CHEN HSIA-YU


Chen Hsia-Yu (1917-2000) was born in Taichung, Taiwan. The works of a famous Japanese sculptor Hori Shinji inspired Chen to pursue a career in sculpture. In 1935, on artist Chen Houei-Kuen’s recommendation, he traveled to Japan, studied sculpture at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now Tokyo University of the Arts) and became a student of Tetsuya Mizutani. However, he found himself disagreeing with the creative concepts of his teacher and transferred to a studio of Koyu Fujii where he spent almost nine years. What he learned from Fujii was to focus on precise expressions of intended feelings and to strictly examine every detail of the work. Inspired by his teachers, he aimed for perfection.

Chen was selected for the Imperial Art Exhibition of Japan three years in a row with his Nude Woman (in 1938), Hair (in 1939), and After Bath (in 1940). In 1941, he was given an honor of permanent exemption from censorship in the exhibition. After returning to Taiwan in 1946, he settled down in Taichung where he led a very secluded life and spent all his time in artistic creation, although rarely displayed his works in public. Chen Hsia-Yu advocated realistic art creation, idealized form of the object, and presented a delicate texture and meticulous technique.

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