Monday 19 February 2024

Motivations for crafting refreshing wooden products and the inspirations behind them at the newly opened ZiWoo Galleria.

The expansive new ZiWoo Galleria caters to clients and architects, offering a diverse range of interior solutions. From European Engineered flooring by Castrowood Floors to reclaimed wood and resin tables, as well as art sculptures and paintings from local artisans, this store is a one-stop destination for discerning design enthusiasts.

Tell us a bit about your brand and why did you start this new store?

ZiWoo is the result of a unique collaboration between two industry leaders – Zion Impex, boasting 17 years of expertise in the wood floor industry, and Woodology, renowned for crafting exquisite resin wood table tops. Having solidified our position in the wood floor industry through a successful partnership with CastroWood Floors Portugal, we sought to introduce a new vertical that complements our existing product line, offering customers a refreshing addition to enhance their homes.

What is the specialization of this store and the products you retail?

ZiWoo specializes in crafting resin and wood tables from reclaimed wood, giving discarded pieces a new lease on life. No trees are cut for our tables, as the wood used is, on average, 25-40 years old, ensuring sustainability and unique character in every piece.

How do you collaborate with architects to create customer panels?

Our tables are easily customizable to suit the specific needs and preferences of architects and designers. For those seeking inspiration, our pre-made and displayed tables are sure to captivate, often becoming the focal point around which entire room designs evolve.

Do you sell only panels or furniture too?

Currently, we exclusively retail wood and resin table tops, with no plans to expand our product range beyond this unique offering.

What is your process of working and delivery periods?

With a range of ready-to-use table tops available for immediate delivery, customized orders have a production time of approximately one month, ensuring a balance between efficiency and bespoke craftsmanship.

Do you mass produce or custom make?

We do not engage in mass production due to the challenge of finding reclaimed wood that meets our standards. Instead, each piece is meticulously crafted, resulting in a custom and unique work of art.

Have you worked on any projects so far?

While we’ve successfully executed numerous projects across India, our Mumbai showroom marks our inaugural exclusive space, showcasing our commitment to delivering exceptional design.

Are there are brands in this segment? If yes, how do you differentiate yourself?

While many are familiar with resin table manufacturing, our differentiator lies in our ready-to-use collection. Our deep involvement in selecting wood blocks, resin colors, patterns, and finishes ensures a curated range designed by us, making our products stand out in the home and office furniture market.

What kind of spaces are your products ideal for?

Our tables are ideal for both dining spaces in homes and creating an exceptional work experience in office settings.

Any suggestions on why should people visit your store?

Our table tops offer a unique and enjoyable dining and work experience. In addition, our curated selection includes European wood flooring and art for walls, making our store a comprehensive destination for contemporary home decor needs.

Can you share your background and experience in this field?

Zion Impex in the span of 17 years, we have established collaborations with multiple European companies and recently partnered with Castrowood Floors, a leading European Wood Floor manufacturer. Woodology, with over 5 years of experience, has been at the forefront of designing and crafting resin wood tables and artistic wood-based panels.

ZiWoo Galleria. B7, Wadala Udyog Bhavan, Naigaon cross road, NMGS marg, Dadar / Wadala, Mumbai 400031.


Sunday 18 February 2024

AstaGuru’s Upcoming ‘Dimensions Defined’ Auction Offers A Treasure Trove of Unique Works by Indian Modernists February 16, 2024

AstaGuru’s upcoming ‘Dimensions Defined’ Auction will feature a meticulously curated catalogue of Modern Indian Art, presenting significant works by iconic Indian modernists. Each piece in the auction reflects the diverse and ever-changing artistic landscape in India over the past decades. The curation offers an eclectic selection of works by eminent artists, including Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Rabindranath Tagore, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, K. H. Ara, F. N. Souza, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, G.R. Santosh, J. Swaminathan, K. Laxma Goud, Thota Vaikuntam, K. K. Hebbar, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Sakti Burman, Akbar Padamsee, B. Vithal, H. A. Gade, Satish Gujral and Manu Parekh amongst others. The selection also includes sculptural masterpieces by eminent artists such as Himmat Shah, Amarnath Sehgal, Dhanraj Bhagat and Prodosh Dasgupta. The auction is scheduled for February 22-23, 2024.

