Shih Li-Jen was born in Changhua County, Taiwan, 1955, a celebrated artist and curator in China and Taiwan. In 2004 and 2006, Mr. Shih won major awards of the "Art and Business Award" from the Council for Culture Affairs, Taiwan. From 2003, expect for paintings, Mr. Shih started creating sculptures, but started to publish series of bronze art works until 2007, for example, “Naked Female”, “Leopard series”, “Flocks of Sparrow”, “The Formosan Mountain Dog”. Mr. Shih’s creation from “Rhino Family series” till “King Kong Rhino series”.
The Swift Horse is the descendant of a famed breed, Ferghana horses, in historical record. It was the mount of Guan Yu, the lead of one of four ancient steeds dated back to the time of Three Kingdom Period. According to legend, it was depicted as a swift horse with red sheen hair coated as fire, ten feet long, and eight feet high, and having reputation for capable of traveling thousands miles in daytime, or nocturnal more than eight hundred miles, roaring through the sky while it bellows. In order to acquire those divine horses, the imperial Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty projected military power twice to the Western Regions; during the Three Kingdom Period, with his swift horse (or named as Red Hare) aside Guan Yu, the valor who is brave enough to threaten a great majority has been praised enduring through the ages. Since then, a hero with a steed rules an important part in those romantic ambitious stories. SHIH Li-Jen’s artwork, “Swift Horse” refined the beautifully upright posture from steed in mythology, and extended with his own unique mark: an Alicorn imprinted with genic spiraled pattern symbolized outstanding leadership, and featuring the steed partially realistic and divine. Coated golden armor to emphasize its loyal dedication and fearless bravery, with all ears it steps vigorously carrying his master through any barriers and obstacle. The steed has gifted talent revealing its ability at the right moment. Scrutinize his every step, the muscular thigh is the strength while racing, and the move flows through the top to the bottom, initiate from the legs to the knees. Like a rapid fire, its races with ease and grace and moving successively. There are knee pads on legs to manifest its elegant and noble status and a metaphor that this fine horse is praised by Bole, a talent scout. The immortal “Swift Horse”, a protector of the commercial patron saint, Guan Yu, stands for integrity, justice, and income. It is a proud Ferghana that it only accompanies heroes, and its expectation and destiny is to open a new chapter in history with the master.
77 x 94 x 30 cm (height x width x depth)
approx: 2 ft 6 1/3 in x 3 ft 1 in x 11 4/5 in
"All my life as an artist I have asked myself: What pushes me continually to make sculpture? I have found the answer. art is an action against death. It is a denial of death. " Jacques Lipchitz 1891-1973