(Photo courtesy of Artist Magazine)
Ho Wen-chi (何文杞), a senior Taiwanese artist, passed away on Jan. 10 at the age of 92. He devoted his life to artistic creation and spent more than 60 years in exploring the beauty of his native land. During his lifetime, he was committed to introducing Taiwan’s local culture and arts to the international stage. Upon hearing Ho's passing, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te expressed his sincere condolences and will present a certificate from the Ministry of Culture to commend the painter's contribution.
Ho was born in 1931 in Pingtung County and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at the National Taiwan Normal University. During his studies, he apprenticed under master Liao Chi-chun (廖繼春). In the early days, he was exposed to various western modern art schools, but later adopted realism art in his works. His creative themes included the scenes of the Kaohsiung-Pingtung area as well as Taiwan's old buildings and indigenous peoples, to name a few. He expressed his love for the island through his paintings.
In 1960, Ho established the Tshwey-Kuang Painting Association (翠光畫會), which was one of the earliest painting associations in southern Taiwan. The association previously held many solo exhibitions in several places such as Taiwan, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and was committed to cultural exchanges. In 1984, he founded the Taiwan-Japan Art Exchange Society (臺日美術交流會), which not only promoted Taiwanese paintings, but also introduced visions and concepts of international aesthetics into Taiwan.
Having served as a teacher at the National Pingtung Industrial Vocational High School, Ping Rong High School, and National Pingtung Girl's Senior High School, Ho nurtured numerous arts talents in southern Taiwan. His affection for his hometown and land inspired his creations. Through his keen observation on landscapes, his works show regional characteristics and beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers in the south of Taiwan.
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