Talking about the upcoming auction, Sunny Chandiramani, Senior Vice President, Client Relations, AstaGuru Auction House says:

“We take great care to curate a collection that traverses decades, presenting the unfolding tapestry of Indian art through the masterpieces of renowned modernists. This auction offers a distinctive opportunity for art enthusiasts and collectors to procure extraordinary pieces, each narrating a captivating story of creativity and inspiration. The thoughtfully chosen artworks, including those by luminaries of the PAG generation, mirror the diverse and dynamic artistic panorama that has significantly influenced our cultural narrative.”

S H Raza:

Adorning the cover of the catalogue is a beautiful work by S H Raza, estimated to be acquired for INR 1,50,00,000 – 2,00,00,000. Executed by S H Raza in 1977, this landscape is a fine example of the artist’s preoccupation with utilising colours as symbols. While his early landscapes, executed during the 1950s, depicted several figurative elements, as time progressed, they appeared less and were substituted by expressionism. These vibrant bursts of colour were further enhanced by the palette and brushstrokes.

Rabindranath Tagore:

The auction will also offer a rare gem for collectors, a handwritten notebook by legendary artist and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The presented lot is a historically significant manuscript that details writings on Poush Sankranti, penned by Rabindranath Tagore in February 1930 at Shantiniketan. It is estimated to be acquired at INR 60,00,000 – 80,00,000.

M.F. Husain:

Another unique inclusion is lot no 115, a large-scale copper plate triptych by M F Husain, estimated to sell at INR 2,00,00,000 – 3,00,00,0000. Since not many such sculptures are known to have been created by Husain, this unique work engraved with intricate design offers a great insight into Husain’s multifaceted artistic approach. Four wood cut works painted by the artist are also a part of the upcoming auction.

Akbar Padamsee:

Lot number 28 is a magnificent work by Akbar Padamsee, which he executed during an extremely vital transitional phase of his career. Executed in 1963, the presented work is among the abstracted landscapes which became a formative ground of Padamsee’s famous metascapes work. This lot will be offered with an estimate of INR  3,00,00,000 – 4,00,00,000.

Jagdish Swaminathan:

Lot no. 70 is an important creation by artist Jagdish Swaminathan. Through this work, he incorporates a dimension of reality within the realm of his invented abstract world. This lot will be offered with an estimate of INR 2,00,00,000 – 3,00,00,000.

Thota Vaikuntam:

Lot no. 178 is a majestic creation by artist Thota Vaikuntam and captures the scene of a little Krishen gorging on butter in the artist’s signature style motifs and colours. A large-scale creation spanning ten feet, it is estimated to be acquired at INR 80,00,000 – 1,20,00,000.

V S Gaitonde:

A work by one of India’s most revered modernists V S Gaintonde will also feature in the upcoming auction. VS Gaitonde’s eventual arrival upon the visual portrayal of the conscience was an elaborate evolutionary journey substantiated by his internal findings. This work, lot no. 83, is estimated to sell at INR 60,00,000 – 80,00,000.

The auction will also showcase several creations in both mediums of paintings and sculptures by artists Krishen Khanna, Himmat Shah, and Manu Parekh.

Krishen Khanna:

Lot no 109, a large-scale acrylic on charcoal painting by Krishen Khanna is estimated to sell at INR 25,00,000 – 30,00,000. A sculptural rendition of his preoccupation with the motif of tiger and elephant is showcased in a magnificent piece of lot no 133. This work is estimated to sell at INR 15,00,000 – 20,00,000.

Himmat Shah:

Lot no. 54 is a sculpture by artist Himmat Shah, offered with an estimate of INR 20,00,000 – 25,00,000.

Manu Parekh:

Among several creations by Manu Parekh offered in the upcoming auction, lot no. 131 is a beautiful composition titled ‘Temple Festival at Moonlight.’ A rich and exquisite example of his consistent exploration of the holy city of Benares, this work is offered with an estimate of INR 20,00,000 – 30,00,000.

