REFLECTION ON RECEIVING the “HUMANITIES ACHIEVEMENT AWARD”
activities during these 20 years in four aspects.
In 1963 I got a scholarship from French government and went to study in Paris. The next year, 1964, while visiting the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Firenze, Florence, I got a revelation: “the whole humanity nor needs a new Renaissance and its cradle is Taiwan!” Such a revelation has become the generator as well as the goal of my study, thinking, research, action and creation since then. It is also the reason of my devotion to the “World Federation of Taiwanese Association” as a full-time volunteer.
After that and starting from 1980 I came back to my major career as an artist and become active in four aspects.
A. First. Art creation in “Neo-Iconography” and its publicity.
In 1969 while I was in Paris, I formulated my cultural view termed as “Five-dimensional World Culture” which initiated my “Neo-Iconography” in art expression. It is a new art form integrating icons from different sources, East and West, past and present etc. in a creative way with insight, meaning, and message. I started to show this kind of artwork in the 1970s, and in 1980s and 1990s I created them in series and had about 1,000 paintings in this signature style. Thus I became active in the international art forum and my art was included in the world art history book by Professor William Fleming: ARTS AND IDEAS.
Dr. Chen’s ”Love above Confrontation ”as the Cover of a book/Dr. Chen’s art is used for the Cover of ”America in Search of the SOUL”/Dr. Chen’s ”Everlasting Cry for freedom” is used at the cover of a Religious Textbook/T.F. Chen’s ”City Gleaners” been featured for the cover of an American Social Textbook/The New York Magazine’s ”Liberty Special” put Dr. Chen’s artwork together with Andy Warhol’s etc.
This book is widely used by more than 1,000 universities as a textbook in and out of the USA and I happened to be the only living Asian artist in it while there are less than one dozen living artists included in the book. Among my artworks, the “Statue of Liberty Series [100 paintings]” , the “Post-van Gogh Series [125 paintings],” together with series of “Prince Diana,” “Humanity,” “War and Peace” are the mostly quoted. They are introduced, studies, and used in more than 280 textbooks and art magazines etc. in 33 countries till now. There are students who take “Neo-Iconography” as subjects for their studies, articles and theses. Such is a rare academic recognition for a living artist.
Dr. Chen’s Liberty images are used in many books and magazines/ TF Chen’s art been featured in300 books and magazines including ”Vincent Coming Home” at ” Mythology of Vincent van Gogh’’.
B. Second. Art “walks down” to people for spiritual enhancement.
Since I challenged my blacklist [being active for democratization in Taiwan I was put in the blacklist by the KMT in Taiwan] and returned to my homeland Taiwan for art exhibition in 1984, I have been busy both in the USA and Taiwan. In 1987 my wife opened an art gallery in Taipei to introduce my Neo-Iconography. Besides joining some group shows, I have held many one-man shows in Taiwan, including three exhibition-and-lecture tours around the country, showing at 19 cultural centers, National Taiwan Museum, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum etc. The three-year art tour starting in 2000 entitled “Jade Mountain Holy Mountain, Love and Peace” was intended purposefully to uplift “Taiwan Spirit” through art, using Jade Mountain as National Icon.
C. Third. “T.F. Chen Cultural Center” for international cultural activities.
In 1996 my wife Lucia and I built in SoHo, New York City a museum building [six floors with a basement] and set up in it the “T. F. Chen Cultural Center” as a standpoint for the promotion of a New Renaissance. The Center’s operation is to include our recent preparation for an “Art for Humanity” world tour. In the future, I would donate my essential artworks and documents to this non-profit organization for its continuous operation to maintain, manage and promote my art and philosophy.
D. Forth. International Exhibit-Conference and Cultural Diplomacy.
In my life I have been maintaining art creation integrated in theory and philosophy in art. Besides every international show could be an opportunity for a cultural diplomacy, due to my cultural theory bearing a historical vision in world scope, I have been frequently invited to participate in some international conferences [such as ICUS and the State of World Forum] to meet many world leaders [in their respective fields] including gatherings for world peace: I consequently have the opportunities of engaging in diplomatic activities through art and culture.
