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2019

To encourage the development of contemporary ceramics in Taiwan, the Yingge Ceramics Museum has held various competitions to invigorate Taiwanese ceramic field, from the Taipei Ceramics Awards, the New Taipei City Ceramics Awards to the Taiwan Ceramics Awards. These competitions were founded to provide a greater platform for ceramic artist to bring their talents into full play.
This year’s Achievement Award goes to CHEN Huan-Tang. CHEN’s achievements were acknowledged by the former Achievement Award winner, CHIU Huan-Tang, who believed that he was one of the few domestic ceramic artists who not only simultaneously understand art and technique, but also a leading academic. CHEN has accumulated over 40 years of research, publications and practice; his ceramic works are often invited to participate in various international and domestic exhibitions, more importantly, he has invested long periods of time and effort in ceramic education and industrial development of ceramics. The selfless artist has brought the knowledge and the technique which he acquired in Japan to Taiwan, and has groomed succeeding generations and educated numerous successful ceramic artists. CHEN Huan-Tang’s outstanding contribution to the field of Taiwan ceramics was why he was chosen for this award.
The intention of “The Creative Award” was to encourage innovation, the use of missed media and experimental approaches in contemporary ceramics. There were 133 applications, in which 44 pieces were selected as finalists. The primary selection was carried out based on the given artwork images. All artworks have reached the jury’s standard, and therefore the finalists were chosen through a series of discussions.
The final selection was carried out in the Main Hall of the Museum, where all the artworks were placed for the jury to select in person. Many young artists have participated in this event. In general, the styles and the topics of their works and diverse and innovation, many focused on personal feelings, cultural history, environmental conservation, social technology etc. The established artists have also brought quality work to the table. This selection process led to a series of heated discussions, and at last, the Golden Mirage by LEE Shih-Hwa was selected for the Grand Prize. LEE’s detailed piece, along with its delicate decoration, sculpting technique, and completion took the jury’s breath away, as a result, the panel has agreed to award her the Grand Prize of “The Creative Award.”
“The Utilitarian Award” is created to encourage the development of ceramic functional ware, an attempt to follow through the concept that “art practice originates from life.” The ceramic artwork must possess the aesthetics of living and unique features that embeds humanity. A total of 95 applications were received. It is worth mentioning that even though there were a range of different functional items that appeared in the selection, the jury pointed out that 60% of the entries focused on teaware. This statistic indicates the trend and needs of pottery nowadays. Many contestants who applied for this category not only excelled in making but have brought new ideas into perspective, such as HSU Hsu-Lun and his work Defending, which was an interesting piece that has combined the techniques of metalsmith and ceramics to create a tea set that not only integrate the teapot, tea pitcher, and tea canister into one, but also fuse the tea set with the forms of a bird and its nest. This piece was filled with creativity and functionality, therefore, the jury decided to give him the Grand Prize of the Utilitarian Awards.
Many of the Excellence Award winners were praised by the jury as well. In spite the fact that all the selected pieces are teawares, the artworks have integrated experiences from life, which paved a new path for the emergence of artistic ideas. Rust Patch up Teapot Set made by artist WENG Shih-Chieh used clay to mimic the texture of rusted iron and created the effects of embedded rivets, this piece delivered a unique, delicate, and exquisite style. The Anatta Collection created by TSENG Jing-Shiau infused the Buddhist philosophy; therefore, through the texture of the clay, his work shows simplicity and nature that creates a sense of humbleness. YANG Yu-Jui employed Taiwan white porcelain tiles as the tea tray and tea saucer for his work White Noise in the Bathroom - Modern Generation's Tea. YANG’s approach to teaware has demonstrated an innovative interpretation of the new generation, providing a fresh and unique style to the field.
The Yingge Ceramics Museum is the most significant ceramic platform in Taiwan. The Taiwan Ceramics Awards provides ceramic practitioners with a significant opportunity to show and expose their work. The Museum strives to foster the possibilities for new ceramics styles to emerge, for the flourishment of diversity, and for the new generation to pursue their practice and artistic dreams, so they can cultivate the ability to become a part of the global ceramics community in the near future.

