TAIPEI (Taiwan News) --Taiwanese all-round entertainer Kuo Yen Fu has a new identity as an artist and his latest work “Luggage” was exhibited in Musée du Louvre and has recently returned to Taipei.
The charming artist, Kuo Yen Fu (郭彥甫), has been a pop singer, a model and a TV show host. However, he gave up a profitable career in the entertainment industry and chose to work in the art field, to develop a passion he has had since childhood.
Kuo never had professional artistic training. Instead he learned painting skills from books and through keen observation during his youth. Over years of restless practice and a commitment to creating excellent works, he could have easily entered an art school without the need to take an entry exam.
However, his family could not afford the cost of art school, and he decided to study at the Taipei Physical Education College (台北市立體育學院). Even though he passed on an opportunity to become a professional artist, it did not stop him from practicing drawing daily.
Kuo Yen Fu and the portrait of his idol Colin Jackson. He gave the artwork as a present to the athlete to show his respect. (Yuan Ru Gallery image)
“When drawing, I am relaxed and happy. It is a completely pressure-free period of time. However, I have been thinking what is the difference between paintings and art. After working in the glamorous entertainment business, I have found my own answer,” Kuo explained.
With his handsome face and performing talent, he became a renowned rising star in Taiwan. Due to his job, he needed to travel constantly from country to country. This gave him many chances to meet people with different cultural backgrounds.
His artwork is the result of encountering culture differences, and his life stories became the soul and inspiration behind his paintings. Also, out of curiosity, he began to do geographical and historical research among countries which helped to make his works unique.
Additionally, as a public figure, humanity and privacy are two main factors that intrigue him tremendously. His work “Luggage” which was exhibited in Musée du Louvre, is an artistic expression of his observations towards human psychology.
“I used to see many suitcases in airports or hotel rooms at work. Then I discovered that the inside of a handbag is able to reveal the owner’s personality, secrets and social status. However, when I draw the suitcases, there 70 percent of the work depends on my imagination, which distinguishes them from a brand show,” said Kuo.
Artist Kuo Yen Fu and the portrait of his own suitcase. The flooding personal items represent his love to life (Yuan Ru Gallery image)
“After being an actor, I started to study people’s behavior and psychology. By doing so, it enabled me to discover my emotion and perform. Also, in this business, I have seen some ugly behavior. Sometimes I felt down, lost and disappointed, I amplified these emotions and expressions through art,” Kuo added.
Even though Kuo has witnessed some hidden secrets and dirty incidents, he still has faith in humanity. He believes that there is a blurry area between a good man or a bad man, and views humanity with a sense of humor.
When addressing serious and heavy topics such as humanity, privacy, and psychology, Kuo seems to handle the issues with humor and art. Surprisingly, he encourages people to keep a young heart and be open-minded.
According to Kuo, we were all born for a reason so do not give up on yourself just yet. It is important to live your life well and open your senses to feel the feelings. Be childish, sensitive and stay keen! It is ok if one does not understand the artwork in front of you because when the time comes, you will realize it.
After traveling to France, “Luggage” has recently returned to Taiwan. Suitcases and people in airports have become extended themes of his New Year's solo exhibition “Return Home” which is showcasing 18 big scale pieces at Yuan Ru Gallery through Jan. 9.
Kuo Yen Fu's work "a cup of coffee, a trip home" (Yuan Ru Gallery image)
Kuo Yen Fu's mixed media work (Yuan Ru Gallery image)