Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Chuang’


July 18, 2010

My interview with Taiwanese artist Tsong Pu was enthralling and a great start to my exploration of the Taiwanese contemporary art industry.

On Friday, I was privileged to interview Taiwanese old-generation contemporary painter and installation artist, Tsong Pu. Teacher Tsong doesn’t speak English (actually, he does have a grasp of a little English but not enough to conduct an interview), so his friend, Taiwanese artist agent Lawrence Chuang, attended the interview as translator. I was a little nervous as I’ve never conducted an interview with translator before and wasn’t sure how the interview would flow. It turns out Tsong Pu is very amiable.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes from Emptiness' 2009. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes from Emptiness' 2009. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu has an incredibly engaging presence – the rhythm of his speech is enrapturing. Even though he was speaking Chinese and I couldn’t understand a word of it, I couldn’t help but listen intently to what he was saying. It made me desperately wish I could speak his language. I was lucky enough to conduct the interview in his studio in the Da’an district of Taipei City (he has two studios; the other is in the mountains on the edges of the city) where I could view some of his newest paintings as well as early pieces and installation models. Interviewing artists in their place of work is invaluable – you immediately have a better understanding of their process.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time to get to his current exhibition, on at TFAM, and was also unable to visit the Taipei gallery Tsong Pu founded with others 20 years ago, IT Park. I hope to get up to Taipei in the near future to make these visits.

I came away from the interview feeling genuinely privileged to have spoken with such an influential Taiwanese artist. I could have talked with him for hours more, there is just so much to explore in his thirty-odd year career that one and a half hours just didn’t do it justice. Well, there was an offer of drinking, dinner and crashing at his studio for the night, so there’s always next time.

Keep an eye on Art Radar Asia for my interview and Soundslide with Tsong Pu – up there in a couple of weeks.

Read more of my stories on contemporary Asian art on Art Radar Asia.

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