About My Creation

CHEN Huan-Tang

CHEN Huan-Tang

My relationship with pottery started with a small statue of god of land
It was back in when I was in elementary school. During wartime (World War II), I didn’t have to go to school. It happened that there was not much farm work for me during the off season, so I started off using clay that was to make bricks from my home and built a wind furnace that surprised the entire family and very much lauded by them. I still remember how proud I was as an eleven-year-old boy then. Another time when I was grazing cattle in the winter, I was inspired to make god of land using the dry sediments of the pond. I decorated his hat with wildflowers and used the willows floating on the water as his beards. The statue was so vivid that I could still see it in front of my eyes until now. It was the earliest time I could recall that I was able to make something out of clay. Maybe the sense of art is just in my blood, and I am destined to be a “clay addict” and do something with clay for the rest of my life.
Due to my family’s economic conditions, I chose to enter Hsinchu Teachers School after graduating from National Miao-Li Agricultural and Industrial Vocational High School. I was very lucky to have met LI Che-Fan who inspired me to set foot on the road of art. He was a great educator with both wisdom and love, who always came perfectly prepared with diverse and well-organized teaching materials. His teaching method was also flexible and interesting that I just aspired to become a teacher like him and made that as my life's career. The following year after I graduated from the Fine Arts Department of National Taiwan Normal University, I got the invitation from him to teach at my alma mater Hsinchu Teachers School. I will never forget how much care I got from him and how much he had done for me.
In 1967, I got a Japanese national scholarship and went to Kyoto University of Fine Arts (now Kyoto City University of Arts) to study ceramic art. However, this kind of college postgraduate two-year special program of Japan didn’t have any equivalent in Taiwan and was not recognized in Taiwan’s education system at that time. I had no other choice but to go for a more practical way. I found the course “Ceramics-Making Methods” taught by Dr. Isomatsu Reizo (one of the only two people with the PhD degree on ceramics in Japan at that time) most interesting to me. He used the chemical composition to explore the fundamental problems of ceramics, and often used the handouts given to Kyoto’s small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) for us as references, while the course “Glaze Recipe” was taught usually on Saturday afternoons by the senior technician of the Kyoto Industrial Test Site, Onishi Shotaro, who studied glaze for 40 years, and helped me establish a solid foundation in the theory and practice of glaze. But I was not satisfied with it. In order to have more relevant experience, I went to Gifu Prefectural Ceramics Research Institute for further research. From raw materials, clay preparation, molding to firing, I could always find an expert to ask and learn from, which made me realize the importance of practical experiences in making traditional ceramics.
The time I returned to Taiwan coincided with the development of national industry promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which also established the Ceramic Research Laboratory of the Joint Industrial Research Institute. That was where I worked and shared what I had learned. At that time, the government invited Japanese expert Kubo Yoshizo to take the ceramic industry to the next level. He was stationed in the lab for a long time, and we got to work together very often to facilitate studies and growth of the industry. We did research on how to combine feldspar from Yilan, feldspar from Kinmen and clay produced locally for wider use. We visited local factories and held seminars from time to time, which in turn strengthened my research capabilities and allowed me to put all the theories I knew and my practical experiences together. In terms of learning and creating ceramics, I guess you could see the path I’ve taken to this point of time was very different. Compared with other people who have aways conformed, I am definitely not your “typical ceramic artist”!
In 1975, Lien Ho Industrial and Technological Junior College (National United University now) signed an agreement with Ceramic Research Laboratory as a part of the government policy to prepare students for future jobs in the industry. The Department of Ceramic Engineering was established, and I was responsible for two courses - “Ceramic Workshop Practice” and “Ceramics and Design”. Some of the graduates who continued to pursue the career as a ceramic artist later initiated the “United Ceramics Studio” where I voluntarily taught them the aesthetic concepts and basic ideas of shaping and forming a work, as well as gave the alumni who were employed in the factory some necessary guidance. Maybe that is why they like to call me a teacher who provides “after-sales (teaching) services”. For me, teaching is not just something I am obliged to do, but also something that I feel proud of doing as a graduate from the teacher’s school.
In 1978, I was sent to the Republic of Paraguay to teach ceramics-making techniques just to find there were no ready-made raw materials in the country. I just had to do whatever things needed to get what I want, from spotting the mine, mining, and selecting. Fortunately, my knowledge of theories and practical experiences were enough to get me through this and to overcome the difficulties one by one. I was able to accomplish the mission impossible in many people’s eyes within my four-month term there – to make the very first high-temperature glazed ceramics in Paraguay. I was overjoyed to be able to do something for my country with what I was good at pottery.
In the meantime, I have never one day stopped creating my own works of art and participated in numerous domestic and international exhibitions. After I quit teaching in 1996, I was able to devote all of my time into art creation and held several solo shows. Most of my inspirations come from the world we live in and myriads of things I see in nature, and then after deliberation and reflection, I turn them into various topics that show compassion, praise, encouragement, Zen, or something mixed with humor and criticism. As for my philosophy of art, I will say a lot of what I think are influenced by Paul Klee (1879- 1940), and I have also studied “Bigaku (Aesthetics)” (the 18th edition of 1967) written by the honorary professor of Kyoto University, Ijima Tsutomu for many times to nurture my taste and sense of aesthetics. I spend a lot of time planning before making my work just to achieve the ideal shape in my mind, and even designing and making tools that could be best used for my project.
In addition, I learn painting and pottery to have a better command of colors. In my hands, underglaze, in-glaze or all kinds of colored glazes are thoughtfully stacked and layered like doing impressionism art, so that a neutralization reaction will happen at high temperatures, creating unexpected and magnificent glaze colors. I also like to tailor-make clay bodies for different works just to have unique textures and effects. I hope to showcase the beauty of ceramics that is like no others and its infinite possibilities. To create better ceramic works, I am always looking for something different and breaking new grounds.
Pottery, a colorful result after fire meets clay at high temperatures, and a perfect combination of technology and art. It is both vast and profound. Try to explore it, and you will find yourself drawn into its beauty that is boundless like the starry sky, like the classic of wisdom, and you will never feel tired reading it. I would like to express my gratitude to the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum and the jury members for their hard work, and from the bottom of my heart, I also want to thank all those who have contributed to the forewords. If anyone gets to know the beauty of ceramic art from my work and enters the world of ceramics, that would surely become the proudest achievement I could ever ask for.
86 y/o Uncle Tang
May, 2019

