TONG Yang-Tze is one of Taiwan’s most important modern-day artists. She started her study of calligraphy when she was just eight with the practice of copying rubbings from ancient stone inscriptions. As early on as junior high school, her calligraphy had already won intentional recognition. Following her graduation from National Taiwan Normal University with a degree in fine arts, TONG Yang-Tze continued to deepen her artistic studies in the US. Following her return to Taiwan, she began experimenting with fusing Western theories of painting with the lines and strokes that are the backbone of Chinese calligraphy. TONG Yang-Tze is practically famous for her large-scale calligraphic pieces done in cursive script, with her work often described as vigorous, bold and unrestrained. The structure of her characters and their lay out reveal a uniquely modern interpretation and serve as the basis for a new calligraphic style.
Over the past few years, TONG Yang-Tze has worked to promote the art of Chinese script, fusing the aesthetics of calligraphy with modern day lifestyles and visual art. Examples include collaboration with the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Kingstone Books Cultural Plaza, Taipei Main Station, the arrival/departure stamps used by Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency, the documentary Beyond Beauty—Taiwan From Above, and the character for ‘blessing’—part of the lunar couplet given to shoppers at eslite bookstores throughout Taiwan in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
A full-time artist for over 40 years, TONG Yang-Tze has held over 60 calligraphy shows worldwide. In recent years, her focus has shifted to crossover exhibitions, using the medium of the calligraphic form and content to “re-introduce” the Chinese script to the public and highlighting its place in the modern world. Some of her most important exhibitions include: Ink Like Gold; Heart Strings–The Sounds of Silence; Dialogues, X beyond O: Calligraphy – Sign – Space; Eternal Rhythm of Ink; Silent Music; One Character: Honesty; and Solitary Joy. Some of her most important crossover exhibitions include: Chasing Spirit; SAO; CHEN; From Ink to Apparel-A Crossover between Calligraphy Art and Fashion Design. TONG Yang-Tze’s bold crossover experiments look to bring to life the beauty of calligraphy in the internet age and to ensure that the artistic beauty of the Chinese script finds its way into modern day dialogues—thus continuing the contemporary brilliance of this ancient Eastern tradition.