2018 Solo Show ''Right & Wrong'' , Jimmy's Gallery, Taipei ,Taiwan
The China Times
Liang Ping-Cheng’s Wood Sculpture Takes Wings and Comes to Life
17:10, February 5, 2018
The teaspoon with a fish tail, the magic book hanging on the wall. These light, nimble wood sculptures are the creation by Liang Ping-Cheng. His artworks open a new expression for wood sculpture by giving heavy wood a light touch.
Born in Pingtung in 1958, Liang Ping-Cheng graduated from Department of Fine Arts, Chinese Culture University with a major in painting. His first encounter with wood sculpture was at the age of 40. After that, he dropped his painting brush and grabbed sculpture knife instead. Twenty years on, he said, “I treat each piece of wood as a friend. Each piece was an independent life. As much as we are. Whilst I am sculpturing, I am reading their life story so that I can come up with the looks that best suit them.”
Liang indicates that each tree and each wood piece are unique. This is the reason why he goes with the flows in his creative process. “I do not make sketches. Rather, I let my intuition talk to the trees. I believe that even decayed wood can be sculptured. Bug bite marks and rot traces are the testimony of life and existence. The process of sculpturing is to make the wood live again.”
His recent works Book & Illegible Book and Utensil & Anti-Utensil were displayed in his solo exhibition “Yes and No”是與非.He seeks to give utensils room to allow for imagination. In the process of sculpturing, he sets aside the idea of pragmatism. Utensils are no longer just utensils. Books are more than just books. “The elimination of functionality and purposefulness frees up the space for a variety of shapes and lines. This gives room for imagination”, said Liang.
Book & Illegible Book, one of his best-known works, are hanging on the wall. Flying pages and dancing chapters are frozen in wood sculpture. Liang commented, “This series also reflects that people nowadays do not enjoy reading. Therefore, the proportion ofexteriors being looked at is larger than the content of texts inside.”
Liang’s solo exhibition “Yes and No (是與非) is currently on at Jimmy's Garden, Taipei until March 31st.
A Genius Will Always Shine: Rising from Rugs
22:57 February 21, 2018
Liang Ping-Cheng said that painting was the only thing he was good at in school.After he entered the Department of Fine Arts, Chinese Culture University, he learned about the development of arts in Europe and the U.S. from magazines. He was already a bit of avant-garde. He studied Western paintings and was into improvisation without sketches. At that time, he was at the forefront of the art world.
The reality is that artists need to take on other jobs to make a living. After graduation, he started teaching in Fu-Hsin Trade & Arts School. He wanted to see the world, so he sold his apartment after he got married. He took NT$2 million and his wife Wu Yi-Zhen (吳怡珍) to New York for studying.
He said, “My English is very poor, and I do not speak much at all.” However, all the schools accepted him after seeing his works, without imposing English-language requirements. He entered the Studio Art Program, NYC. However, he did not complete the degree because the streets of New York were more fun than classrooms. After he spent all the money within two years, he and his wife returned to Taiwan.
In 1998, he came to Sany and saw Bodhidharma, Ghost Chaser Zhong Kui and Holy Ruler Deity Guan craved with solid wood. He felt these statues were too heavy going. He wanted to hollow and release them. The burden on his chest allowed him to envision another beauty in wood. This time he was very sure that it was the path he wanted to take. He wanted to be himself again, at the age of 40, but it wasn’t easy. In the beginning, he sculptured small furniture pieces, such as penholders, for cash.“I was so happy whenever I got NT$1,000 for a piece of work. I could buy 20 lunchboxes with this money.”
For Liang, sculpturing is a process of letting go. Hollowing out wood lightens him up. This was how “Gravity Release” and Wings (飛行) were created. His sculpture does not constitute of flat lines. Rather, his works come with curves, as well as volume and void, to express the beauty of wood. “My works are surfaced with lines. A signature of my sketches in the past.”
One year later, an art gallery asked him to host an exhibition, and his works wonYulong Woodcarving Golden Award. It was not until then his art was seen by the world. After ups and downs in life, the wounds from the heaviest blow are not completely healed. “I want to say that we can all stand on our feet after we fall.” He thanks God for his blessing. “I am fortunate that I can do what I enjoy. I am very happy now.”
Ping-Cheng LIANG 梁 平 正