K H Ara:

Lot no. 104, a work by K H Ara is a rare work, an oil on canvas creation from the circa 1940s,  and showcases a distinct departure from Ara’s preferred styles of nudes and still life. This lot is estimated to sell at INR 30,00,000 – 40,00,000.

About AstaGuru

AstaGuru Auction House was conceptualised in the year 2008 with the sole purpose of creating a safe and secure platform to conduct online auctions for Contemporary & Modern Indian Art. Over the years, AstaGuru has curated auctions encompassing diverse categories, our portfolio includes art, jewellery, fine silver, timepieces, textiles, celebrity memorabilia, rare books, numismatic, philately and vintage cars. In 2018, AstaGuru became the first Indian auction house to present an exclusive edition for vintage and classic cars. “AstaGuru has strived to successfully bridge the gap between prospective buyers and consignors by transcending the limitations of live auctions. AstaGuru imparts effortless transparency to the process of acquiring and selling art and rare collectibles. The online module offers bidders the opportunity to bid from the comfort of their houses or while they are on the go.

For more information, please log on to

Facebook: @Astaguru | Instagram: @astaguru | X: @astagurutweets

All image copyright Asta Guru / Art Blogazine

Thursday 15 February 2024

February 15. Happy Birthday Jogen Chowdhury

 Jogen Chowdhury is an eminent Indian artist whose works delve into the human condition through the amalgamation of Indian traditional influences and contemporary aesthetics. Known as the ‘master of the unbroken line’, he has created varied impressive works throughout his prolific career that feature flowing, uninterrupted lines. His characters often have a distinct caricature-esque look and are replete with symbolism. 

His inspirations lie in his Bengali roots and traditional Indian art forms such as Kalighat. Through this article, we aim to celebrate the legacy of his works on the occasion of his birthday on February 15.

Ms. Ankita Talreja 

Asta Guru

 Vice President

All image copyright by Asta Guru

“Srujananubhuti” Solo show of Paintings by Renowned artist Jitendra Ramesh Divte


Recent work of a contemporary artist, Jitendra R.Divte in Acrylic colours on canvas will be displayed in a solo art show in Jehangir Art Gallery, M.G. Road, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001 from 19th to 25th February, 2024 between 11 am to 7 pm. It will be open for free public viewing there during the gallery timings and showcase his artistic perceptions about the various temples, religious shrines, vivid places of worship, the buildings of historical and social heritage and relevance etc. in his style via apt colour combinations to suit their thematic relevance in different perspectives of visual fine arts. 

Artist: Jitendra R Divte

Jitendra R. Divte had his art education in fine arts at L.S. Raheja School of Arts, Mumbai, where he stood 7th in order of merit in Maharashtra in 1998. Then he displayed his work on various themes in Army & Navy Building, Kala Ghoda Association, Mumbai, show in 2005 followed by solo art show at Sahil Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2008. 

He also participated in some group art exhibitions at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai, Army & Navy Building, Kala Ghoda Association, Mumbai Art Show, Hirji Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay Art Society Annual Art Show, Vismay Metro Art Gallery, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore etc. He also participated in some International Water Colours art exhibitions in Bangladesh and Russia. He was awarded for his work in water colours in 2017 by IWS INDIA, in 2018 by IWS Bangladesh and in 2021 by IWS Russia. His work was appreciated by the art fraternity in these shows and he received good public response for these presentations. 

The present series in Acrylic Colours on canvas throws light on his artistic impressions and aesthetic perceptions about various historical buildings, their architectural details & the culture & heritage associated with them at various places. He has focussed on presenting the various relevant details at these places in his expressive style using apt colour combinations and their harmony.  He has also highlighted the relevance and sanctity of various temples, religious shrines and places of worship, the heritage and cultural traditions there and their significant peculiarities. He has made artistic use of morning light, afternoon light, evening light along with shades, shadows, reflections and illumination effects at the desired locations in the work. He has made use of warm and cool colours and achieved their balance for aesthetic and artistic decoration of his work in the relevant perspectives. He has also used various geometrical forms and achieved their rhythmic unison in the work at the strategic arenas in order to get the desired visual perspectives in his work. These works made in an aesthetic and artistic style using acrylic colours on canvas certainly share a dialogue with the viewers leading to their warm response and appreciation.

