Yong-Ning Tzeng

Yong-Ning Tzeng

Tzeng draws slowly in a repetitive mode, allowing his body to toil day after day. His body steps into the artwork in this intensive painting activity, his hands and the medium intertwined, further developing novelty thinking in this process of handiwork.

MediumMixed Media
Date of birth1979
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Tzeng Yong-ning, the artist who blazed the path of ballpoint pen painting in Taiwan. It dates back to 2000 when he first employed ballpoint pens in his artworks. Initially, ballpoint pens were served as a contrasting painting tool to the brushes Tzeng used, which was meant to create some impact brought by tradition vs. modernity, and flexible brush vs. hard tipped pen, and expressed merely occasionally as embellishments to his Chinese ink painting. The stunning effects however were just so appealing. After having managed the usage of ballpoint pens quite assuredly, Tzeng started to ponder over the possibility of ballpoint pen painting. He thereby  pivoted to another form of painting and has become inextricably linked with ballpoint pens from then on .  


Fundamentally speaking, art creations are forms of physical labor. Ballpoint pen painting may therefore be deemed as a form of labor-intensive handiwork.   Dependent entirely on handiwork, ballpoint pen painting, like a fabric came into being after some practical weaving process, is an accumulation of physical labor.  Carrying the mentality of traditional artisan, Tzeng draws slowly in a repetitive mode, allowing his body to toil day after day. His body steps into the artwork in this intensive painting activity, his hands and the medium intertwined, further developing novelty thinking in this process of handiwork.  

Rollerball pens also known as ballpoint pens achieve the purpose of writing by making use of the rolling ball tip to dispense ink. Tzeng fully utilizes this feature, follows the path of the rolling ball tips to create geometric forms in repetitive cycles, and tops them with textures and patterns made from multi-leveled networks of lines. Lines are the essential components that play the contouring and linking roles in creating the density variations in the weaving style of Tzeng’s paintings.  The packed lines are rightly organized to form a sturdy, inseparable spatial composition. While setting off from natural forms as imitation of flowers, the geometric forms contain no specific reference and are therefore open and free from semantic content. The diverse changes in nature are both vigorous and capricious. Tzeng’s geometric forms grant the nature with some regularity in plastic form. The resplendent pictorial surface is crystal-like with remarkable composition—an incessant overlapping, replication and regeneration- extends outwardly from the circular rotations develops from the center.  

Through pens, Tzeng came to connect with the traditional Lukang hometown handicraft as the delicate texture contains in his artworks has revived the handiwork involved in painting.  Tzeng has carved out a new contemporary style of painting with his application of ballpoint pens. Truly, Tzeng has caught much attention due to his usage of ballpoint pens which nevertheless, has also constituted a labeling effect to his form of creation. Besides the intuitive drive for creative works, recently, Tzeng has spent much effort in pursuit of ‘material effects as an external boost for enriching the forms and contents of his artwork.   

by Lin Han-Chun

 quoted from Convolution – Switch / Reversal

Curriculum vitae

Yong-Ning Tzeng
Born in 1978

2010 Graduated from Taipe National University of the Arts(TNUA) majored in Oil Painting

Solo Exhibitions
2015   “Starts”VTartsalon, Taipei, Taiwan
2014   “Bloom”Soka Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan 
           “Convolution”Nou gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2013   “Collection”Soka Art Center, Tainan, Taiwan
           “Return to the outset“ Soka Art Center, Beijing, China
           “Compelling Glamour" Accton Art Foundation, HsinChu, Taiwan
2012   “Traces of Serenity" Beyond Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
           “Rustling Autumn”Nou gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
           “Wild Fire”,Lieu Commun,
           “Wild Fire”, Lieu Commun, Toulouse, France
           “Bloom and Flord”,L’Espace culturel Bonnefoy
           ”Bloom and Flord”,L’Espace culturel Bonnefoy, Toulouse, France
2011   “Myriad”Pemalamo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
           “Florescense", Soka Art Center, Tainan, Taiwan
2010   “Florescence and Resplendent”, Beyond Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
           “Rhythm of Life II”, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
2009   “Rhythm of Life”Aki Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2007   “Flowers. of four Seasons Sceneries ”, Aki Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2006   “Li Chun-Shan Award Winner Exhibition”," National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan;Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan
2005   “Barbarian Garden ”,Nanbei Gallery, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan
           “Mental Imagery”, Taichung City Seaport Art Center, Taiwan
2004   “Mental Imagery”Dynamic Gallery, Taichung City Dadun Cultural Center, Taiwan 

