“The more layers you do, the more careful you have to be.”
Born 1981, Taipei, Taiwan
Huang Bo-Hao describes his paintings as “conversations between the paints and me”. He makes the paints himself from finely ground minerals. Slowly, in an almost meditative state, he applies a single colour to paper or canvas, moving from left to right, then from top to bottom, layer upon layer, in long, smooth strokes. “It’s like weaving,” Huang Bo-Hao says. Each painting contains at least 50 layers and takes months to complete. If the process is repetitive, even boring, for the artist that is the point: life too is an accumulation of small, oft-repeated acts, from breathing to tying shoelaces. Though the colour of works like Alchemy and Ultramarine (both 2014) seems uniform from a distance, the particles of pulverised rock in the paint make every stroke unique. “It makes the painting look alive,” he says. In Waterfall and Life and Growth (both 2014) he switches to black and white, using calligraphic ink to cover the paper in broad, irregular swathes or a mass of dots whose variations in size, tone and spacing create the appearance of weathered rock. And with the canvas Untitled (2016), he adds an almost otherworldly dimension with shimmering layers of gold leaf.