A natural way meets man in the universe

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 January, 1993, 12:00am

Nocturne Paintings by Kuo Chuan-chiu, Hanart TZ Gallery until January 30. A Taoist Way to Colour by Hsiao Chin, Alisan Fine Arts until January 30.

FOR entirely different reasons both of these exhibitions offer valid statements about life and painting. Kuo Chuan-chiu's approach is that of humility, quiet delight at the elemental processes of nature. Hsiao Chin, in his Taoist way, assumes nature as a starting point for philosophical reflections about man and his relation to the universe.

The small mixed media works of Kuo are full of intimacy, of understanding, even of partnership with the natural world. Her flowers have an imminent quality as if about to speak to you.

Kuo works as a photo-journalist by day and paints by night. In A Stroll scant trees and bushes in line with three human figures are seen against a luminous night sky. In Bird the figure points its beak upward amid thin reeds shimmering in the enfolding dark. The tenderness of the observation is unrivalled.

Hsiao Chin's work is set down in candid sophisticated pattern, for the externalisation of concepts rather than the observation of nature for its own sake.

In the works called Towards the Eternal Garden the subject is hardly an earthly garden. Rather it is the garden of eternal verity, composure, equilibrium.

The large areas of broken colour are further enlivened by thin pale irregular lines running in curves and in parallel. The paper or canvas is left blank before another colour, generally a more intense one, edges in from the lower part of the frame. Thisis cool, accomplished work, progressing logically from the artist's long series of Taoist-inspired paintings.

It commands respect for its honest austerity.