihpao International Sculpture Biennial Awards”. His winning artwork is called “time/space”. It presents the fluidity of fabric through marble. The artwork shows a sense of absence and presence, which makes the audience sees the presence of time and space.