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To encourage the creativity in ceramic works, to promote the beauty of ceramics culture, and to provoke the development of contemporary Taiwan ceramics art, the Taipei Ceramics Awards consists of the Awards of Achievement, Creativity, and Thematic Design. Hopefully, through such awarding, to encourage more ceramic talents in searching for exploration, designing and creation and further build new region as fountain to nourish the ceramics in Taiwan.

About My Creation

Chiu Huan-Tang

Chiu Huan-Tang

I majored in English at the university and the graduate school, and taught Western Civilizations in the Department of National Taiwan Normal University. This humanist background has had a lot to bear on my clay work. Mostly I do ceramic sculpture, to which I apply the glazes my wife, Nadia Shih, has developed.

A man more or less versed in the humanities naturally produces works with literary allusions and moral undertones. I am, however, not that serious. I realize that contemporary artists normally stress form and hence shy away from moral preaching. I, too, emphasize form. I like my plastic forms and glaze colors to appeal to my audience primarily with a sense of beauty in an ambiance of humor. Messages are secondary.
I work by the metaphor, an effective device common to literature and to visual arts. I like to associate one thing with another, or piece together a series of events and episodes on a theme.

The result is often a set of variations marked with a pleasing rhythmic pattern. The stardust series, the panels, the wall plaques, the varieties of fountains…are all examples of such a style.

One hears now and then that so and so does ceramics with a consummate skill. I don’t know what that is. I wonder if that is possible with a ceramist who keeps experimenting on relatively large scales. I happen to be of like temperament of whomever Robert Browning wrote about, “one’s reach must exceed one’s grasp.” Due to variants in construction, glazing and firing process,ambitious projects incur frustrations. Even in pieces that I am happy with I see technical defects, which I fix with “cold” materials. I find comfort in the thought that I have met the challenge.



Personal Chronology


Born in Ermei Township, Hsinchu County
During Chiu’s childhood, his father runs a stationery store, where
Chiu often picks up brushes and paper and copies works of Chinese
calligraphy and painting. He makes tanks and fighter planes
from corrugated paper and rice paste. Toward the end of World
War II, when material resources were scarce, he accompanied his
mother to a mountainous area where she cultivated sweet potatoes.
American B29 bombers daily roared past overhead.


Chiu is admitted to Chunan Junior High School. Since he is deeply
aware of the difficulties of farming life, he does his utmost to study
English, a subject in which he leads all the other students in his


He transfers to Provincial Hsinchu Junior High School. His art teacher,
Mr. Yen-fang Lee, says, “In art, there must be variety in unity, and unity
in variety.” He abides by this statement throughout his later career.
Graduates from Provincial Hsinchu Junior High School.


After entering senior high school, he participates in English speech
competitions each year and consistently receives top prizes. Whenever
he goes out for a stroll, he takes his English diary and watercolor


Chiu enters the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
National Taiwan University (NTU).


Meets Nadia Shih, a student in the Department of Life Science,
National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), and often gives her small
watercolors he paints on the NTU campus.


Graduates with a B.A. degree from the Department of Foreign Languages
and Literatures, NTU.
Is admitted to the Research Institute of English, NTNU. The Institute
Chairman, Mr. Liang Shih-chiu, obtains scholarship funds for the
Institute’s first class of graduate students from Dr. Hu Shih, who is
living in the United States; their monthly stipends are higher than
most of high school teachers’ monthly pay.


Graduates with an M.A. degree from the Institute of English, NTNU,
then begins military service as a reserve officer.


Marries Nadia Shih.


Eldest son, Yueh Chiu, is born on October 25th.
Teaches part-time at Soochow University. His interest in art
increases; he purchases and reads a series of books on famous
paintings of the world as he continues to practice watercolor.


Teaches as lecturer, then as associate professor and professor, in
the Department of English, NTNU, for a total of 36 years.


He receives a fellowship to attend The East-West Center of the
University of Hawaii, where he studies the teaching of English. He
is attracted by the many different kinds of ceramic works hung on
the exterior walls of a tall wooden building that he passes every
day on his way to class. Later on he takes a ceramics course taught
by Prof. Claude Horan. This marks the beginning of Chiu’s ceramic


Goes to Yingge in order to work with the local clay and equipment
available there.


His daughter, Chin Chiu, is born on April 3rd.


Teaches part-time at National Tsing Hua University; often suffers
from insomnia due to the time spent commuting.


Recommends himself as a product designer to the Tien-I Ceramics
Company in Junghe. His wife Nadia Shih studies English texts on
glazes and conducts her own research with glaze recipes on the
kitchen table and joins her husband in the world of ceramic art.
Based on materials from the University of Hawaii, he designs and
constructs a kick wheel.


Joins the Zodiac Sculpture Group.


Sets up the Tao-Zen Pottery Workshop, introduces Western creative
concepts in ceramics to Taiwan, encourages innovation in
form and the incorporation of things found at hand into the creative
process. He is simultaneously an English teacher, ceramics
teacher, and ceramics artist.


Referring to American ceramist Daniel Rhodes’ Kilns:Design and
Construction, he personally makes his first gas kiln.
Zodiac Sculpture Group has a joint exhibition, “World of the Five
Phases,” at the National Museum of History.
Starting with the June debut issue of The Artist magazine, Chiu
publishes a series of articles on ceramic art.


His work “Beachcombing” is chosen for inclusion in The International
Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Faenza, Italy.


Attends a course in “Advanced Ceramics” at University of
California, San Jose. While in the United States, he is inspired by
the American emphasis on experimentation and creativity and
creates sculpture fountains that garner many good reviews.


Lectures on Ceramic Art, a collection of essays that he wrote for
The Artist during the previous years, is published.


The five pieces in his work “Ceramic Notebook” are
shown in the Sino-Japan Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics.


Holds a solo exhibition at “Gallery Pottery Friends” in Taipei; he
sells many dishes that have an acacia ash base in their glaze.


Work selected for inclusion


Shows his brick sculpture series in Spring Gallery, Taipei; his large
and small works as well as his glaze painted dishes continue to find
favor with collectors.
Works included in the Modern Ceramics Promotion Competition,
Taipei Fine Arts Museum.


Participates in the International Biennial Exhibition of Ceramic Arts
at the National Museum of History, Taipei.
Participates in a “Ceramics-lovers’ Group,” a group of ceramic artists
that meets regularly to discuss insights and observations.
Stops teaching at Tao-Zen Pottery Workshop due to rebuilding.


Participates in the “Study of Forty Years’ Development of Ceramic
Art in Taiwan” conducted by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine
Arts, Taichung.


Shows work in the “Taiwanese Ceramics: Uncharted ” exhibition
that tours the United States.
Shows work in the “Taipei Paris Exhibition of Contemporary Taiwanese


Shows work in the “Ceramic Art and Life” exhibition at the National
Taiwan Arts Educational Center, Taipei.


Retires from the Department of English, NTNU; begins devoting himself
full-time to ceramic art.


Holds a solo exhibition in the Contemporary Ceramics Gallery, Sanyi.
His work, “Arch of Millennium,” wins competition in a public art
competition by the Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum.


Shows work in a joint exhibition featuring contemporary ceramists
from Taiwan and France,In Château-Roux,France and in the Kaohsiung
Fine Arts Museum.


Holds a joint exhibition together with Jung-Yu Tsai at Yueh-Lin Gallery, Taichung.


Wins the Achievement Award in the 4th Taipei Ceramics Awards, Taipei
County Yingge Ceramics Museum.

3F Special Exhibition Rooms