Pastel Association of Taiwan - Introduction

The association was established on 5/1/2010. It started as a workshop for pastel teachers, taught by Jason Chang, a master pastelist of the Pastel Society of America. The workshop was sponsored by the National Taiwan Arts Education Center. At the time, Jason felt that, as a relatively young art form in Taiwan, pastel had not yet made it into the Taiwanese art main stream. For that reason, Jason gathered students from the workshop, lovers of pastel art and college students of related arts to form the Taiwanese Teachers Pastel Society.

Jason Chang was elected founding president and under his leadership, with the support of Mr. Tsu-Sheng Wu, former director of NTAEC, we began our activities. Despite very little personnel and financial support, we met every month, lead by advanced members and professional artists. We grew stronger through these meetings, through critique sessions of our paintings and the exchange of ideas. Every year, Jason would come back to Taiwan and run a workshop for our members. We also sponsored shows for members to have a platform to showcase their work and twice co-sponsored pastel competitions with Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Through these activities, we introduced the beauty and unique characteristics of pastel to a much broader Taiwanese audience.

Pastel art is well established in America and Europe, with fine works in bountiful supply. At the establishment of our association, one goal was global outreach. In 2012, we sponsored the third International Pastel Artists Invitational Exhibition. We invited artists from the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Haiti and Mauritius to join our own members for the exhibition. It was a rare art banquet and was applauded by the art world in Taiwan as well as by its many visitors.

In 2013, Nancy Yang was elected the second president of the association, Ko-Sheng Chiu, Vice President and Jason Chang became the honorary president. Meng Lung Hsieh continued as the Secretary General of the Association. In order to increase efficiency, we reduced the board members from 15 to 12, with 3 of these 12 serving as the governing board and also divided the responsibilities into five areas: exhibitions, activities, financial, international and technical development.

In order to broaden public appreciation for pastel art, we felt it was necessary that our members should not be restricted only to pastel teachers. Both our members and the Department of Internal Affairs, to whom we report, agreed and we officially changed our name from Taiwanese Pastel Teachers Society to Pastel Association of Taiwan.

In May 2014, we sponsored the fourth International Invitational Show and invited 96 painters from 18 countries. It was the first time that we invited famous pastel artists from China to participate. In September, we co-sponsored the Japan and Taiwan Interactive Show with the Japan Watercolor Association at the Shihlin Citizens Hall in Taipei. In October, a group of our pastelists went to Beijing to exchange ideas, take workshops and paint plein air with the Beijing Pastel Art Research Society.

In May 2015, we held an exhibition at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Hsinchu County Government. In June, we had our first show outside of our country, the joint show with Japan Watercolor Society in Tokyo, which was a huge success. We are going to have another joint show with the Japan Watercolor Society at Taichung City Seaport Art Center in September and in the same month, there will be a members' show at Shihlin Citizens Hall. In order to promote regional activities, we have established our Hsinchu Branch. Lee hui Chiu of Sunshine Studio is in charge.

Our primary goals for the future are to pursue ever greater perfecting of our art and to expand further the scope of our exhibitions and competitions: to promote pastel art actively so as to establish an even greater place in the art field of Taiwan, with an ever wider and more enthusiastic public reception.