Foreword to Age 80—Ho Kan’s Drawing Exhibition Detach Yourself and Embrace Another Open-minded Tranquilit

Foreword to Age 80—Ho Kan's Drawing Exhibition
Detach Yourself and Embrace Another Open-minded Tranquilit

Reception:2012.08.07 3:00pm
Curator:Chung Ching hsin

“Everyone has spirituality. If we cannot sublime our spirituality, it will remain ordinary and even mediocre.” —Ho Kan

Ho Kan will turn eighty on August 7th, 2012. He will come back from Milan, Italy to continue his unfinished journey here in Taiwan. From oil paintings to sketches, Ho has never stopped drawing wonderful prospects for us while he celebrates every moment now and later.

The abiding historical aura of Ton Fon Art Group, or Eight Gallants, has always accompanied Ho Kan and his artistic creation, making him develop a distinctive personal painting language. Thus it becomes a strong sign of Ho’s identity and makes the spirit of abstract in his works completely unfold. With the belief that one should follow the universal truth while evolving his or her own truth, Ho is always faithful to himself in the world of art creation.

Born in 1932, Ho grew up in a time when poverty prevailed and spiritual lives were poor. And it was also an unrest time of war when Ho spent his childhood and youngster in uncertainty. He then devoted himself to drawing and transferred his yearning for his mother to art creation. His artistic style has evolved from the early surrealism to nowadays rational abstraction. Although there are some poetic ration and serenity prevalent in the picture, we do not feel any melancholy but the atmosphere of open-minded tranquility—confident and peaceful. In 1950, Ho entered Taipei Teachers College majoring in art and later, through Ouyang Wen-Yuen’s introduction, became one of Li Chuhshan’s disciples. In 1964, due to his mania for art, Ho flied alone to a country he had barely knew to begin a new life. It had been such persistence and solitude that made Ho tolerate all sufferings upon him and become one of the greatest art masters. Although Ho is mostly in Milan and has been influenced by Western painting style, he never stops seeking for inspiration from the elements of Oriental thinking. Just as in his sketch works, we can see smoothly traced lines and simple but complete narrative language. Also, the way Ho constructs the atmosphere is like playing notes so rhythmically that deeply impresses us.

Since Ho was a child, he had learned from his grandfather Ho Qiu-yai, a well-known calligrapher in the Southern area of Yangtze River. Therefore, we can sometimes see influences of ancient Chinese inscription on Ho’s drawings. In the artist’s early sketch works from 1955 to 1960, the strokes were freer but full of tender sentiment as well as unwavering lines interwoven with strong emotions. Those lines are like fuses that can shoot off fireworks in an instant and lighten the sky with brilliant sparkles. As for Ho’s works from the mid 1960s, those surreal images have transformed to restrained and rational ones. Besides, when the qualities of quietness and depth have stood out of hard-edge design, the elements of geometric composition such as circles, rectangles, triangles and even tiny dots seemingly jumps in some flighty movements. These works demonstrate both Ho’s fulfilled mind and his in-depth philosophy.

On behalf of Da Xiang Art Space, it is our honor to organize Age 80—Ho Kan’s Drawing Exhibition, and here we’d like to pay sincere tribute to Ho on his coming eightieth birthday.

Furthermore, Ho’s works not only reveal the mental perspective of each era, but also present us unpredictable possibilities. Thus, in his works, we may see, from the limited space, infinite mystery, and from there realize the eternal future.

Ho said he would never forget a sentence Li Chuhshan had once told him, “You must paint something that can manifest your true spirit.” And admittedly he made it and even, by breaking every boundary, goes far beyond the limits.

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