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Taiwanese artist Leigh Li-Yun Wen’s work is on view in the Albany Institute of History & Art

  • Date:2022-02-01

Taipei Cultural Center in New York is very pleased to announce that contemporary Taiwanese artist, Leigh Li-Yun Wen’s (鄭麗雲) solo exhibition, the Four Elements of Leigh Li-Yun Wen is on view in the in the Albany Institute of History & Art from January 29 to June 19.

The four elements of western cosmology-earth, air, fire, water-are the subjects of artist Leigh Wen’s work. Whether paintings, prints, or ceramics, Wen’s art expresses her personal and cultural histories. Having grown up on the island of Taiwan, she possesses a deep affinity for the elemental power of water and the forces of nature. As a Taiwanese-American artist who has lived in both Taiwan and America, she feels the ebb and flow of competing cultures. The ancient philosophies of her homeland, which teach self-discipline and selflessness, collide and mingle with Western notions of ego, alienation, and desire.

Wen’s working method is a process of subtraction from darkness to light. “I carved into the paint with a stylus to bring forth the individual lines that are the central motif of my work,” she notes. These lines flow across the canvas in rhythms and frequencies that create depths and swells on the painted surface. Something of the self is lost in the resulting tangle and then regained, only to be lost again. Simplicity and harmony exist within the chaos of the world. Color is used to expand the emotional range in Wen’s work: “my palette is drawn not from appearances but from the lyric and psychic necessities of my art.” The uniformity of line, from edge to edge and painting to painting, implies suppression of the artist’s hand in favor of objectivity learned from nature. In spite of this, her work remains deeply autobiographical.

About the Artist, Leigh Li-Yun Wen

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Leigh Li-Yun Wen is a Taiwanese-American artist who resides in New York City. She received her MFA from the State University of New York at Albany in 1994 and served as a cultural ambassador envoy during the Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. She has exhibited in 18 American embassies, consulates, and other government institutions located in countries such as Jordan, Malaysia, Singapore, Namibia, Botswana, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, and Poland.

Wen was awarded a 1997 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and honored to be the artist of New York State by The New York State Legislature. And, in 2000, she was honored with both New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and The Helena Rubinstein Fellowship. In 2001, she won the Lorenzo de Medici Award in Florence Biennale. In addition, Wen was awarded Artist Grants by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 1999 and 2005. In 2000 awarded as Helena Rubinstein Fellow. She is an artist who is held in high esteem across not just the U.S. also international curatorial and collectors' circles for her achievements and the unique character of her work. Her works have been included in many private and public museum collections, such as permanent collections at the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the American Institute in Taiwan.

About the Curator, Tammis K. Groft

Tammis Groft was appointed Executive Director in June 2013. Under her leadership, the Albany Institute focused on achieving financial sustainability, experimented with new community-based programs and outreach projects, upgraded technologies, and grew museum and library collection holdings to better tell the stories of people in the region. She organized and researched the development of many important exhibitions, including A Sense of Time: The Historical Art of L. F. Tantillo (2021), Painting the American Southwest: The Work of Otto Plaug (2020), An Orphan No More: A Recently Discovered Oil Sketch by Anthony Van Dyck (2019) and etc. Groft has also written and or contributed to numerous publications, including The Mystery of the Albany Mummies (2018), Hudson River Panorama: A Passage through Time (2009). Throughout her career, she has shared her knowledge and training with students of art and history. In 2013, she was awarded the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) Norman S. Rice Arts, Culture & Education Award, recognizing her lasting contribution to arts, culture, and education for the Albany community.

About the Museum

The Albany Institute of History & Art is a museum in Albany, New York, United States, "dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and promoting interest in the history, art, and culture of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley region". It is located on Washington Avenue in downtown Albany. Founded in 1791, it is among the oldest museums in the United States. Several other institutions have merged over time to become today's Albany Institute. The earliest were learned societies devoted to the natural sciences, and for a time it was the state legislature's informal advisory body on agriculture. Robert R. Livingston was the first president. Joseph Henry delivered his first paper on electromagnetism to the Institute. Its collections of animal, vegetable and mineral specimens from state surveys eventually became the foundations of the New York State Museum. Later in the century it became more focused on the humanities, and eventually merged with the Albany Historical and Art Society. It has had its present name since 1926. Over the course of the 20th century it has become more firmly established as a regional art museum. Albany Institute of History & Art museum has the biggest collection of "Hudson River school paintings".

The Four Elements of Leigh Li-Yun Wen is organized by the Albany Institute of History & Art and supported by Taipei Cultural Center in New York.

Exhibition: 《The Four Elements of Leigh Li-Yun Wen》

Venue: Albany Institute of History & Art


Date: January 29 – June 19, 2022

Gallery Hours:

Monday-Tuesday Closed

Wednesday-Saturday 10AM-5PM

Sunday Noon–5PM

Leigh Li-Yun Wen, Image courtesy of the artist.