From: 19th to 25th February 2024


Solo show of Paintings by Renowned artist Jitendra Ramesh Divte



Jehangir Art Gallery

161-B, M.G. Road

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001

Timing: 11am to 7pm

Contact: + 91 9869717246

Windows of Inner Expressions. Art Exhibition by contemporary artist Maitrry P Shah

Windows of Inner Expressions.

        Recent work of a renowned contemporary artist, Maitrry Shah will be displayed in a solo art exhibition in Hirji Jehangir Art Gallery, M.G. Road, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400001 from 19th to 25th February, 2024. It will be open there for free public viewing daily from 11 am to 7pm.  This show will showcase her profound instincts and artistic conceptualisations about various facets of human psyche through a metaphorical motif of windows.

        Maitrry Shah hails from Ahmedabad where she had her earlier education and guidance in visual arts. Then she spent her formative years in Gandhinagar under the guidance and support of many art promotors. She got her Doctorate in fine Arts from IEMS leading to a firm basis and foundation. Then she presented her work in numerous solo and group art exhibitions in leading art galleries all over India and abroad. She presented her work in art galleries at Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Jaipur, Bhilwara-Rajasthan, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Noida, Gurgaon, Manipal, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mauritius, Warsaw-Poland etc. and received good public response and accolades for her presentations. She is a proud recipient of many public appreciations for her work since a young age of 12 years. A proud recipient of prestigious awards and prizes and appreciations from several noteworthy art promotional institutions in India and abroad, her works are in collection of many reputed art collectors and art institutions of national and international reputation ona global level.

        Maitrry Shah has worked in various mediums like oil, acrylic, charcoal and mixed media. Her distinct style captures the range of human emotions with a particular emphasis on the expressions of women. Her brushstrokes convey not only a youthful exuberance but also a wideopen optimism which often resonate through her paintings. Each artwork serves as a window into the innermost thoughts, emotions and a varied experience of human psyche inviting all to engage into visual inspection, conversation, introspection and empathy.

        She has presented a diverse collection of her paintings in this show that truly demonstrate a wide range of universal truths and realms of life in order to contemplate the themes of anticipation, longing, liberation and introspection  in the relevant perspectives of arts.

        Deeply fascinated by the intricate nuances of human emotions and wide range of real life experiences, she has created a rich tapestry of human psyche in her creative and innovative endeavours. Each work has been imbued with symbolism, meaning and emotional mindscape of a young sensitive woman in different environments and perspectives. In a way, this presentation of typical artwork is her sensitive ode to the rich tapestry and a spectrum of human psyche and its several facets and norms in apt perspectives of visual arts. 

From: 19th to 25th February 2024

"Windows of Inner Expressions”

Art Exhibition by contemporary artist Maitrry P Shah



Jehangir Art Gallery

Hirji Gallery 161-B, M.G. Road

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001 Timing: 11am to 7pm


Saturday 10 February 2024

New York: John Wesley World: Works on Paper and Objects 1961–2004 / On View Jan 12 – Feb 24, 2024

On view from January 12 to February 24, 2024 at 540 West 25th Street in New York, this exhibition will bring together over 30 works on paper and painted objects produced by Wesley over the course of his career, from the early 1960s to the early 2000s.

Wesley, who died in 2022 at age 93, is known for his flattened, idiosyncratic figurations that defy easy classification within any single artistic movement. Drawing inspiration from images in comics and other mass media, the artist cultivated a distinctive, graphic style characterized by bold, weighted lines, unmodulated color, and an absurdist- edge.

Marked by eroticism, wry humor, and often a slight sense of unease, Wesley’s work explores a wide range of imagery informed by pop cultural and literary sources as well as the artist’s own memories and daily experiences. Many of his works are concerned with enactments of balance and symmetry, examining nuances of sexuality and desire through a formal language characterized by unexpected crispness and precision.


