Yu Chung-lin (1925~1985) Biography

Mr. Yu Chung-lin, from Guan County in Shandong, was born amidst turmoil but grew up in a military environment. Despite these challenging conditions, he nurtured a deep love for painting, a skill that seemed to be an innate part of his nature. He found joy in painting whenever he had spare moments, persisting in his passion even through times of upheaval. After relocating across the sea to Taiwan and finding a semblance of stability, he became a pupil of Master King Chin-po of Wuxing. Master Chin-po, coming from a distinguished lineage of painters, possessed a broad and versatile mastery of the art. Mr. Yu, however, chose to specialize exclusively in painting flowers and birds. He believed that while contemporary art leaned towards freehand styles, the traditional academy style was in decline and warranted revival.

In pursuit of this vision, he set up a studio with his friends Sun Chia-ch’in and Hu Nien-tsu. They worked tirelessly, honing their craft despite the adversities they faced. This studio later gained acclaim as the Lishui Studio. Mr. Yu’s extraordinary talent and dedication to continuous learning were evident. He eagerly explored both private and public art collections, seeking to absorb their essence and refine his own technique. Over several decades, his style underwent multiple transformations, each time emerging more sophisticated and skillful. Initially rooted in the academy style, he later expanded and revitalized it, thus creating a unique artistic domain that often transcended the works of his predecessors. His art is characterized by vibrant colors, natural elegance, a balance of complexity and simplicity, and a combination of vividness with clarity. These qualities are a testament to his exceptional talent and deep understanding of his subjects.

This introduction is adapted from a preface written by Professor Tai Ching-nung for Yu Chung-lin’s painting collection,
and is provided courtesy of Yu Chung-lin’s family.