Li Tung

PAINTER

PERFORMING ARTIST

WRITER

CURATOR

PHOTOGRAPHER

GAME DESIGNER

An artist crossing many genres, Li Tung works in two- and three-dimensional arts including painting, visual and installation arts, photography, calligraphy, performing art, impromptu dance, stage design, as well as game and multimedia design and creative writing.

Born in 1971 in Taipei, Li was solidly trained in art schools since young age and graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the National Taiwan University of Arts. After a surprising and alarming turn of his health in his late 30s, Li used his experience to revitalize his works and focuses on human body as the inspiration of his creations. Li’s recent paintings reflect his thorough comprehension of surrealism and Pan-Asian arts. As a published novelist, Li is writing dialogues with images to tell stories and communicate with others.

In the past 20 years, Li’s artworks have been exhibited at various galleries in Taiwan, including the Taipei Arts Gallery and YIYU Arts Gallery. He is a member of the “Fifth Moon Group”, Taiwan’s most influential and longstanding artists collective. He is the winner of the Taipei Arts Awards (Taipei Fine Arts Museum) and Nanying Awards (Tainan City Cultural Affairs Bureau). In Vancouver, he has exhibited at the Harmony Arts Festival, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Taiwanese & Canadian Arts Series, and Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society Arts Gallery. 

As a writer, Li has published in Taiwan and China. His novels have won the Literature and Art Camp Creation Award (Unitas Lifestyle), Taiwan Literature Award (National Museum of Taiwan Literature), New Taipei City Literature Award (New Taipei City), and MWT Essay Award (Mystery Writers of Taiwan).

Since 2010, Li started to perform live painting with improvising musicians and dancers. He joined the acclaimed MAFIA Ensemble, the leading force in Taiwan’s experimental and improvisational arts scene, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary practices. Li has collaborated with numerous Canadian (NOW Society, Orchid Ensemble, Sammy Chien, Chimerik, Sound of Dragon Society, Paul Plimley), Taiwanese, and Japanese artists and has performed at the Western Front, Sound of Dragon Music Festival, Roundhouse, and Taiwan’s Create Music Festival.

 

Approaches

 

Although not easily fall into any pre-existing categories, the style of my paintings can be seen as the revival of surrealism in Asian contemporary arts. Surrealism encompasses two different approaches: 1) Abstraction or departure from the reality, as seen in the works of Joan Miró i Ferrà, follows the stream of consciousness in total abstract creations; 2) Figurative Art or representation of the real world, as seen in the works of Salvador Dalí, uses the detailed depiction of realistic objects in surreal environment. My exploration has led me to use the figurative approach while keeping the free spirit in abstract surrealism.

However, the intention of my works is not to revive surrealism. Surrealism has come to me as I seek for the images to best express myself. I see visual arts as a pure form of expression without the need to use words or other media for further explanations. To achieve this, I have to let go of my other instincts as a writer and focus totally on images. Each work is originated purely by images, with no pre-constructed stories, ideas, and contents. But it is not totally random. Each image triggers the next image. At the same time, I carefully position each object, letting it to develop relationships with other elements in the picture. During the creative process, I do not ask why these elements should exist. Let go of any reasoning and let the subconscious take over in decision making. Only after each painting has been completed, I try to understand its meaning. Piece by piece, these works construct various aspects of each theme in my series.

 

Influences

My works reflect the complex context in which contemporary Taiwanese artists live and work. Under long period of colonization, foreign cultural influences, and commercialization, Taiwan has developed into a state of uniqueness and uncertainty, both culturally and politically. Asian artists tend to incorporate symbols and techniques that are the most characteristic representation of Asian culture in their works when they present themselves to the Western World. But this approach can not satisfy me as an artist. The environment in Taiwan is a hybrid culture with far more diversity. We embody layers and layers of interwoven influences from all directions.

My main influences and interests include Japanese ACG, video games, interactive online games, ukiyo-e, mono-ha, Chinese literature, Japanese literature, calligraphy, Steampunk, Hollywood movies, capitalism, existentialism, postmodernism, science fiction, fantasy, ancient civilizations, mysterious events, human psychology, body development training, symbolism, contact improvisation, conservatory education in fine arts, popular culture, rock `n roll, jazz, poetry, social movements, gender discourse, internet community ecology, and all kinds of subcultures. My works also manifest my own life experiences, memories, visions, fantasies, and traumas. Unable to capture with words, these images are derived from the subconscious, and therefore, naturally connected to surrealism.