 John Wesley 

Read More About This Exhibition

“The puzzling, open-ended ambiguity of Wesley’s depictions encourages expansive gestures of critique, whatever their ultimate merits,” art historian Richard Shiff writes in a newly commissioned essay for Pace Publishing’s digital catalogue accompanying the gallery’s Wesley exhibition. “To a theorist, his art readily demonstrates that interpretation has no limits, for every nuance of graphic difference initiates multiple interpretive threads with the potential to lead just about anywhere.”

Wesley produced a large body of landscapes regularly depicting tranquil shorelines and stormy seascapes, but also rolling hills and urban skylines. In his figurations, the human body and its constituent parts are often used to experiment with repetition as a formal device. Wesley also frequently reimagined characters from popular culture— most notably Dagwood Bumstead and his wife Blondie from the Blondie comic strip—in scenes across his body of work.

“His often caustic wit also has a warm-heartedness to it when the topic demands, and his sense of comedy is no less pronounced than his sense of tragedy,” art historian Martin Hentschel wrote in his 2005 publication on Wesley’s works on paper, continuing later, “He directed his gaze above all to the human condition, with all its peaks, ambiguities, and abysses.”

Pace’s upcoming exhibition will showcase the varied scales of Wesley’s works on paper, allowing visitors to experience the impressive range of form and imagery through which he experimented with repeating, layering, and mirroring—formal mainstays of his paintings. Though the works on view in the show span Wesley’s career, they reveal a remarkable consistency in his approach to image-making over the course of five decades. Tracing the evolution of the artist’s interests over time, these artworks shed light on the different subjects that entered his visual lexicon between the 1960s and 2000s.

The show will take a broad view of Wesley’s life and career, spotlighting several objects by the artist—including a canvas vest and a selection of paper neckties—in addition to his works on paper. These rarely exhibited and, in some cases, never-before-exhibited pieces feature patterns and motifs that are often mirrored in the artist’s works on paper and paintings, reflecting his ability to translate his signature style across mediums and dimensions.

About the Artist

A unique voice in the canon of Contemporary art, John Wesley is known for his precise, lyrical, and often deadpan painterly investigations of the American subconscious. With no formal artistic training, two of Wesley’s jobs had a direct impact on his early practice.

At the age of 24, he began working as an illustrator in the Production Engineering Department at Northrop Aircraft in Los Angeles where he translated blueprints into drawings. In 1960, he moved to New York, where he worked as a postal clerk, utilizing symbols such as the shield-like postage stamp and his employee badge in his paintings. Later, his practice expanded to incorporate varied and enigmatic iconographies such as animals, beguiling women, and portraiture of subjects including Theodore Roosevelt, Rudyard Kipling, and Count Henri de Baillet-Latour, the president of the 1932 International Olympic Committee. Through a carefully refined visual vocabulary of clean lines, solid shapes, and repetition, Wesley imbued everyday scenes and quotidian subjects with humor and wry wit. Exploring themes relating to trauma, eroticism, innocence, and coyness, paintings within his oeuvre are characterized by a linear stylized formation, similar to comic strips, and are often populated with cartoon characters such as Dagwood Bumstead, Popeye, and Olive Oyl. His series, Searching for Bumstead, which he began in 1974 and continued for the entirety of his career, depicts empty interiors—including a vacant armchair, slippers by a bedside, a bathtub filled with water—and is an exploration of the trauma of losing his father, whose sudden death deeply affected him.


Wesley defies categorization as an artist. During the 1960s, as the tenets of Pop art began to take shape, he was grouped with the movement due to the basic elements of his style and subject matter. Wesley exhibited alongside Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselman, and Roy Lichtenstein but ultimately eluded true categorization both in theory and in practice due to his unique visual language. His first solo exhibition was at the Robert Elkon Gallery, New York, in 1963. Minimalist artist Donald Judd, a lifelong supporter of the artist, reviewed the paintings in the show: “the forms selected and shapes to which they are unobtrusively altered, the order used, and the small details are humorous and goofy. This becomes a cool, psychological oddness.” [1] Wesley was given his own room at the Documenta 5 Retrospective at Kassel (1972) and by the mid 70s it became clear that his work lay somewhere between Pop, Surrealism, and Minimalism, though no label ever encapsulated his singular style. Wesley’s contributions to painting are undeniable and his work is held in public collections worldwide including the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, WashingtonD.C.; Kunstmuseum, Basel; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.