Until now I have produced around 4,000 artworks and published 21 books in Chinese, English, and French, and I still have six books to be published in the due time. Recently I started to review some tapes on my art, exhibitions and other activities to combine and edit them into DVD films.
Evolution of human civilization from 1-dimension to 5-dimension
These are main activities of my past 20 years. Part of these accomplishment let me surprisingly became a recipient of the “Global Tolerance Award” from the “Friends of the United Nations” and designated a “Cultural Ambassador for Tolerance and Peace” in 2001.
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As above-mentioned, I rarely applied any award in my life. In face, I have even refused some awards which intended to honor me by not applying them. I have declined even some arrangements for art shows [invited by some ambassadors of a certain country and their museums]. I remember in 2001, while I was honored the UN “Global Tolerance Award” through the execution of the “Friends of the UN,” my Cultural Center received some telephone calls asking how this award was applied and which painting of mine got the award. I thought if this award were to be applied, I couldn’t get, for I wouldn’t apply.
When the Friends of the United Nations informed me of their intention to give me the award, my wife Lucia and I recommended the Taiwan-based Zhu-Chi Buddhist Relief Institute and started to contact my good friend Dr. Lee Ming-liang, the Dean of the Zhu-Chi Medical University for necessary materials and information in English. But latter Dr. Noel Brown, the President of the “Friends of the UN,” told us they would never accept any recommendation nor application. The board of the “Friends of the UN” selects and decides by themselves. In the award ceremony they unusually designated me “Cultural Ambassador” for an “Art for Humanity” World Campaign.
In order to explain my current occupation and future activities, I would like to disclose part of Dr. Brown’s letter as following.
Dr. Brown wrote:
“In taking the decision to honor you the Board was most impressed by your art of multi-culturalism and a lifetime of work dedicated to peace, tolerance and love and for creating a body of work expressing a shared vision of humanity……
As the world seeks to come to terms with a rapidly changing global context and the intensification of tensions we consider it more urgent than ever to mobilize the arts in the service of peace and harmony among peoples. That is why the Friends of the United Nations is keenly interested in working with you in organizing a Global Arts Campaign for Tolerance and Peace.
Moreover, as a recipient of the 2001 Award, we hereby designate you a “Cultural Ambassador for Tolerance and Peace” and rely on your continued support in promoting the United Nations program of action to this effect……”
The award ceremony was held inside the United Nations in New York City on December 11th of 2001. On the platform and in front of nearly 400 distinguished guests, I mentioned about the coming challenge in my award speech.
I said: “Art can be used as a vehicle for transforming and uniting the world. The United Nations has taken initiatives to utilize the artistic, cultural, religious and spiritual communities to contribute to creating world peace and harmony. These valuable spheres of humanity can act as a compelling force, along with our political, economic, and military efforts. For in this age of advanced technology, besides “hardware” and “software,” we are also called to cultivate “SOULWARE,” a new spirit of Love and Globalism. I deeply believe in Father Teilhard de Chardin’s vision, that “Love is the real Soul of our Earth, and that after the Age of Atom, we are now entering into an Age of Love”. And I am grateful that my art, termed as “Neo-Iconography,” an art for humanity’s sake, can be used in this meaningful challenge.
The “TAIWANESE-AMERICAN FOUNDATION”
By Dr. T. F. Chen November 2005
Mr. Ken John Wang and Mrs. Jacqueline Wang established the “Taiwanese-American Foundation” [TAF] in 1982 and since 1983 they started to give the DTAF awards [so called Taiwanese Nobel Prize] to those who have outstanding achievement in their fields. Such an act manifests the development of “Taiwanese-American Consciousness” within the overseer’s Taiwanese in the USA and the promotion of excellent qualities of Taiwanese at home and abroad. All these are very meaningful regarding community development, social concern and cultural vision. Since then for more than 20 years the TAF has selected and awarded quite a number of elites from Taiwan and abroad, showcasing their distinguished contribution in every field, thus winning its reputation and importance. The Foundation not only pioneered such a significant act but also established its connection with Taiwan, participating as well as witnessing the progress and change there for the past two decades.
In my life, I rarely applied any award. Yet in order to applaud such an insightful initiative which emphasizes “identifying to and caring for Taiwan” I applied for its first year’s Humanities Award and was selected in the first round. That year’s Humanities Award was finally given to r. Chiang Wen-ye and Mr. Yang Kwei, two cultural heroes of our parent’s generation, a timely tribute to a composer and a writer on their ailing beds.
Age of Love
After that I haven’t applied for twenty years till recently I felt the right time to apply and was selected. I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Wang, the Board of TAF and their executers and volunteers. Meanwhile I like to express my gratitude to those who love me, helped me and encouraged me; my family, relatives, friends, teachers and those who collected my artworks.
The two decades from the first year of TAF awarding to this year are the two decades in which I have accomplished my periodical mission in initiating, establishing, and working for the “World Federation of Taiwanese Association” and returned to my art creation and intensive exhibition and publication. I have the pleasure to report briefly hereby my h a mixture of Asian, European, and American influences, a consciousness of “World Citizenship” has developed within me, and I discover that it is a prevailing and encouraging phenomenon now in our Global Village. This kind of conscious awakening in the individual surely paves a way for the cultivation of a global culture based on love, peace, and tolerance. Thus every awakened individual can now be looked upon as a potential “friend of the United Nations,” able to partner up with the United Nations in its grand efforts to create a loving, transformed world.
So I am deeply grateful, to have this opportunity of contributing myself, my art and my team [the staff and experience of the T. F. Chen Cultural Center] for this noble cause….”
|Salute to Liberty Lady 183 x 127 cm a/c 1985
|Everlasting Cry for freedom- 66X96” a/c 1990
Doubtlessly this is one of the challenges at the beginning of the 21st century, yet it was not in my “life planning”. But I regard this as a rare opportunity for us Taiwanese.
As all of you know that among the 192 countries in the world, Taiwan is the only one out of the United Nations, the highest international organization. Yet we Taiwanese are the most “world citizen”-oriented people, such as the members of the Zhu-Chi Buddhist Relief Institute and many others. We are the most qualified and able to contribute the world community. But alas due to very complicated historical consequences, Taiwan today becomes the only “International Orphan” in the world and faces her extreme difficulty in diplomatic situation. Ironically when the UN hoped to promote a culture of peace and harmony through the arts, a Taiwanese artist was selected! Besides being a great honor, isn’t it provide us an opportunity for an international diplomacy through art tour?
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According a brief estimation, a world tour going to five continents, thirty-plus cities for five years needs 3,6 million US dollars. The “Friends of the UN” hasn’t such a budget, for it is a non-governmental and non-profit organization. As for the related UN organizations, each has its specific occupation and not easy to be coordinated. Moreover, since Taiwan is not UN’s member state, and would not be on the tour list once the tour is guided by the UN. Besides such an artistic campaign would be more welcome without a strong political image, so, after a thorough consideration, we decided to do by ourselves and set up an “Art for Humanity Foundation” for the purpose while welcoming help from the “Friends of the UN” etc. Lucia and I would like to pledge one-third of the expense [$1,2 million] as the base-fund to encourage contribution from others. The award-sum I obtained here from this year’s “Taiwanese-American Foundation” Award would be used for the “Art for Humanity” world tour.
The Taiwanese-American Foundation emphasizes Taiwan, encouraging “care for and identify to Taiwan,” focuses on cultivation of the outstanding quality and value of Taiwan. This Foundation encourages Taiwanese to contribute not only to Taiwan, to the USA [new homeland of Taiwanese-Americans], but also to the whole humanity, our Global Village. All these gear quite well with the ideal and goal of the revelation I got in my early years which I have been pursuing since then: Taiwan be the cradle of a Global New Renaissance. It deals with the building up of confidence in Taiwanese, the ultimate enlightenment of Taiwanese Soul and also the accomplishment of actual historical mission for Taiwanese at home and abroad. Such a task starts from awakened individual and set up an example, so that everybody will explore his/her God-given talent for the collective endeavor in fulfilling the shared dream. I am proud to be honored with this year’s TAF Achievement Award in Humanities.
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According to my knowledge, the founder of the TAF, Mr. Wang has witnessed the beginning of the tragic “228 Incident” occurred in Taipei 1947—–the arrest and hitting of a woman [selling smuggled-cigarettes in front of Tien-ma Tea Shop] by a KMT agent and the victim happened to be the mother of a good friend of his when they were both teenagers. Whether this is related to his establishment of the Taiwanese-American Foundation I’m not sure, but one thing can be certain is the urgent eagerness of the Taiwanese lived or living under the autocratic Chinese National regime there to release their fearful bandage in their heart from the so-called “White Terror”. Under the forced Chinese-identification policy by the high-oppressive totalitarian KMT ruling, the Taiwanese there during that period of time were even hesitated to expose themselves as Taiwanese, not mentioning to advocate “identifying to and caring for Taiwan,” or to encourage Taiwanese to “stand up and walk out”. The Taiwanese today who are living in a free and democratic society there might be very difficult to imagine the “KMT syndrome of fearing Communist and Taiwanese” before the relief in 1987 of the martial law in Taiwan which has been prolonged for 38 years—-the longest in human history. Since my youth I have being warned by the environment, and even have been directly told of “absolutely don’t meddle in politics”. Therefore I have chosen to be an artist and decided to enclose myself in the “ivory tower of art” and won’t care for the society. I was born to a poor family. I never had the money to attend any extra-lessons which have been so popular in Taiwan, but I have been a model student since I entered the school. I attended the best high school [Tainan First Middle School] in south Taiwan. I was promoted from junior high to senior high without any need to participate in a competitive entrance examination, and then promoted directly from senior high to the National Taiwan University without entrance examination again. Then in 1963, I obtained a scholarship from the French government through a very keen competitive examination to study in Paris. In 1970 I got my PH.D. with the best “mention tres honorable” from La Sorbonne. If I return to Taiwan at that moment and register into the KMT party [as most of the officers there need to do], under the policy and atmosphere of highly-valuing-and-using Taiwanese elites of 1970s, it is very likely I would have a bright future and be promoted to high-ranking positions. But because I chose to identify myself to our “Mother-Taiwan,” hoping that Taiwan would become a free and democratic country and Taiwanese become masters of themselves, “Head out of Cloud” [ ] as a Taiwanese saying, I participated in the Taiwanese democratic movement abroad without further consideration. I engaged myself then in the most fundamental grass-root campaign of uniting and awakening Taiwanese. Through continuous proposal, planning, communication and organizing, meetings after meetings and actions after actions, we finally established the biggest body of Taiwanese abroad: “World Federation of Taiwanese Associations” in 1974, and I took on my shoulders most of the works and carried on the Organization for more than five years. Our efforts and perseverance gave the Organization a solid and strong foundation with fast growth to becoming one of the biggest and one of the most influential organizations among Taiwanese community abroad and at home. Consequently I was on the blacklist of the KMT authority in Taiwan. When I risked my life to go back to my homeland, in 1984, 21 years have passed since my separation from my family there and only to find my parents cold in their tombs and even the only one two-floor house they built during their lives was to be demolished unnecessarily by the government under the name of “urban planning”. The house was demolished to the ground without even a piece of tile of a brick remained—–this is my real “pain” deep in my heart and the price of my “meddling in politics”.
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Dr. Chen Performing” Taiwan Epic in Music” at a Taiwanese Assembly at Washington D.C. in 1975/ A sketch of Lucia Hou in wedding Gown/ Dr.T.F. and Lucia Chen at an Exhibition of Dr. Chen’s art(1984.1.1)/ 1978.2-19-3-16-Exhibition at Art Alliance, Philadelphia.
Since 1980 I came back to my art creation. There are compatriots who murmured around saying that T. F. Chen no more contributing [like before]. They didn’t know that I spent almost half of my time in Taiwan, frequently going “down to villages” in promoting art and culture. I never change, only different in doing. I “preached” through art and culture in Taiwan and abroad, only by myself instead of through any organization, and often do what other people could not do. In those early years when people dared not use their names for the movement, I provided my name; when people dared not do or would not like to do, I did. I cherish dearly the noble “conscience” of that era: daring to do without profit or fame, but with personal sacrifice and even endangering family and relatives. Nowadays the situation has changed [specially after Taiwan was transformed into a free and democratic society since 2000 of power transition]. Today so many people like to show out in different associations in Taiwanese communities and are eager to “meddle in politics”—-this is a progressive phenomenon of the time though, yet if the motivation is to seek seats in the self-interest as we have seen on the stage now, it is sad and will be catastrophic.
Because I just worked and never fought for position or fame, I hadn’t any title during my volunteering for Taiwanese Democratic Movement for several decades. Yet what is unbelievable is the “World Federation of Taiwanese Association” which was almost initiated, set up and brought up by me has forgotten me and even buried my name! My name was even not in its Advisory List. Besides I was so evidently the Chairman of the 1983 “Taiwanese East Coast Summer Conference,” I got very busy for the annual conference for several months and I remember that I represented the Conference writing a letter to invite Mr. Chen Shui-bian, then a city councilman of Taipei Municipality and got an answering letter from him apologizing of his unable to come. But recently I attended twice the Taiwanese East Coast Summer Conference, and I found on the conference booklets that its 1983 chairman was another person! So I asked its “Board of the Conference” to return the historical reality of this matter, yet I got no answer. Thereupon I started to conceive and have to think that Taiwanese have changed now, so is the Taiwanese community and society. I hope that we can maintain and uplift the spirit promoted by our Taiwanese-American Foundation, so we can open-heartedly acknowledge each other, encourage each other, have “Love” in our hearts and unite together.
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Let us come back to our main subject. The “Art for Humanity” world tour this time which will use my Neo-Iconography paintings as main content while combining music and other aspects of art is doubtlessly bearing a cultural mission, cannot be carried out nor accomplished by a single person or a family. So I hope to get the support from the Taiwanese-American Foundation and the enthusiastic participation from our fellow countrymen at home and abroad. Recently we are in the stage of organizing an international Board of Director and hopefully will have adequate Taiwanese involved as members. We got promise from some important music and movie producing avenues in Las Vegas and California to join us in this world tour. We are preparing to kick off this tour officially from Las Vegas next year and go on for five years [and more if necessary]. I envision, besides promoting a culture of peace and harmony, this tour can unite our fellow-countrymen everywhere we go, combining the mainstream societies there for cultural diplomacy and better mutual profitable relationship.
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Finally I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to my beloved wife Lucia. This is not just a conventional courteous gesture of respect the feminine, but I will speak out the reason. For years, many people regard her with a prejudice: Her husband paints, she just sells his paintings. This is a regrettable view, and maybe caused by me, for I rarely have explained and argued for her as I almost have never argued and explained to those who misunderstood me with their subjective viewpoints.
In fact, she is a strong woman with ability, firmness, and perseverance in pursuit of the goal, at the same time possessing the traditional virtues of a Taiwanese woman: hardworking, simple life and saving, persistence, cherishing husband as the center of the family, respecting the elder and admiring the wise, taking care of the family and loving the society and the homeland etc. Born as a fourth-generation daughter to General Hou Shih-geng, a fourth-ranking military commander of the Hsing [Manchou] Dynasty who was sent to Taiwan to fight against Japanese invaders with General Liu Yong-fu a century ago, Lucia is courageous and insightfully intelligent, gracious and upright, straightforward and persistent. When I was in Paris, even though I had obtained a Ph.D. in the history of modern art from the University of Paris and had found out in theory as well as in pictorial expression my signature style of Neo-Iconography, but when time came to me for a total devotion in art creation to realize my dream of becoming an artist-painter, I was engaged by the circumstances to devote in the Taiwanese Movement abroad. I took Taiwan in “priority” and started to work for the establishment of the World Federation of Taiwanese Association. At that time I was a completely “starving artist” without art activities but dedicating instead 100% for the Taiwanese cause and was on the blacklist. At that time the lady who dared to marry me was Lucia Hou. After our marriage she would willingly give out the money she had saved for studying four years in Paris for my volunteering working for the Taiwanese cause, especially for the WFTA. Let me ask how many women would let their husbands volunteering in a common cause, often leaving home for days and weeks, while leaving many office-jobs [of the WFTA and others] to be handled by them, without pay, even often have to contribute money, time, and labor? Not only did she get no credit, but was to be blamed of holding back her husband when there were things couldn’t be done or a project unable to be realized. For during that time [since we moved from Paris to New York], the USA was the biggest base of Taiwanese abroad with three organizations in a very active momentum: the World Federation for Taiwan Independence, the Self-Determination Movement of Taiwanese People, and the World Federation of Taiwanese Association. These three big groups related, supported and helped each other in a sort of mutual cooperation, and I was the only one full-time volunteer of these organizations. Our programs and activities were so overwhelming that my whole family used to involve in. Such kind of situation lasted not only half year or one year but more than five years! Moreover I have contributed many of my artworks for the fundraisings of many Taiwanese associations abroad for the democratization and independence of Taiwan, including FAPA [Formosan Association for Public Affairs]. Let us ask how many women would like to do this? And would allow her husband doing this?
When my daughter was born, one day we found that we had even no money to buy milk. At that moment my wife Lucia decided to open an art gallery to sustain the family. Since then she has opened seven art galleriestill now, thus getting rid of our financial problem and helping me to do art shows. Till now I had about 200 one-man shows including many international art exhibitions and my retrospective shows in the USA and Taiwan. She studies education and was a school teacher when she was in Taiwan, so she emphasized on education in art exhibitions. She is sensitive to art and has an eye in art appreciation. Quite different from the other galleries which focusing on hanging paintings for selling them, our “art tour down to the people” in Taiwan was a grass-root educational campaign. Somebody think that we go back to Taiwan “to dig gold” there, they don’t know how hard for the “outsiders” to work in Taiwan amid a kind of skeptical conservative cultural “territory” there. In fact, the artistic and cultural communities in Taiwan were no so generously opened to the seemly “invaders” [from their view] from abroad, especially people like us who were regarded as pro-Taiwan independence and had been in the blacklist, therefore Lucia Chen was treated as an “alien” among gallery owners in Taiwan. Because of my Neo-Iconography has theory, philosophy and vision behind, we used to publish books for the promotion of such kind of new art, something like bearing a mission, we have extra expense. Such kind of management is quite rare and unique in this field as the expense is high while income is uncertain.
