|James Wu's Artist Statement and Biography|
I have always been enthusiastic about painting since I was a child. I started with academy drawing and oil painting when I was 13 years old. I would say that art is part of my spiritual soul and a very important part of my life.
I’ve learned various Chinese ink brush techniques from different masters when I was an undergraduate student at National Taiwan University of Arts in Taipei. I figured out that the Chinese painting style always leaves the viewer to sense what remains unsaid; to create and complete the painting for himself. The balance of not saying too much and knowing what to leave unsaid are as important as what is actually painted. I am constantly looking for that kind of spirit and powerful energy by creating the “spiritually dynamic impact of a brush stroke” in my paintings.
In order to challenge myself and to discover something new for my work, my wife and I made a huge decision. We decided to have a new experience by living in America. In 1998, I attained an MFA degree from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Learning the western painting techniques and ideas has had a great impact on me.
Being an artist and instructor, my curiosity is about how to create a new visual language. I believe there is a great transmission in eastern and western art as well as the transition in wet media to oil; thin to thick; monochrome to color; transparent to opaque, 3D to 2D and realistic to abstract. Over the years of my experiments, I am pleased the work in this series has involved all my ideas and techniques from the mixed media: ink, watercolor, acrylic and oil.
My work has evolved to explore the relations between imagination and reality in natural and personal emotion. The process begins with an idea of the texture with the crumpling, splashing effect from real or imaginary imagery. The concrete, repetitive nature of this work frees my imagination and provides many opportunities for happy accidents and grace to influence the finished work. My technique for the actual paintings involves building up areas of ink and watercolor through the application of many thin layers of transparent paint to achieve vibrant color effects on rice paper. After that, I emphasize the thick layers of impasto which is a deliberately heavy buildup of oil paint, to create three dimensional spaces on canvas. This technique in my work has proven a most amenable vehicle for translating my inner vision to an outer reality. It is simultaneously subtle and bold, complex and simple, planned and spontaneous. I want to obtain the desired transparency, luminosity, and richness on canvas.
I work quite deliberately, consciously employing both traditional and innovative techniques. In my new paintings, I want to create assemblages that visually converse with both contemporary international art ideas and issues as well as with traditional eastern art emphases and concerns.
Master of Fine Arts, Fontbonne University, MO 1998
Master of Arts, Fontbonne University, MO 1997
B.F.A, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan 1982
2014 Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery, MO
2009 Sturdevant Gallery, MO
2008 Taylors Contempoanea Fine Arts Gallery, Hot Springs, AR
2004 Fra Angelico Art Foundation, Chicago, IL
1998 The Chinese
Culture Center, St.
2011 "Significant Others II” UMSL-FAB Gallery St. Louis, MO
2009 "Painters of St. Louis ", Cinema Art gallery Urbana, IL
2008 "Five Award-Winning Artists Exhibition", Sturdevant Gallery, MO
2007 "Regional Faculty Exhibition", Foundry Art Centre St. Louis, MO
2007 "Visual Dialogue", Cinema Art gallery Urbana, IL
2006 "Faculty Exhibition” UMSL-Galaxy St. Louis, MO
2005 "Voices: Asian Artists” Clayton high school Gallery St. Louis, MO
2005 "Intangible” UMSL- FAB Gallery St. Louis, MO
2004 "Significant Others” UMSL-FAB Gallery St. Louis, MO
2004 "Chinese Watercolor & Painting” Ethical Society-St. Louis, MO
2001~2006 "Art Faculty Exhibition", St. Louis Community College at Forest Park Art gallery
2001 "Art Faculty Exhibition", St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Art gallery
2001 "Human Response", St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Art gallery
2001 "Voices: Asian Artists", Rossman School
1998 "Art & Soul", Multicultural gallery, MO
1998 "Great Inspiration" St. Louis Artists' Guild
1998 "Spilled Milk & Cracked Eggs", Art St. Louis
1998 "The River's Edge" Emerging Artist's gallery, MO
1998 "The Golden Mean", Art St. Louis
1998 "Altered States", Art St. Louis
1998 "Spiritual Art", Fassbender Annex gallery, Chicago, IL
1997 "Varsity Art IV", Art St. Louis,
1996 "First Prize Alumnus", National Taiwan Academy of Arts
1998 "Second Place", 7th National College Student Art Competition, Chicago, IL
1998 "Anne Newman Annual Memorial Prize", Great Inspiration, St. Louis, MO
1996 "Third Place" Watercolor, I- Lan, Taiwan
1993 "Governorship Prize" Watercolor, Nationwide Exhibition, Taiwan
1983 “Honorary Award" Watercolor, Taipei Museum, Taiwan
1982 "Honorary Award" Oil painting, Nationwide Exhibition, Taiwan
1981 "Third Place" Watercolor, National Taiwan University of Arts
1981 "First Place" Watercolor, Nationwide Exhibition, Taiwan
1980 "Second Place" Oil painting, National Taiwan University of Arts
University of Missouri -St. Louis 2002- 2014
St. Louis Community College 2001- 2007
Ryaim International Co., San Jose, CA. 1999-2001
Form & Color Art Private School, I- Lan Taiwan 1993-1996
Taipei Culture Center, Taipei 1988-1990
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