On view from January 12 to February 24, 2024 at 540 West 25th Street in New York, this exhibition will bring together over 30 works on paper and painted objects produced by Wesley over the course of his career, from the early 1960s to the early 2000s.

Above: John Wesley, Untitled (Ducks), 1983 © The John Wesley Foundation

@pacegallery / E paper Artblogazine

Friday 9 February 2024

Japan- “Cut Pieces,” a solo exhibition of works by Fuyuhiko Takata

Evocative of myths, legends, fairy tales, and other fantasy worlds, Takata creates vibrantly rich narratives through his self-produced cinematic pieces. Deceptively simple and often profoundly humorous, he meticulously crafts each vignette, often transforming his tiny apartment into elaborate homemade film sets while sculpting his own intricate and colorful props, which are themselves works of art. Directing, filming, narrating, and even acting in his videos, he is a visual storyteller whose elaborate visions playfully interrogate social questions around power, nation, gender, and sexuality. Resonating with subtle and often poetic critique, these works are theatrical, poignant glimpses into alternate universes that challenge our understandings of contemporary society in Japan and worldwide.

 “Cut Pieces” for Art Basel Hong Kong 2024, is an installation and video exhibition that highlights two of Takata’s most recent companion works, The Butterfly Dream (2022) and a latest video titled Cut Suits (2023). The first is a piece in which the artist poetically alludes to “Dream of the Butterfly,” an episode from the Chinese classic Zhuangzi, in which the protagonist dreams he has metamorphosed into a butterfly. Nodding to the landmark work of Yoko Ono, Takata conjures up a fantastical scene in which a hybrid butterfly-scissors chimera flaps its wings as it slices away the clothing of a sleeping young man, raising profound philosophical questions around not only the dialectical relationship of power to pleasure but also the rigid inhibitions surrounding masculinity itself. Cut Suits, meanwhile, is a sequel that further develops this deconstruction by literally excising the superficial trappings of institutionalized male power. In this work, six men clad in business attire delight in snipping away with scissors at each other’s suits, shirts, and ties, while cheerful music plays enchantingly in the background. This nonviolent and even whimsical ritual hints at liberatory themes of shedding, hatching, and unleashing that so prominently recur throughout Takata’s opus. As a monument to the messiness and difficulty entailed in unraveling the patriarchy, these scrapped and tattered garments sheared from the bodies of the film’s characters will be heaped in front of the screen, a gravesite of molted manhood. Nearby this pile of detritus, the booth will also feature the butterfly scissors sculpture that appears in the first film

Fuyuhiko Takata, Cut Suits, 2023, installation view ©︎Fuyuhiko Takata, courtesy of the artist and WAITINGROOM

Referencing both Duchamp’s famous “Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries” motif, which represents the symbolization and stereotyping of masculinity and femininity, Takata also alludes to the practice of minimalist sculptor Robert Morris, who littered his exhibition sites with shredded fabric. The artist thus brings Western art into conversation with his identity as a Japanese contemporary artist by fetishizing the figure of the “salaryman,” the icon of corporate masculinity in Japan, so often imagined packed into rush-hour trains like sushi. Teasingly cutting away at the threads that shackle these souls to destinies of heteronormativity and capitalist machismo, he humanizes them and rescues their innocent joy enshrouded just beneath the surface

WAITINGROOM Discoveries Sector, Booth 1C43 Solo Presentation of Fuyuhiko Takata (高田冬彦) Show Title: Cut Pieces WAITINGROOM is pleased to present

 “Cut Pieces,” a solo exhibition of works by Fuyuhiko Takata(高田冬彦), a Tokyo-based artist born in 1987 in Hiroshima, Japan, in the Discoveries Sector (Booth 1C43) at Art Basel Hong Kong 2024.


