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Biography International Exhibitions
1938 - 1967 A traditional craftsman 1968 - 1979 An art student 1980 - 1998 An artist 1999 - present Master Ju Ming Chronology

1980 - 1998 An artist
By the end of the 1970s, Ju Ming had become famous in Taiwan art circles. But he was not satisfied, since he felt the broader world was calling him. “Going to America is my first international move. I think it’s very important.” In 1980, Ju Ming left his wife and children and went to America alone. In a small garage in New York, he solved the problems posed by new materials and a new place, and developed his Living World Series. In the early 1980s, Ju Ming was concentrating on his creative work. At that time, the Max Hutchinson Gallery agreed to host one of his exhibitions after Ju Ming’s earnest promoting of himself. The head of the gallery later called it a miracle, because it was unheard-of for an artist to sell all his works at his first exhibition, especially a no-name Taiwanese artist in America. From Tongsiao to Taipei, Taipei to New York, Ju Ming had broken through barriers again and again, from water buffalo to Taichi, and from Taichi to Living World. Huang Yong-song has summarized the progress of Ju Ming’s works this way: “His original approach is Taiwan style; Taichi is Chinese style; and Living World is global.”

The 1980s and 1990s was when Ju Ming’s artistic creativity came to full fruition. His major productions, Taichi Series and Living World Series, were developed in parallel during this time. The Taichi Series gradually became deeper in its artistic vocabulary and spiritual realization. The early Taichi works drew heavily on the art’s boxing forms. However, Ju Ming gradually drew away from the “form” to follow the “idea.” As he said, “It’s not just carving this form or that form, but the changes between forms.” Even Taichi teachers are surprised, asking: “This form is familiar. Why haven’t I seen it in pictures?” Guided by his care, Ju Ming’s Taichi creations bring together “similar in appearance” and “similar in spirit,” from the visible to the invisible. Living World reflects Ju Ming’s insight into the various figures that people acting in the world. The life of New York was the inspiration for the colored wood sculptures of Living World. Ju Ming doesn’t like repetition. He changes when his heart and his new inspirations move him, as shown by the Living World Series. Ju Ming has remarked, “Why did I carve Living World? I thought I should carve something about life. Living World is from life, and the attitude behind its production is close to modern sculpture as well, easygoing and free.” Ever since the colored wood sculptures of Living World, Ju Ming’s creations have gone through many transformations. He has used not only wood, but potter’s clay, sponge, bronze and stainless steel. His topics have included all living creatures, middle-aged women, modern girls, athletes, monks, and etc., all have been his subjects.

At this time, Ju Ming was working with his agent, Chang Tsong-zung. His works were introduced to international art galleries in a continual stream. Their fame thus spread throughout Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan. Apart from exhibitions, large outdoor sculptures by Ju Ming appeared again and again in public spaces, domestic and foreign. One famous instance was when Ju Ming was invited by the master architect Ieoh Ming Pei to install a piece of sculpture for the Bank of China in Hong Kong in 1989. To match the soaring design of the new building, Ju Ming created a pair of Taichi Series work (also called “Harmony”). The rough, plain bronze texture makes a striking contrast with the building’s cold, smooth steel and glass feeling.

No matter whether creating or exhibiting, the artist Ju Ming always faced his tasks with an active, earnest attitude. His aim was always to find his own place in the world of art and become known as a world-class Taiwanese artist.

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