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The Subject Formation of Taiwan Ink Art－An Example of Artists in the 1980s
Taiwan Art History
Taiwan 1980s Generation
Throughout the course of Taiwan art history, the development of ink art has been subjected to a number of large-scale trends and influences. Among them include the colonialism of art modernization, the powerful arrival of “traditional” Zhongyuan Chinese culture to Taiwan, the intense revolution of modern ink art, and the emerging local awareness of native ink art. These overarching forces have shifted the core axes of Taiwanese ink art. What was once Japan’s cultural subsidiary and a graft of Chinese culture has shifted towards Western ideologies and finally, made a return to a caring attentiveness towards the native and the local. In the face of constructing an overall historical context in such a manner, the need to comprehensively explore the developments of Taiwanese ink art becomes ever clearer. This article thus aims to examine the principal formation of Taiwanese ink art. By way of nonlinear developments, the core values of Taiwanese ink art have been extensively controlled by intervening political forces; its freedom of cultural speech, long monopolized by then regimes. However, with the lifting of martial law in 1987, the reins of an authoritarian regime were cast off. It was then that ink art encountered a set of temporal challenges brought on by the contemporary arts, such as the gap that laid between the two realms. This gap could be attributed to a guarded and rigid adherence to artistic mediums, conceptual conservatism, and an exhaustion in visual language. All these challenges directly induced a fracturing and an estrangement between ink art and contemporary art. Taiwanese ink art as a whole were becoming marginalized. The days of its existence in contemporary times appeared to be numbered. The upbringings of Taiwanese artists in the 1980s, however, were largely shed of the authoritarian tones of the martial law era. Their creative ideologies were comparatively freer than their politically-repressed predecessors. This gave rise to artists with entirely new creative thoughts and their own generational mission. In regards to artistic form and conceptual conveyance, they could better adapt to the reflections of the times. This article will thus place the focus of contemporary Taiwanese ink art on the creative practice of this generation of artists. Current Taiwanese ink art remain subject to the vicissitudes of time and space. This art form may take an interest in local Taiwanese affairs, respond to its place as a branch in Greater Chinese history and culture, or react to conceptual realizations of contemporary trends worldwide. Regardless, as Taiwanese ink art finds itself amidst existential wranglings, its principal roots and contemporary core can be inferred from the creative expressions of 1980’s Taiwanese artists. In this manner, principal research and analyses of a new age in Taiwanese ink art will become ever manifest.
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