Chen Ting-Shih March 21 - 25, 2024 Art Basel Hong Kong Insights 3D30

 Printmaking Leader Integrating Eastern and Western

In Chen Ting-Shih's prints, we can observe numerous influences from Chinese painting. The extensive use of black immediately brings to black ink, and the juxtaposition of black with other visible colors like white, yellow, red, and blue corresponds to traditional Chinese colors that represent directions. Through the titles of the works that connect with time and the universe, the images of the sun and moon in the works can be constructed into abstract landscapes representing day and night. This transformation is also present in Chen's totem prints, where the totems are closely related to calligraphy and written characters. The typical landscape patterns seen in traditional Chinese scroll paintings become lines, neither resembling characters nor rocks and flowing water. This represents Chen's unique artistic interpretation of Chinese art.

陳庭詩 Chen Ting-Shih, 意志 1 Will 1, 1973, 甘蔗板版畫 cane fibre board relief print on paper, 62 x 62 cm, edition 1 of 25, courtesy of Each Modern

Chen's most well-known prints are, in fact, a convergence of various regions and eras. Printmaking entered China from Europe in the 1930s, sparked by the advocacy of the renowned writer Lu Xun, which led to the initiation of the "woodcut movement." As a medium entirely distinct from traditional Chinese painting and oil painting, printmaking once symbolized a departure from tradition and, for a significant period thereafter, was utilized as a tool for political propaganda due to its reproducibility. This characteristic resonates with Chen's early involvement in the publishing industry.

Since the 17th century, Taiwan has been cultivating sugarcane, and this industry has experienced fluctuations throughout different periods. In the heyday of the sugar industry in Taiwan during the 1950s and 1960s, the residual cane fiber boards after sugar production became the material for Chen's woodcut prints. Unlike other professional printing materials, the use of such inexpensive and readily available material reflects Chen's daily environment and background. It serves as both a microcosm of a specific era and an experimental feature of working with materials with minimal constraints.

Amidst the trend of pursuing modernization and the integration of Eastern and Western elements at that time, Chen did not simply use oil colors to depict an ink wash appearance. Instead, he uniquely employed printmaking techniques. These prints may lean more towards the practices of Western hard-edge art, with perfect separations between color blocks. However, in Chen's printing, this perfection in separation is an acceptance of differences, reflecting the spiritual refinement that the artist cultivated from his life experiences.

Pioneer of Asian Ready-Made Sculpture

 In the early 20th century, Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp successively used ready-made objects as creative materials. As modern art flowed into Asia, Asian artists began to explore the possibilities of ready-made objects, with the most notable being the Japanese Mono-ha movement of the 1960s. However, during the same period, Chen Ting-Shih, who had already moved to Taiwan, also delved into the creation of ready-made sculptures Inspired by Picasso's artwork "Bull's Head" (1942), Chen embarked on an exploration of ready-made objects. As a former significant maritime hub, Taiwan's maritime history dates back to the Ming and Zheng periods. After experiencing Japanese rule and modernization in the 1950s, the rise of the shipbreaking industry was facilitated by extensive manufacturing and the sinking of warships, producing a surplus of shipwrecks in Taiwan. Similar to the cane fiber boards of the sugar industry, these materials, rich in symbolic representations of their time, became a source of inspiration for Chen's artistic creations.

Chen's iron sculpture creations reached their peak in the 1980s after he relocated to Taichung. Commuting between Taichung and the shipbreaking industrial area in Kaohsiung, he collected scrap iron and industrial waste, then welded and assembled them in his studio. The rough iron pieces, covered in reddish-brown rust stains, might seem solid and heavy, but in his compositions, they appear light and graceful. Gears, iron chains, structures, egg cake molds, and unidentifiable objects – they respond to the circles and lines in his prints and serve as the artist's expression of the sun, moon, and stars. These seemingly cosmic symbols and relics may also reveal the aspirations of humanity toward space exploration during that time.

In the realm of Asian art, which values craftsmanship and refined aesthetics, Chen's departure from intricate techniques in his ready-made iron sculptures can be considered pioneering for his time. He stands as one of the earliest Chinese artists in the realm of ready-made art, setting him apart from other renowned Asian artists in this genre. While Mono[1]ha emphasizes the visual representation of raw materials and Nam June Paik's ready-made art centers on conceptual expression, Chen's iron sculptures possess a more organic quality. Each component appears to grow seemingly haphazardly, yet carries a strong geometric consciousness, conveying the pure and tranquil essence found in his prints. Most notably, Chen's iron sculptures retain traces of human activities and historical heritage specific to a certain time and space.

