Just Like Painting a Car: ‘Happy Animal Party’ Art by Taiwan’s Hung Yi

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Discovering Hung Yi’s Art

What started out with a glimpse of a picture online turned into an all-day art outing in Taichung on a beautiful day in February. Yes, I first caught a sneak peak of Hung Yi’s art accidentally online and the vast uniqueness of the piece made me inquire more and search for additional information regarding the art piece and his current collection.

The more I researched, the more interested and intrigued I became. And when I read on a local website that there was a two-month exhibition of his collection entitled ‘Happy Animal Party’ happening in Taichung, it sealed the deal. I had to go and check it out!

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‘Happy Animal Party’ Exhibition Venue

The exhibition was held at the Taichung Cultural & Creative Industries Park, an old brewery factory converted into an indoor art showroom and outdoor display area.

Several larger pieces were displayed outside on the venue’s premises.  However, the majority of the collection was housed in an indoor exhibition hall. And since the day we went was a very hot and sunny one, we couldn’t have been more pleased to have had the opportunity to enjoy the art in the comforts of an air-conditioned building!

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Hung Yi – the Artist

Hung Yi is a Taiwanese artist from Taichung. He is known in the art world for his whimsical art pieces with close ties to Taiwanese aesthetics.

The exhibition I attended was his first major solo exhibition in Taiwan; however, the ‘Happy Animal Party’ collection first made its debut in Japan last year where it was on display for several months.

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My Personal Thoughts on the Collection

Hung Yi’s art captured my attention because of its unique features and the special techniques the artist used to complete his design.

Art within Art:

His recent collection entitled ‘Happy Animal Party’ consists or several animal sculptures including elephants, pandas, cats, ducks, and snakes (just to name a few). However, if you look closely and admire the finer detail, you will find Chinese characters, geometric patterns, and smaller paintings woven into the design.

Car Painting Techniques used:

While admiring the several sculptures on display, I was immediately intrigued by the design method used by Hung Yi as it wasn’t your typical and usual clay sculpture. The artist used metal to bring his animal collection to life and the process used to finish and preserve his whimsical creations is the procedure associated with priming and painting a car. If you look closely, each piece looks as smooth as silk, just like a newly painted car.

Indirect Meanings and Hidden Messages:

Each piece is unique and tells a story. For example, the cat sculpture in the picture immediately below contains a fish on its head alluding to the fact that cats like to consume fish.  Also, the body of the same cat sculpture contains two paintings of cats which are representative of luck and good fortune in Japanese culture.

Bright, Bold Colors:

If you expect to see sculptures of animals painted in their usual colors, then you will be sadly mistaken. Each piece contains one or two primary colors with several pops of bold, bright colors incorporated into the design. The colors are a huge part of the design which allows each piece to stand out and be unique.

Hung Yi created this collection with the intention of bringing joy into peope’s lives and I have to admit that it certainly brighten my day.

Now over to you! Do you ever attend exhibitions displaying the works of local artists?

~~10 months blogging today!!~~

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20 thoughts on “Just Like Painting a Car: ‘Happy Animal Party’ Art by Taiwan’s Hung Yi

  1. Taichung is such an arty city, we had that impression when we visited, there is always something going on that will involve art and culture. This exhibition is certainly different, it’s not exactly my favorite kind of art, but I love the colors of the artworks and the creativeness behind them. Thanks for sharing, it’s always nice to discover new artist 🙂

    1. I love Taichung and its overall vibe. It has a more relaxed atmosphere than the other major cities in Taiwan.

      I really appreciate the process used and the art is quite different from anything I have ever seen. Plus, there was no admission which is always an added bonus!

  2. He is now in the exhibition Pioneers of Taiwan Art in the National Fine Arts Museum in Taichung. An interesting exhibit. You might want to see it. He was also in an exhibit my wife curated called “Frolic” in 2008 for three New York City galleries.

    1. Thanks for the info, Tim! If I have time, I will check it out!

      Also, thanks for sharing info about a past exhibit he participated in!! What kind of art was displayed in the ‘Frolic’ exhibition?

  3. I love artworks like that – vibrant and colorful! It reminds me of the Chihuly Glass Museum we went to in Seattle last weekend. Everything was so beautiful!

    On another note, I once spent a summer semester in Taichung. My auntie was studying in Feng Chia University (I think?) and we lived on Wen Hua Rd, which transformed into a market nightly. It was amazing!

    1. Thanks, Pauline!!

      That is so awesome! How did you enjoy your stay in Taichung? The Feng Chia Night Market is the most popular night market in Taichung so you were right in the middle of the action.

  4. Every third Thursday we have an art walk in Edmonds, so not only are the galleries open (and serving snacks and drinks), but the book store, cafes, real estate offices, etc. also display work by local artists. Next month we have a big arts and crafts fair, and local artists also set up booths each week in the spring and summer at our Saturday outdoor market.

    I love the idea of the car-painting techniques used on Hung Yu’s sculptures, making them suitable for outdoors. Their joyful bright colors remind me of Mexican folk art.

    1. It sounds like the art scene is very alive in Edmonds. I would love to do one of the art walks.

      I found the entire style and technique of Hung Yi’s art very interesting. And I agree with you, the vibrant colors is very similar to Mexican art.

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