Shiou-Ping Liao was born in Taipei in 1936, grew up in an architect’s family and lived by old Lung-San Temple in Taipei. His youthful years were spent surrounded by the temple and these gave him his first stirring of imagination. Liao entered the art department of National Taiwan Normal University and studied oil painting, watercolor and printing in 1954. To further his studies of Western art, Liao went to Japan in 1962, to Tokyo University of Education. He devoted himself especially to intaglio and lithograph, in addition to his regular studios in oil painting.
Afterward, he attended Paris École National Superieure des Beaux-Arts and Atelier 17 to study Western oil painting and graphic especially ‘copperplate’ technique.
After 3 years of study and searching for his own style in Paris, an environment totally different from the oriental society, Liao gradually found his root of Chinese heritage taking artistic expression in his printmaking. Here he established his own style.
In 1969 Liao decided to live in New York and become a professional graphic artist. He enrolled in the Pratt Graphic Art Center, learning more about various printing techniques, from the combination of individual media to mastering them.
In 1973 he returned to his home campus, NTNU, as the head of the University’s graphic art classes, as well as professor of printmaking at other schools. Under his tutelage and promotion, the graphic art of Taiwan flourished and the “Evergreen Association of Graphic Art” was established. Liao returned to Japan in 1977 at the invitation of Tsukuba University and taught printmaking for two years. Going back to New York in 1979, he headed the graphic art division of Seton Hall university’s art department. He now works and lives in New Jersey.
Liao’s styles are achieved by the inter-stimulations and influences of different media. His works are filled with Chinese art and cultural ideology and philosophy, as well as Taiwan folk art motifs, which helped to establish his unique style and his fame. The subject matter; temple, door, folk art and daily objects explore the harmonious relationship between man and universe and the interacting of Yin and Yang, and express the ceaseless peace possible only within the mind. ‘Manikins’ respond to the stiffness of mechanical civilization to reveal the persistence that modern man has in his quest of joy and happiness. Liao uses the ‘window’ of the mind to perceive and interpret the world of phenomena that m=we live in. The grid and square wooden box symbolize order, family, standardized society, or long-lived tradition. ‘Rainbow’ consistently appears in Liao’s works in every period and could refer to the light of the ideal reaching over our mortal life, bridging limited human life with eternal existence.
Shiou-Ping Liao, Artist Biography