Experiment with Acrylic on Paper

During the dominance of abstract art by the United States during the Cold War, many Taiwanese artists ventured abroad, marking a new chapter in Chinese art. As early as 1959, Chen Ting-Shih was selected to participate in the São Paulo Biennial and continued to exhibit there for several years. His international engagements also included important print biennials and ink-themed exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and other countries. He emerged as one of the most representative Chinese artists of that era on the global stage. In 1976, Chen was invited to reside in the United States for a year. Apart from exhibiting locally, he absorbed the diversity of Western abstract painting. Upon his return to Taiwan, Chen began creating acrylic on paper that incorporates Western pigments into traditional ink art. However, his color ink works remained intertwined with printmaking, with similar color blocks and recurring circles consistently showcasing the artist's consistency. It is a representation of the cyclical nature of all things in the passage of time, and a reflection on the potential expressions within Chinese ink art. From printmaking to color ink and iron sculpture, Chen continued to stimulate himself through various artistic mediums, each evoking different chemical reactions within his creative process.

The Artist in the Era of Great Changes Chen Ting-Shih (1913-2002), witnessed significant transformations in Chinese modern history during the first half of his life. Born in 1913 in Changle, Fuzhou, Chen experienced a childhood marked by deafness due to an accident. He graduated from the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (now Nanjing University of the Arts). During the Sino-Japanese War, he used cartoons as a means of artistic expression. In 1945, Chen moved to Taiwan, where he continued his involvement in the publishing industry through cartoons. In 1947, he became a witness to the turbulent times in Taiwan and maintained himself as a quiet and contemplative existence over the following decade. In the late 1950s, as the Ton Fan Group and the Fifth Moon Group that Chen joined later sought to subvert traditional ink painting, Chen, who focused on woodblock prints, collaborated with artists like Qin Song, Li XiQi, and Yang YingFeng to establish the Chinese Modern Printmaking Group. They brought a more modernistic approach to printmaking from Taiwan to the international stage, participating in events such as the São Paulo Biennial and various.

influential printmaking biennials worldwide. By the late 1960s, Chen ventured into sculpture by using found materials. One of his most well-known endeavors was visiting the shipbreaking industrial zone in Kaohsiung, where he collected discarded ship parts to use as materials for his sculptures. This marked a significant shift in his artistic practice, showcasing his ability to adapt and innovate across different mediums and materials.

The social upheavals that Chen experienced infused his works with a sense of effortless grandeur: the restrained and profound linocuts with minimal abstract color blocks eloquently speak of the harmony between all things and the passage of time; the totem prints emphasize the importance of Eastern lines while detaching from the narrative text of the symbols; the rough ready-made sculptures, a pioneering effort in Asia at the time, naturally and effortlessly reconfigured their appearances.

In 2002, Chen passed away in Taichung, leaving behind a rich number of prints and sculptures. Today, there is a growing interest and continued research into Chen's works. In an era dominated by representational art reflecting contemporary issues, Chen's creations, interpreting the perception of the universe through abstraction and Eastern impressions, stand out as a rare and pure expression that is almost vanishing in the contemporary art scene. This underscores the significant spiritual value of his works in the present day.

Chen's works are collected by numerous prominent private collectors in Taiwan and are also part of the collections of major institutions such as the Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and Citibank Taiwan. Internationally, institutions that collect Chen's works span a wide range, including the Rockefeller Foundation, Cincinnati Art Museum, ABN AMRO Hong Kong, Chase Bank Hong Kong, IBM Corporation, and various other art and non-art institutions. In the international auction market, major auction houses have successfully sold works by Chen, with Sotheby's several dedicated auctions. His auction record reached its peak in terms of total sales and prices in the year of 2020.

Each Modern is pleased to present a solo booth by Chinese artist Chen Ting-Shih at the "Insights" sector of 2024 Art Basel Hong Kong.

Chen’s art traverses the realms of poetic contemplation and found materials, pioneering a distinct Eastern expressiveness through printmaking, iron sculptures, and color ink paintings.