Chen Ting-Shih was a founding member of the Modern Graphic Art Association, he later joined the Fifth Moon Group in 1960, and was nominated for the São Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil. Chen was a crucial figure in the history of modern art in postwar Taiwan. His early woodcuts were relatively realistic, as he evolved to produce abstract engravings on bagasse boards, which utilized the characteristics of the material to attain rich colours and textures, by inking the plates and printing by hand. His visual language of geometric forms shown much influence from western Abstractionism; however, his aesthetics are deeply rooted in Oriental ideologies, separating him from his western counterparts. He projected on the paper his understanding of nature, and the mysterious workings of the universe; his simple shapes indicate the lexicons of seal craving, in its energy and the oneness of true and void. The residue of stencil-like compositions appears on the verge of vanishing, remind to us the ancient forms of stone monuments, yet, his abstract shapes reinvent and resonate to the present.
Christie’s is honored to present an excellent collection of print works by Chen Ting-Shih. The collection includes his iconic cane fiber prints and a calligraphy work. Day and Night #11 uses the colours of flaring red and charcoal black to conjure the image of light, each element in this work tells of motion and rhythm; Hibernating pushes the compositional possibility of dense, black shapes, to describe the tension manifested in the figure-ground relationship. In 1970, Hibernating was exhibited in the 1st Seoul International Print Biennale organized by The Dong-a Ilbo daily newspaper, and was awarded “East Asia First Prize”, manifesting the importance of the work.