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In Celebration of the Hobbyist Painter

Dardo Hobbyist Painter-2
Dardo Hobbyist Painter-2

Taiwanese Artist Dardo’s Solo Exhibition

In April 2024, Lutetia ART-at-TAC will be presenting an exhibition of oil paintings by Taiwanese artist Dardo, whose traditionalist Western paintings reflect on his childhood in rural Taiwan as well as his love for this land.

Born and raised in rural Miaoli, Dardo showed an interest in drawing at a young age, constantly doodling in school books and helping classmates in art classes. During the 1960s and 1970s, when resources were scarce in Taiwan, he would often use cooking coal as pencil and “mantou” wheat flour buns as erasers.

Dardo, the Career Diplomat

This interest took a backseat during his youth as he focussed on academic success and career. Dardo eventually became a career diplomat for 35 years. During this long career he was stationed in Uruguay, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Spain. Of all the projects that Dardo had worked with, be it economic, agricultural, environmental, social or educational, he had been most proud of Taiwan’s medical team’s work in Nicaragua. This included pro bono knee replacement surgeries for locals, and further education in Taiwan for medical professionals from El Salvador.

Painting as Freedom of Expression

Hobbyist painter Dardo studied portraiture from El Salvadorian artist Dinorah Preza, and picked up painting again when he was stationed in Spain. While in Spain, he joined Círculo de Bella Arte and made the most of the abundant cultural resources by attending life drawing classes and studying works by the old masters in museums. Now retired, Dardo paints regularly as a hobby. He sees painting as a freedom of expression – its greatest value being the freedom to choose his subject, style and emotions.

A blank canvas, to him, is a symbol of ultimate freedom.

A regular at ART-at-TAC openings, Dardo took the difficult first step of approaching the organisers to propose an exhibition of his own work. As anyone who has shown their work to the public would know, making this first step takes courage, and to complete an exhibition takes commitment.

Lutetia ART-at-TAC is a platform for budding artists to have this experience, to show their work to strangers, to celebrate their commitment.

Dardo Solo Exhibition opens on Friday 5 April, with opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30pm. All are welcome.

Jessica Wang Simula was born in Taiwan but has lived in six different countries since adolescence before relocating back to Taiwan with her family over three years ago. Having worked in the arts in Shanghai and London, she is interested in how the arts can start new conversations, build communities and connect people.

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