Documentary

Personal chronology

1934

Born in Tongxiao Township, Miaoli County, Taiwan

1945

Art work, Air Furnace (first work ever created) and Groundskeeper were made

1950

Studied at Hsinchu Teachers College, enlightened by Li Tse-Fan and began his exploration in the art field

1957

Studied at the National Taiwan Normal University, Department of Art, majored in oil painting and water color

1962-67

Began teaching at Taiwan Miaoli High School and Taiwan Provincial Junior Teachers College

1967-69

Received a Japanese national research scholarship and studied at Kyoto University of Arts in Japan, majored in ceramics

1969

Special researcher at the Gifu Prefectural Ceramics Research Institute, Toki, Japan

1969-78

Engineer for the United Industrial Research Institute Ceramic Research Room

1972

Invited to participate in The Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics from the R, organized by the National Museum of History. Artworks such as Streak Urn, Decay, and Swarming Clowns were shown in the exhibition

1975-96

Taught “Ceramic Industry Internship” and “Ceramic Form and Design” courses at the Lien-Ho Junior College of Technology Ceramic Engineering Division

1976

Artwork, Merging with Clay, Finalist– International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Frenza

1976-77

Invited to participate in The Fine Arts and Craft Exhibition from the Republic of China in the Republic of Bolivia and the U.S. (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Phoenix), organized by the National Museum of History. Artworks such as Giraffe Vase, Iron Glaze Painted on Celadon Platter, and Hieroglyphic Pattern Platter- Jun Ware were shown in the exhibition

1977

Artwork, Remains, Finalist – International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Faenza

1978

Assigned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as ceramic technology supervisor in the Republic of Paraguay

1980

Visited the REIMBOLD&STRICK and DEGUSSA research room in Germany to study glaze technology

1981

Published Ceramic Internship
Invited to participate in The China-Japan Ceramics Exhibition, organized by the National Museum of History. Artworks such as Iron Spotted Copper Glaze Teapot, Dance, and Flat-Spout Teapot were shown in the exhibition

1986

Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s The 1st Contemporary Chinese Ceramics Biennale. Artwork, A Group of Disappointed People, was shown

Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s 100th Anniversary of the birth President Chiang Kai Shek’s Exhibition

1987

Invited lecturer for the course “Glaze and Decoration Technique” as a part of the Ceramic Production Technique and Quality Control Program held by the Taiwan Ceramic Industries Association

Published Glaze Theory and Practice

1988

Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s The 2nd Contemporary Chinese Ceramics Biennale. Artwork, Old Memories, was shown

1989

Invited lecturer for the course “Stoneware Manufacture Technique” as a part of the Ceramic Industrial Production and Environmental Technology Program held by the Taiwan Ceramic Industries Association

Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s the Invitational Exhibition of Taiwan Modern Ceramics. Artwork, The Call from the Sea, was shown

Invited to exhibit in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts’ the Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition. Artwork, Frustration, was shown

Invited to exhibit in The 12th Art Exhibition (craft category) Artwork, In and Out of the Net, was shown

1990

Published Fine Stoneware in the Journal of National Lien-Ho Institute of Technology regarding technical development issue
Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s The 3rd Contemporary Chinese Ceramics Biennale. Artwork, A Plate of Gourmet for the Grandchildren, was shown

1992

Established the Lien-Ho Ceramics Alliance, and was in charge to instruct the course “Aesthetics and Form”

Published the book Ceramic Forms and Decorations

1994

Invited to exhibit at the Taipei International Ceramics Expo. Artworks, The Melody Under the Sea, Mutual Sympathy, Imagination of the Floral Dress were shown

Lien-Ho Ceramics Alliance exhibited in Snake Kiln Gallery, Taoyuan Cultural Center, Changhua Cultural Center, which his artworks Brotherhood, Scenic Pattern Vase, and Horn-Shaped Nerikomi Vase has exhibited

1994-95

Invited to exhibit in the Taiwan Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition in Paris and New York. Artwork, Holding Closely Together, was shown.

