Pang Jiun 龎均 Taiwan, b. 1936
When drawing pictures, Chinese people combine the life of the hand and brush. That’s what I’m doing when I create a dense, layered oil painting.
-- Pang Jiun
Born in 1936, Pang Jiun studied at the Central Academy of Fine Art where he developed his artistic skills and techniques into a quintessential oriental Expressionist style. The artist is best known for fusing Western oil painting techniques which he adopted from his travels to France, with implicit imagery of Eastern philosophy. Furthermore, he has dedicated much of his work in the exploration of landscape and nature. Through Pang Jiun’s paintings, viewers are invited to experience his unique artistic language of rhythmic vitality and charm.
Along the Banks of the River, 2016
Autumn on the Lake 寂靜的秋湖, 2007
Guanyin Mountain, 2013
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2013
Landscape of Stanley(Hong Kong) 赤柱風情(香港), 2008
Snow on the Old Tower, 2013
只在此山中 雲深不知處, 2014
「東方文明：臺北會後展 & 龎均‧水鄉印象：威尼斯新作展」，台北世貿一館，台北，台灣，2015年
Pang Jiun's Art of Human Figure 龎均的人物藝術Pang Jiun, 2014
Pang Jiun: Expression of the Orient 東方表現的龎均Pang Jiun, 2015
The Art of Pang Jiun 1997 - 2003 龐均動態素描 1997-2003Pang Jiun, 2008
The Art of Pang Jiun 2004 - 2008 龐均動態素描 2004-2008Pang Jiun, 2008
The Journey of a Promise - Oil Paintings by Pang Jiun 六十年的約定 - 龎均油畫展Pang Jiun 龎均, 2018
Pang Jiun was born a year before the Marco Polo Bridge Incident*, and has now been painting for over 70 years. He is a painter who has matured over time. His works generate a deep impact, and his creative spirit is enthralling. Viewers can experience the artist’s passion by visiting the new exhibition at Yan Gallery, which showcases his very latest works.
In 2018, Pang Jiun created Hong Kong, Hong Kong, which is now in the collection of China Evergrande Group.
In the same year, Hongkong Land, a British–owned company, hosted a large solo exhibition for the artist in Exchange Square, Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Museum of Art acquired two works from this show. Afterwards, Pang Jiun traveled from Hong Kong to the region south of the Yangtze River, and created over ten works ranging in size from 60 x 73cm to 73 x 91cm. In the spring of 2019, a large-scale artwork, A Thousand Sails On The Spring Tide (200 x 750cm) by Pang Jiun is going to be auctioned by Sotheby's in their Modern Art Evening Sale.
When we visited Pang Jiun in his Taipei Studio in 2019, we witnessed how he created an incredible 16-meter-long artwork using vast amounts of paint. The painter used over a hundred tubes of Rembrandt Paint to create a complex texture to his canvas: some lines are quite light, while others are thick and heavy. This is how the painter expresses his passion whilst listening to a Mahler symphony. Similar to the thick layers of paint used by Van Gogh to express his emotions, this Chinese painter employs a similar method.
In over ten works (each 97x130cm) by Pang Jiun now on display at Yan Gallery, the painter demonstrates his swift and agile brush work. Pang Jiun paints from the heart. Ideas on art that he has developed over a lifetime are expressed through techniques he has been practicing throughout his life. What a joy to witness!
“I am an oil painter, and will only ever paint in oils. What I aspire to do is to recreate the atmosphere and spirit of traditional Chinese art through the medium of oil on canvas”, says Pang Jiun.
Western artists such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso embraced and incorporated the oriental spirit into their art. In Puccini’s Opera, Chinese folk songs are reworked into magnificent melodies. In the history of Chinese art, pioneer artists educated in France (including Pang Xunqin, the father of Pang Jiun) have greatly contributed to the merging of Eastern and Western art techniques. Yet Pang Jiun’s ideas and methods have evolved into his own unique style.
Reverting back to the artworks - in this exhibition Pang Jiun has recorded both the view from his hotel room, while staying at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and also the view outside the window of his own house and has captured them onto canvas; they are evocative of Matisse’s style, yet the colours are more vibrant and the subject matter more humourous. Matisse incorporated an Eastern style into his linework borrowing from Chinese art and the murals of Dunhuang, dividing up the flat surface of his canvases and creating his own unique style, which was innovative at the time. Pang Jiun’s linework is heavily influenced by Chinese calligraphy. His lines flow in different directions and are of varying thickness: strong ones resemble bones, while thin ones resemble human hair. The lines are used by Pang Jiun to express his emotions and are open to interpretation by viewers.
The use of ink in Pang Jiun’s new artworks is as surprising as his linework. There can be up to 5 varying shades of ink, which range from the subtle to the intense. In the artwork The Lotus, the painter has developed a unique way of incorporating ink into an oil painting.
Viewing The Lotus together with Blooming Flowers, one is deeply impressed by Pang Jiun’s agility to shift between usage of colour: the gentleness expressed through an oriental-style of colour, and the exuberance highlighted by western-style colour.
In terms of subject matter, there are flowers, birds, fish, insects and garden views in the new artworks. At the same time, there are artworks featuring vast landscapes such as of Central, Hong Kong or of Gu Langyu Island. Such a broad range of subject matter is rarely seen in traditional Chinese painting.
While writing this article, I heard the news of the plagiarism scandal regarding Ye Yongqing. Painters sometimes absorb visual symbols, then they start to produce artworks using these “techniques”. This is disrespectful to viewers. If the viewer cannot feel the efforts and emotions of the painter, then they cannot really appreciate the works. In the Chinese art industry today, painters as diligent and creative as Pang Jiun are rare to find. We respect the artists’ efforts, and should always respect the efforts of people who invest in exploration and creation.
Fong Yuk Yan
* In 1937, a minor clash between Japanese and Chinese forces led to the beginning of the second Sino Japanese war (1937-1945).