“Painting landscapes is like sitting quietly and travelling through time to let my feelings come together with nature, culture and history.”

Born 1963, Taipei, Taiwan. Lives and works in Taipei

Lin Chuan-Chu is a rice farmer, working the land he inherited from his father. His works explore the deep interconnections between man and nature, and between cultivation of the self and of the earth. By adapting the techniques and tropes of traditional ink painting, he unites the cultural landscape of his beloved Taiwan with the physical landscape that is his recurrent theme. In Lunch Box (2002), he reflects on an incident from his childhood, when his oldest brother, who was expected to take over the family farm, left for the city. Enraged, their father declared that the family would henceforth mark each anniversary of his departure by eating only rice and salt—traditional symbols of mourning. Opening his “sad lunch box” at school, the young Lin Chuan-Chu felt only shame. His two-metre-square painting depicts a transparent container filled with what could equally be cooked rice spread over lumps of black salt or rice shoots emerging from rocky soil. The image’s ambiguity reflects the dual struggle not just of the farmer but of everyman: coaxing a living from the earth and sustaining family life atop emotional rocks.

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