Group Exhibitions
2013   “Inter-vision Inter : A Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts,Taichung, Taiwan / National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2012   “Crush on EMU”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan D’abord les Forrets…/ opus 3,Château villain Paris, France
2011   “Taïwainpics.doc Art contemporain Taiwanais”, EX GIL Art Gallery, Rome, Italy
           “Taïwainpics.doc Art contemporain Taiwanais”, Museo d'Arte contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genova, Italy
            “Taiwan Calling-- The Phantom of Liberty / Elusive Island” Ludwig Museum- Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary 2011, Nou Gallery, Singapore
            “Drawing Now: An Exhibition of Contemporary Taiwanese Drawing
           ”Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2010   “YES TAIWAN: 2010 Taiwan Biennial”, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
            “Art Tea Exhibition”, Nou Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.
2010   “YES TAIWAN: 2010 Taiwan Biennial”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
           “Another Book”, G-Dot Art Space, Songzhuang, Tongzhou, Beijing, China
           “Continuation: Special Exhibition of Li Chun-Shen Modern Painting Award Winners”, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan.
2009   “Taiwainpics.doc Art contemporain Taiwanais”, Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-Arts, Paris,France Dream in a contemporary Secret Garden 
           “Dream in a Contemporary Secret Garden”, New York Taipei Cultural Centre, New York, United States
            “Rays of Spring Light”, A ART Art Space, Taipei, Taiwan
2008   “Art Fair 21”, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
           “Art Taipei 2008”, Exhibition Hall 1, Taipei World Trade Centre, Taipei, Taiwan
2007   “Art Fair 21”, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
           “Fen-Le-Ding(Very Fun Park)”, East Taipei Contemporary Art Exhibition, Eslite Bookstore, Fubon Insurance Building, Taipei East District, Taiwan
            Art Taipei 2007, Exhibition hall 2, Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei, Taiwan
           “New Voice of Art: Post-graduates Invitational Art Exhibition”, NHCUE Art Space,Art Centre of Chienkuo Technology University ; Art Centre of Lunghwa University of Science and Technology
2006   “Flowers”, Aki Gallery, Taipei,Taiwan
           “New Frame of Mind :Taiwan Emerging Artists’Exhibition”, Chienkuo Technology University
2005    “2005 Taipei Arts Award”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2004   “Ink and Mind: Creation without Limits”, Chan-liu Art Museum, Taoyuan, Taiwan
           “2004 Taipei Arts Award”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2003   “Ink and Mind: Creation without Limits”, Kaohsiung Fine Art Museum, Kaohsiung, Taiwan Public Art
           “Abutment painting activity at Dahu Park and Donghu Stations on Wenshan-Neihu Line”, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation

2008   Taiwan Fellowship Program, Asian Cultural Council
2006   The 9th Li Chun-shen Visual Arts Award
2005   “Barbarian Garden“, Judges’award ,Taipei Arts Awards
2004 Merit Award, The 2nd Taoyuan Creation Award
           “Future View”, Judges’Award, Taipei Arts Awards
2002   Winner of Chinese Painting award: Huang-xi Award, The 3rd Huang-xi

Fine Art Exhibition
2001   3rd prize, Tong-yi Trophy,“A Kiss to the Spirit of the Future: Photography Contest”
2000   2nd prize,“Lukang Hundred Scenes: Photography Contest”

2012   “The Wild Fire”(40), White Rabbit Gallery, Australia
2012   “Bloom”(14), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
2010   “Splendid ”(8), National Yang Ming University
2007   “Barbarian Garden, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
2006   “Future View”(9), Long Yen Foundation
2002   Inner World(10), Changhua County Cultural Affairs Bureau

2012   Lieu Commun “Lieu Commun”, Toulouse, France
2010   The 5th International Creative Painting Workshop, YUZI Paradise, Guilin