1995

Invited to exhibit in Current Concerns: The Taiwanese Ceramics’ Humanity New Region at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Artwork, The Sheep Owner, A Group of Disappointment, and Recollection was shown

Lien-Ho Ceramics Alliance exhibited in Snake Kiln Gallery, Taoyuan Cultural Center, Changhua Cultural Center, which his artworks Brotherhood, Scenic Pattern Vase, and Horn-Shaped Nerikomi Vase has exhibited

1996

Invited to exhibit in National Ceramic Group Exhibition: Ceramics and Life at the National Taiwan Art Education Institute. Artwork, Awaiting Spring, was shown

Invited to exhibit in The Artists Group Exhibition in Mioali County. Artwork, Journey, was shown

1997

Participated in The Lien-Ho Ceramics Alliance Group Exhibition in Hsinchu Cultural Center. Artwork, Spring Joy, was shown

1998

Invited lecturer for the 1998 Taiwan-U.S. International Exchange Program

1999

Invited to participate in the Passing the Torch for Chuchien Artists Program: Chen Huan-Tang’s Solo Exhibition
Invited to exhibit in the Zhuqian Art Show. Artwork, Three-legged Race Against the Wind, was shown

2000

Artwork, The Earth, was shown in The Chuchien Art Show
Artwork, Dragon, was shown in the Year of the Dragon Chinese Zodiac Show

2001

Artwork, Unyielding Integrity, was shown in the Hsinchu City’s National Day Artist Group Exhibition

2002

Artwork, Long Gone the Rein and Saddle, was shown in the Year of the Horse Chinese Zodiac Show

Invited to participate in The Miaoli Art Exhibition. Artwork, Sympathy, was shown

Invited to participate in the Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition, held by the National Taiwan Art Education Center. Artwork, Symboiosis, was shown

Artwork, Snowy Mountains and Waterfalls, Leisure Dawn and Still Snow, was shown in the Li Tse Fan Art Exhibition

2003

Invited to participate in The Miaoli Art Exhibition. Artwork, Mother’s Love, was shown

2004

Invited to participate in The Hsinchu City’s Art Exhibition. Artwork, Traces of the Wind, was shown

Invited to participate in The Miaoli County Artists Group Exhibition. Artwork, Great Momentum, was shown

2005

Chen Huan-Tang’s Exhibition Tour

2006

Invited to exhibit in the National Museum of History’s An Invitational Exhibition of Ceramic Art from Taiwan Artwork, The Call from the Sea, was shown

Artwork, Tranquility, was invited to show at the Taiwan Ceramics Exhibition, held by the Ceramic Art Association of Taiwan

Artwork, Green Ripples, was invited to show at the Miaoli County Artists Group Exhibition, held by the Association of Taiwan Ceramics

2007

Lien-Ho Ceramics Group Exhibition was held at the Art Center in National United University. Artwork, Valiant was shown

2008

Artwork, A Dialogue between the Nude Lady and the Moon, was invited to show at the Miaoli County Artist Group Exhibition

2009

Invited to show in The Collection for Taiwan Hakka Fine Arts
Exhibition by 100 Artists, held by Hakka Affair Council. Artwork, Fortune, was shown

2010

Invited to show in Taiwan Ceramics Exhibition, held by Ceramics Art Association of Taiwan. Artwork, Sacred Exit, was shown

2011

Artwork, Floating on Cloud Nine, was invited to show in the Hsinchu City Art Exhibition
Artwork, Harmonious Tour, was invited to show in the Miaoli County Artist Group Exhibition

2012

Lien-Ho Ceramics Group Exhibition was held at the Art Center in National United University. Artwork, Precipitous, was shown
Artwork, Souls, was invited to show in The Miaoli County Artist Group Exhibition

2016

Lecturer for the course “Introduction to Glaze” at the National United University

Lecturer for “Introduction to Glaze” at the Miaoli Ceramics Association

2017

Lecturer for “Introduction to Glaze” at the Miaoli Ceramics Association
The Inheritance of Ceramics – 2017 Joint Exhibition of Ceramic Works by Huan-Tang Chen and His Students was shown at the National United University Art Center

2019

The Achievement Award of 2019 Taiwan Ceramics Awards

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