"For me when it comes to painting, the most important part is not the 'painting' but rather the events in life that lead to self-exploration. Life is to create memories and be affected as well as bringing about the hopes and wishes of life. (Lin & Keng Gallery, Hsiao Chin, Taipei, Taiwan, 2006, p.82)
Form and shape are essential elements central throughout Hsiao's oeuvre. It was from the 1960s onwards that Hsiao began to build up a significant relationship between philosophical ideas and his artistic languages. Profoundly influenced by Taoist beliefs, Hsiao is constantly in search for the existence of being, interpreted through his works comprised of regular and irregular geometric shapes, which are particularly evident in his early works of the 1960s. Having lived and worked in Europe and the US, Hsiao's works exhibit certain qualities of western aesthetics; however he was also greatly inspired by his teacher Li Chun-Sen, an influential Chinese modern artist who taught him that apart from being universal, art must also be intrinsic - it should resonate one's ethnic characters.
Hsiao is known for his works in solid vibrant colours of highly geometrical and abstract compositions that he constantly revisits throughout his artistic career. His paintings of the late 1950s to the early 1960s are varied, presenting both calligraphic qualities, as well as defined lines and shapes with solid vibrant colours which are shown in Untitled (Lot 510) and L'equilibrio (Lot 511). His later works of the late 1980s such as Vento cosmico (Lot 576), Vento Cosmico - 28 (Lot 509), and Chi - 271 (Lot 512) saw the artist in a more unrestrained state of mind unveiled by the energetic brushwork.
Similar to Hsiao is another Chinese artist, Hon Chi Fun who incorporates shapes and forms into his artwork. He started his career painting landscapes which are reminiscent of Western Impressionism, yet retaining a sense of lyrical sensibility and techniques of Chinese ink and wash painting. Both Hsiao and Hon use geometric shapes and organic forms to explore ideas about the mystique of the nature. Such shapes for both artists are symbolic signs emancipating different levels of the Zen world. Circle for instance symbolises the circle of life, and also represents a fulfilling spiritual practice. However, Hon's work emphasises more on the materiality of being and that of perception, which can be seen in Untitled (Lot 647). The execution of the work in mixed media considers the interaction of materiality with form and space, allowing viewers an interactive approach to Hon's work. Similar to Hsiao, Hon's interest about the Universe can be seen in Karma Barrier(Lot 649), as he skilfully uses various shades of grey and black to illustrate a hollow space at the centre of the work, creating an optical illusion as if inviting the viewers into the unknown realms of the void.
Through the careful application of colours and the abstract quality of their compositions, both Hsiao and Hon are able to examine their interests of nature and the existence of being, which are crucial features throughout their oeuvre. Most importantly, it is through such presentation of forms and shapes that allows both artists an opportunity for self-reflection and spiritual contemplation.