From the Fu-Hsin Trade & Arts School to university, all known works from Chen Guanhao are aquarelles, but during his junior year at university, following his inner voice, he decided to refrain from the halo of watercolor and start his journey into arts anew.
(左) 藍色憂鬱臉臉 26.7x19.5cm 壓克力、廣告顏料、蠟筆
(右) 臉都被哭花了 26.7x19.5cm 壓克力、廣告顏料、蠟筆
I pursue the adventures which come about from the situations of me not knowing
“Aquarelles often turn out to be landscape paintings, and I wish to challenge that what can be done. I want an adventure. I want to do something great!” Though as flamboyant as Guanhao is, he is nevertheless serious about it.
In the process of transformation, the confident Guanhao actually went through some tough time with not knowing what to do. Turning his head towards manga - which he was a fan of when he was young, having drawn his own stories on the pages of a study book in the style of comics that have exaggerated body-parts rich with expression - he became reminded of whether he should return to where it all had started in search of his sincere source of creativity.
During the transformation process that took over a year, Guanhao expressed feelings of solitude, wanting to get off from the social media for good, and spend lots of time on his own, constantly talking to himself. In addition to looking back at his own works, Guanhao read many books about art, psychology and all kinds of things that helped him to come up with a tree diagram which aided him in analyzing his art-style and the path that he was on. He spent a day immersed in drawings, and with several ball-point illustrations later, what had stacked up was the spirit and persistence to create.
Cold must be fought with hot water
The influence of the group on the individual can be deep or superficial, long or short. Cold’s concept is that of a penetrating infection which forms a colony. It reeks of the group’s influence over the individual, spelling the end of a persona. Because the rationale and feelings seldom go hand in hand, and like it is with the cold, one can appear to be fine for now, but there can always be the next time, and with each step along the way people may become conditioned to the influence of the group. Given rise are the absurd stories pulled out of thin air as the irony of life becomes apparent.
During his transformation, on one day in 2019, Chen decided to go with the topic of “Cold must be fought with hot water”. These words derive from a social psychology book which he was reading on that day, and which just happened to discuss about the independent thinking of a group-infected individual. With a recap of his works, which showed different kinds of exaggerated and enlarged visages, his creativity was suddenly given direction.
“Cold must be fought with hot water” had its premiere at the graduation exhibition, from where it was moved to Yiwen Salon in Taipei. Having then been recommended by a teacher, it went on display at the Grand View Culture & Art Foundation in Hsinchu. Guanhao’s creative capability had resurfaced in his series of stylized works about ordinary life.
To each of the exhibition openings, Guanhao had created a top-notch performance. In the Taipei opening, the on-duty staff wore medic’s uniforms, handed out pills and prepared a concoction of cold medicine while the invited DJ friend was mixing the sounds of cold, finalizing the theme to its completion.
The theme came to be from eccentric creativity and thinking, yet it is also socially intriguing with more or less ramifications. When facing the question of whether the placement of medicine and concoctions is a kind of performance in its own right, Guanhao tends to decline; from the artist’s point of view, it acts as a mere reinforcement, reflecting the theme of “Cold must be fought with hot water”, and what is to be conveyed is the need for people to think for themselves.
Society is like the cold: it always has the carrier and the infected, and the hot water acts as a counter measure balancing the two extremes, and consequently, too much or too little personality and sentiment is not good in the society. I hope that the audience is encouraged to ponder how to cultivate one’s individualistic thinking and strike for a balance in the midst of social changes.
What comes to the future of the “Cold must be fought with hot water” series, Guanhao sees progressive development with the up-coming end of the year exhibition at the Art Site of Railway Warehouse in Hsinchu since it will be different from the other venues as this time there will be some changes to the context. With the condition changing from “Cold must be fought with hot water” to outright “influenza”, is the process taking a step towards the cure or for the worse, or what is going on? Having just sold a piece, Guanhao invites everyone to come and see for themselves and to enjoy the end of the year.
Continue working hard on great things
Plopping together a series of interviews where Guanhao is outspoken about his present affairs, it becomes evident that he has already found a state of balance in his life. In the wake of “hot water”, in order to further enhance his creative capabilities, he has decided to take up a four-month military training. Denying himself the possibility to create every day, Guanhao is anxious to become more enlightened about himself, wishing that the military life can bring about different kind of inspiration. Or, as he jokes about it: what I hope for the most, is that I can become one of the truly elite – that way I can accumulate creative material to work with.
Though Guanhao’s enthusiasm towards creativity is riddled with slapstick humor and mocking about, the truth is that he is simply sincere, and to an artist, that is an invaluable asset. He talks about not wanting people to give up being curious. As for the future, who knows what kinds of performances and works lay ahead on the Chen Guanhao’s road to creating something great.
2016 第一屆金玄盃全國寫生比賽 第一名
2016 第16 屆臺灣國際藝術協會美展 優選
2015 全國學生美展大專組漫畫類 第三名
2019 陳冠豪個展 | 感冒要配溫開水 新竹 鴻梅文化藝術基金會
2019 陳冠豪個展 | 感冒要配溫開水 台北 ( )藝文沙龍
2018 輕鬆藝術博覽會 台北 松山文創園區 一號倉庫
2018 台北義術博覽會 台北 松山文創園區
2017 台日水彩名家交流展 台南 奇美博物館