Event: Wilson Shieh: An Alternative Antiquity
Date: October 9- 26, 2002
Grotto Fine Art takes great pleasure in presenting Wilson Shieh: An Alternative Antiquity, the artist's first one-man exhibition after receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000. After an enormously successful group show last year, Wilson has become a leading young artist in Hong Kong with his works among the most sought-after and collectable. Wilson Shieh: An Alternative Antiquity will unveil over twenty new works done in a specific thematic context. The exhibition runs from October 9 through 26, 2002.
Ancient ceramics, pottery and scholarly pursuits are all new motifs found in this body of work by Wilson Shieh. Meticulously drawn with pinpoint precision, Shieh traces the very detail of these objects trying, in a sense, to faithfully revitalize China's glorifying past. But Shieh's homage to the past is more than nostalgic. He added his signature human figures as the "players" in the composition and turned classical motifs into pictorial metaphors. By juxtaposing contemporary figures and ancient objects, Shieh's work generates an alternative meaning beyond a seemingly orthodox painting tradition.
Wilson Shieh is arguably the best young artist in Hong Kong using traditional Chinese ink and color on silk today. At 31 years old, Shieh mastered the thousand years old gongbi (fine/meticulous brush) painting technique, an approach to art which dominated much of the works of Song and Tang dynasty China. Yet Shieh is without doubt a contemporary artist. No matter how traditional his technique or motifs appear to be, he always strives to illustrate current narratives and personal viewpoints. Shieh did that by finding the bridge that connects the past and the present and not the common cliche of east and west. Through various interplays of metaphors and symbols, Shieh successfully addresses issues pertinent to Hong Kong with a thoroughly indigenous style. Wilson Shieh is an admirable artist not only because of his unparallel painting skills, but more importantly, his ability to truly "modernize" the Chinese painting tradition without it being "westernized".
Wilson Shieh was born in Hong Kong in 1970. He received his Bachelor of Arts (1994) and Master of Fine Arts (2000) degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 1n 1997, Shieh was the winner (painting category) of the Philippe Charriol Foundation Art Competition. Shieh has participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world and his works can be found in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Philippe Charriol Foundation and the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia.