Hu Chau-Tsung was born in 1981 in Taipei, Taiwan. Studying in the Master’s Program of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts.
Hu Chau-Tsung continually focuses on observing and researching the symbiosis of humanity and nature. In his artworks, Hu is aiming to express the common boundary of natural environment and artificial scene – a vague, ambiguous and untouchable relationship and a penetrating and contradictory sense of space. He picks up the image about the edge and outline of the region in life, and then composes them to the self-experiences. His works show his fantasy about the Nature, which arouse the viewers to rethink how to exist naturally and to think back the landscape over again.
Hu Chau-Tsung has received many awards: Merit Award at the New Century Painting Exhibition of Cathay Life Insurance in 2005; 1st Place in Oil Painting at the 10th Art Exhibition of Zhonghe City in 2006, etc. Hu’s artworks In a Better Future, In Between and Under the Gaze of Unknown were purchased and collected by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung.
“We will find out that we are like at the end of something. Beyond the “something” is the vast sea. In such a separation, we are truly naked in Nature.”
── Seton Smith
Born in Taipei, I have never lived elsewhere than a city of cement forest. Getting away from the city to the suburbs or the country fields to enjoy the air of freedom now has become a necessary relaxation for me. Therefore, I have always longed for Nature and created my own imagination about it since I was a child. Staying close to Nature is not a slogan for me, but a life practice, which has been a part of life since my childhood. As I grew older, my territory became wider. I have realized that the places I frequently visit indeed share something in common – cross-border and transitional. The space-time is full of the ambiguous uncertainty that one cannot really identify.
The natural surroundings have experienced changes because of the gradual penetration of civilization, while the landscape has also transformed with the extension of humans’ territory and their dominance. The mutual combination or intrusion between Nature and civilization creates a juxtaposed complicacy of space. The highly varied environment makes the idea of space contradictory and permeating. Roads are the most apparent example. The extension of roads can be regarded as the beginning of landscape’s transformation. They cut through the land, bringing us transportation as well as various effects. Roads make the following development possible, extending the transformation to a farther place. As for the uncrossable places, people build bridges to connect both ends. Constructions in Nature divide and separate the landscape, creating a distance between Nature and us, while they also allow us an easier access to Nature. A dual state like this is particularly emphasized in the cross-border region between two areas. The uncertainty and the instability of the environment attract me more. When I experience the changes in various stages, the present situation at the moment often creates conflict or contradiction in my mind. In these areas, behind me are the roads built by humans while in front of us are the “trails” hidden in Nature. I often expect that my next step will lead me to the territory of Nature. However, every time when I walk on it, there is either an artificial structure standing at the end of the road (such as bars, wave-dissipating concrete block, and etc.) separating me from Nature or a giant artificial structure on the vast grassland welcoming me. Nature and civilization are repetitively overlapped, intruded, or extended toward each other. Some areas are under construction while other areas are left with ruins, waiting for Nature to reoccupy. My heart at the moment is often filled with complicacy and confusion about the concept of space in Nature or in the civilization. I can only understand the transitional area where the two co-exist with each other. Therefore, I choose an open-minded attitude toward the relationship to reveal the emotions evoked by the present surroundings. My longing for and my imagination of the beautiful Nature are also hidden within.
Through the deconstruction and the rearrangement of space, I fold the concept of space as a response to my own feeling about the environment. I select the objects that are relatively close to our daily experiences to create a concept of space, which cannot be rationalized visually. Such spaces allow a stronger extension in the cross-border regions, highlighting the co-existence or the conflict between Nature and civilization. The roads in the images can be considered the extension of part of the artist’s will to search for (toward) the beautiful Nature. Meanwhile, the artificial constructions are deconstructed to disarm the power of civilization, allowing Nature to be reborn from it or preserving the remaining territory of Nature. The image clearly signifies a transition from the artificial scenes to the paradise of Nature, revealing the longing for Nature and the calling of it, through which we again explore the existence of Nature and carefully discuss the co-existence – a reexamination of landscape.
With the passion and love for Nature, I ground my artworks on humans and civilizations. I refuse to create conflict, but narrate my feeling in an objective tone. The borders and the margins in the images are not simply visualized as a concept created by humans, but the fantasy of the Nature beyond the border. Perhaps, the “Nature” in our minds is merely the suburbs instead of the real Nature, but it indeed symbolizes my imagination of the primitive Nature as well as some nostalgia for the past.