Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee was born in Taiwan in 1948, graduating from National Chengchi University in Taipei. Lee has been described as “a Renaissance man well versed in the fields and disciplines of fine dining, fashion, design, architecture, traveling, modernity and antiquity. Patrick is, in a sense, a modernist poet—one who works beyond the confines of conventional rhyme and meter.” In his artworks, Lee incorporates elements of German expressionism in his use of deliberate lines, shadows and distorted shapes and figures to tell his story. His use of silkscreen technique blended with brush work further enhance the overall effect, adding rich and dramatic yet realistic elements to the portraits. Since 2003, Lee has exhibited in Taiwan and internationally, including 2015 Milano Expo International Contemporary Art, where he was the only exhibiting artist from Asia. In addition, he has exhibited at 2011 Vantone Taipei, 2015 Venice Triennia, and 2015 Art + Shanghai. Lee’s artworks have also been in various charity auctions in Taipei and Shanghai since 2006 and has helped support different charity organizations in Taiwan and abroad.

Excerpts from Alex Yang, art critic and Shennica David.

Landscape
Landscape
Patrick Lee
2012
mixed media (180 x 150 cm)
Genesis
Genesis
Patrick Lee
2017
acrylic on canvas (120 x 360 cm)
Time For A Drink
Time For A Drink
Patrick Lee
2016
acrylic on canvas (240 x 240 cm)

I drink all sorts of wines and beers, including very expensive ones. However, the most prevalent drink featured in one of my series is “Taiwan Beer”—a lager that belongs very much to the collective consciousness, if you will, of men in Taiwan. It reminds us of joyful times—“bottoms up!”

Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai Shek with their arms around each other. This is something that we probably won’t find in the historical archives, but it is a scenario that appears in my paintings—the two reconciled, smiling. No doubt the viewer will notice that Chiang Kai-shek is holding a bottle of Taiwan Beer.

China Strong
China Strong
Patrick Lee
2016
acrylic on canvas (120 x 120 cm)

In my paintings, I also have Mao Zedong wear a pair of “China Strong.” Those are canvas shoes that were widely popular among high school boys in Taiwan during the 60s and 70s. A few years ago, the shoes came back into fashion as part of a retrospective wave; later on, it became a Taiwanese icon of sorts. With regards to the name of the shoes, I am sure that a lot of people around my age all thought that “China” meant Taiwan when we were young.

In fact, China Strong was an imitation of Converse All Stars, which has a five-pointed star as its trademark; back in the day, however, the displaying of five-pointed stars was a taboo in Taiwan, given that the Communists of mainland China also had such stars on their flag. In my work, having Mao Zedong wear a pair of China Strong (or Converse All Stars) was a deliberate decision.

Scream I
Scream I
Patrick Lee
2017
acrylic on canvas (300 x 200 cm)