Exhibitions

Solo
2019 We Don’t Hate Monsters
Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society Gallery Vancouver, Canada
2019 The Voice of Time
JR House Taipei, Taiwan
2019 Linescape – 2019 Tacheles
Tacheles Taipei, Taiwan
2019 Writing the Lost Landscape as a Poem
MUD Studio Yilan, Taiwan
2018 Glittering
YIYU Arts Center Taipei, Taiwan
2018 Meet ‧ See
Richmond Community Centre – City Centre Richmond, Canada
2018 Zen in the Square
Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society Gallery Vancouver, Canada
2018 SOUND OF DRAGON Ink Sketch
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre Vancouver, Canada
2016 SOUND OF DRAGON Ink Sketch
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre Vancouver, Canada
2014 SOUND OF DRAGON Ink Sketch
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre Vancouver, Canada
2014 Feminine ‧ Melancholy
Joie Éternelle Taipei, Taiwan
2012 No Models in the Studio
Socket Lab Taipei, Taiwan
2011 Sensual Reading
Joie Éternelle Taipei, Taiwan
Group
2019 Harmony Arts Festival
Music Box West Vancouver, Canada
2019 The Fifth Moon Group
Dadun Cultural Center Taichung, Taiwan
2019 The Fifth Moon Group
YIYU Arts Center Taipei, Taiwan
2019 The Fifth Moon Group
Chan Liu Art Museum Taipei, Taiwan
2018 Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver, Canada
2018 North American Artists Invitation Exhibition
Culture Centre of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Toronto, Canada
2018 Taiwan Annual
Taipei Expo Park EXPO Dome Taipei, Taiwan
2018 The Fifth Moon Group
YIYU Arts Center Taipei, Taiwan
2018 The Fifth Moon Group
Chan Liu Art Museum Taipei, Taiwan
2017 The Fifth Moon Group
Chan Liu Art Museum Taipei, Taiwan
2016 Art Lesson 2.0
Changhua Arts Hall Changhua, Taiwan
2016 The Fifth Moon Group
Chan Liu Art Museum Taipei, Taiwan
2015 The Fifth Moon Group
Chan Liu Art Museum Taipei, Taiwan
2014 North Coast Art Life
Douglas Lapraik & Co. Tamsui, Taiwan
2014 Retro ‧ Context
Chung Shan Creative Hub Taipei, Taiwan
2013 Before the Very Beginning
The Ruins of the Taipei Paper Factory Taipei, Taiwan
2012 Pocket-size Artworks Party
One Year Gallery Taipei, Taiwan

 

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Performing Arts

Live
2019 The Trajectory of Pulses – The Realization of the Sound Device
Empty Theater – producer & performer
Tacheles Taipei, Taiwan
2018 Phases
Empty Theater – producer, director, writer, designer & performer
YIYU Arts Center Taipei, Taiwan
2017 ART CHAT / ART JAM Ideas Worth Jamming About III
MAFIA Ensemble – dancer
Chinyuan Art Space Taipei, Taiwan
2017 ART CHAT / ART JAM Ideas Worth Jamming About II
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer & workshop instructor
Guling Street Avant-garde Theater Taipei, Taiwan
2017 ART CHAT / ART JAM Ideas Worth Jamming About I
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer
Digital Art Center Taipei, Taiwan
2016 Light Shadow Fire
SOUND OF DRAGON Festival – impromptu painting performer 
Western Front Vancouver, Canada
2016 Improvising East, Enchanting East
SOUND OF DRAGON Festival – impromptu painting performer
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre Vancouver, Canada
2016 Face
Huchia Dance Theater – dancer
Undecorated Taoyuan Railway Pavilion Taoyuan, Taiwan
2014 Project UAS
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer
Dongfeng Street Basement Taipei, Taiwan
2014 The Kinky Beginning of the Fable
Avant-garde Theater producer, director, writer & performer
Chung Shan Creative Hub Taipei, Taiwan
2013 Strange Concert II
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer
Tainan Public Hall Tainan, Taiwan
2013 Strange Concert I
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer
Tainan Public Hall Tainan, Taiwan
2013 Before the Very Beginning
The Caveman Project – creator & performer
The Ruins of the Taipei Paper Factory Taipei, Taiwan
2012 The Boundaries of Colors and Voices between Each Other
Tokyo-Taipei Improvising Painting-music Relay – impromptu painting performer
Taipei Artist Village Taipei, Taiwan
2011 Making Sound 2011
MAFIA Ensemble – impromptu painting performer
Nanhai Gallery Reykjavik Lab Taipei, Taiwan
2005 Night Color Rope
BDSM Company Theater – art director & installation art creator
White Water Urban Gallery Taipei, Taiwan

 

Multi-media
2019 Crossing Mountains & Seas
Original character & setting drawings
Port Theatre Nanaimo, Canada
Vancouver Playhouse Vancouver, Canada
2017 Music of the Heavens
Original character & setting drawings
Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts Kelowna, Canada
Norman Rothstein Theatre Vancouver, Canada

 

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Awards

 

Taipei Arts Awards
by Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Nanying Awards
by Tainan City Cultural Affairs Bureau

Literature and Art Camp Creation Award
by Unitas Lifestyle

Taiwan Literature Award
by National Museum of Taiwan Literature

New Taipei City Literature Award
by New Taipei City

MWT Essay Award
by Mystery Writers of Taiwan

 

Publications

 

 

The Legend, television novel, Sbooker Publications
[ISBN 978-986-7010-64-3]

Black & White, television novel, Sbooker Publications
[ISBN 978-986-7010-95-7]

Romeo & Juliet and Zombies, novel, Sbooker Publications
[ISBN 978-986-6278-38-9]

 

Experience

 

 

Founder of Double12 Art LAB
A studio that mixes art with practical application using a multimedia approach

Founder & Curator of Socket
A theatre consisting of experimental troupes & an experiment platform where there is no boundary between living space and art exhibition, no fixed operator, and is operated in a form of cooperative

Member of North American Artists Association
A studio that mixes art with practical application using a multimedia approach

Member of Western Canada Taiwanese Artist Society
A society formed by Taiwanese painters on the West Coast of Canada that holds exhibitions and art-related events regularly

Member of MAFIA Ensemble
An impromptu performance group formed by artists from a variety contemporary art fields

It has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. In addition to performances, it also engages in promoting and teaching of impromptu art.

Member of The Fifth Moon Group
The oldest and prestigious painting society (over 60 years) in Taiwan aiming to promote innovation of the Taiwanese art circles

Its founding members have become the most respected artists in Taiwan. All the members are invited or recommended by the existing members, not by application.

Editor & Columnist of Apple Daily
A newspaper printed in Taiwan and owned by Hong Kong based Next Digital

 

Education

 

 

National Taiwan University of Arts, School of Fine Arts

Zhongzheng High School, Fine Art Class

Minglun Middle School, Fine Art Class

info@double12.ca

+1-604-765-8166

info@double12.ca

+1-604-765-8166