Yet Lucia dared to build a private museum building in SoHo in 1996, within it set up the T. F. Chen Cultural Center, a non-profit organization as a standpoint for advancing a “Global New Renaissance in Love”. This Cultural Center has been supported by my family’s volunteering involvement, not only without pay but also need to contribute money every year, together with the support from the selling of my paintings. Such kind of dedication cannot be carried out without ideal and sacrifice. I engage myself almost totally in art creation and writing, letting Lucia to take care of the operation and management, all practical matters and she has proved herself good in handling. Her ability, determination, and perseverance win my deep respect and let me surprised of the ability, strength, and nobility of the Taiwanese feminine [she is a member of the North American Taiwanese Women Association, on wonder the Organization is so full of energy and potential]. ] Paradoxically her forced situation turned into her lucky opportunities. During these two decades she has built, little by little, her small kingdom in real estate due to her remodeling houses into art galleries and so on. Such kind of experience if written in detail would become an interesting book about real estate investment. Yet she values great artworks more than real estate, regarding them as a kind of real estate on the wall. Lucia now is an expert in art management, publication, investment and collection. She is one of the very few Asian women in the USA who engage in the non-profit organization in art and culture. She is the president and CEO of several foundations and companies now. Her success in art management makes her an interesting object for interview by TV stations and magazines. This time she took up also the heavy and complicated planning and administration of the “Art for Humanity” world tour, including fundraising and operation. This is a great challenge. But Taiwanese are going to “stand up and walk out,” no?
Porcelaine Iconographic Beauty (CP-D-1)
God Bless Formosa(3)
We as a couple used to work together for international art exhibitions and are invited quite often to join international conferences in artistic, academic, and political domains, even conferences for world peace [like the State of World Forum in 1998 and 2000, conference for world peace in Washington D. C. in 2002 and in South Korea in 2003]. Such occasions offered us opportunities of meeting Gorbachev, Richard Lugar, the chairman of USA’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, and Dr. Rodrigo Carazo, ex-president of Costa Rica etc. and requesting their opinion on the security of Taiwan Strait etc. In some international conferences, I was asked to represent cultural domain and my subject had been “Towards an Age of Love” or “A Global New Renaissance in Love”. I often ask the participants: “Can you imagine our world without Beethoven, Shakespeare, van Gogh….? Can you tolerate our world without the masterpieces of great artists? How our society would become poor if we don’t have the Louvre in Paris, MOMA and Lincoln Center in New York, and Palace Museums in Beijing and Taipei….. So our World Family is shaped and glorified by artists who are blessed by God, endowed with sensibility and creativity, therefore artists have the responsibility for the progress of society and culture”. So I regard my best contribution to Taiwan and to the world is my art and writing which includes the philosophy behind my artwork. I believe they will become part of legacy shared by humanity. Consequently we have set up a non-profit organization, the T> F. Chen Cultural Center for the preservation, management and operation of them.
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“Life is short, art is eternal” [said Tolstoy]. I was touched by Vincent van Gogh to become an artist when I was 14, and at 28, I got a revelation in the holy cradle of the Italian Renaissance and determined to promote Taiwan as the critical birthplace of a new Renaissance for the whole humanity and had being devoted for this task. Throughout my lifetime I am blessed by obtaining my wife’s support as well as the encouragement from relatives, friends and compatriots. Cherishing a sincere gratitude towards all of them, I have done my best to be a conscious and passionate Taiwanese intelligentsia. Besides my art creation, I have purposefully published three books concerning Taiwanese future as following:
1] “Jade Mountain Series and its Variations”. There are more than 100 paintings on Jade Mountain accompanied with 86 poems side by side. This book aims to build “Taiwanese Soul” through painting and poetry.
2] “21st Century, Taiwan!—-Cradle for a Global New Renaissance”. It is the crystallization of my thinking and research for more than three decades. In this book I applied my 5-dimensional cultural view to Taiwanese’s future by providing theories with logics and reasoning. I seek perfection in content, style, and aspiration while giving a vision to the future of Taiwan and the world in progress.
I am 70 years old, but artists have no right for retirement. Besides continuous art creation, I would like to carry out the “Art for Humanity” world tour and contribute my best to Taiwan. I hope that the T. F. Chen Cultural Center could operate continuously generation after generation, and if possible, set up also a fund for T. F. Chen Study in a university.
I thank the Taiwanese-American Foundation for giving me the Humanities Achievement Award this year and I would like to share this honor with my loving wife Lucia. Thanks!!