1935 Hsiao Chin was born in Shanghai on January 30th. His father : Hsiao Yu-mei or Hsiao Xue-peng as he was also known, was famous in Shanghai for founding the first conservatory of music in the city in 1927. He and his sister Xue-zhenen, born in 1937, were brought up by their mother Qi Cuei-zhen, known as Wen-lan, as protestants.
1950 While he was attending Taipei Middle School, Hsiao Chin, also enrolled at the Scool of Art, where he studied drawing under the tuition of Chu Teh-Chun, and he joined the studio of Li Chun-Shan whose work had been very much inflenced by the west, and was considered to be quite unconventonal. Li Chun-Shan felt that there was a " wild " side to him, and worked with him on composition and colours. A number of self portraits painted in oil, and several very colourful works date from this period, showing clearly the influence of Cézanne, Gauguin and Matisse.
1954 He qualified as a teacher, and began to teach in the Ching-Mei Elementary School.
1955 Although martial law had been imposed, Hsaio Chin and seven other Chineseartists took the risk of founding Ton-Fan, in pinyin dongfang huahui 东方画会 Orient Movement, the first movement in Chinese art, rather abstact art. Fortunately the regime was unfamiliar with avant-garde art, and the group was able to work. The following year, they organised their first exhibition at the Taipei News Building, Chughua Road. People rushed to get tickets for the exhibition, however some visitors were so shocked by what they saw there, that they threw their invitations on the ground, to show their disapproval. The artists, who had struggled to find the money to have their work printed, were somewhat upset. Nevertheless, the group carried on working for the next fifteen years, with regular exhibitions in Taipei, as well as in Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA.
1956 - 1957 In order to continue painting, he managed to get a grant from the Spanish government which enabled him to go to Spain, in spite of some opposition. He felt that the Conservatory of Fine Art in San Fernando was too conservative, so he opted for Barcelona where he mixed with artists involved in work more representative of Spanish abstract art : Antoni Tapies and the founder members of the El Paso group.
In order to survive, he wrote articles on avant-garde art in Europe in the 1950s, for publications in Taïwan such as the United Daily News, the Taipei literary review Wen-Shin, or the Cosmorama Pictorial in Hong Kong, all the while, trying to find his own style. He took part in the May Salon in Barcelona, and obtained a contract with the Sala Gaspar gallery.
1958 - 1966 Leaving behind Spain and its anti-social climate, he decided to travel, even if this meant him losing the grant he had had such trouble obtaining. He went to Italy, first of all to Venice for the Biennial, where paintings by Mark Tobey and Mark Rothko made a big impression on him. He met Yves Klein, Paul Klee and Gabriele Mazzotta, who became one of his best friends, and one of the most important collectors of his work. After that, he went to Florence where his work was displayed at the Galleria Numero, the second gallery of Fiammo Vigo.
1959 He moved to Milan. There he quickly got involved with a group of avant-garde artists. One of the first people he contacted was the Argentinian Lucio Fontana, because they could communicate in Spanish. He later met Roberto Crippa, Enrico Castellani and Pierre Manzoni. He liked to tell the story of when they all went out one day to Abissolla,
1961 He founded the Punto movement, with Antonio Calderara ( he began with figurative paintings then his work became more abstract after the death of his daughter ) and the Japanese sculptor Kengiro Azuma. Other artists from the Ton-Fan group joined later, such as Li Yuan-Chia, and then artists from all over the world: German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and Japanese, resulting in exhibitions in Barcelona, Italy, Rotterdam, Taipei, and Zurich.
Art was seen as a way to transcend human limitions in relation to infinity.
1964 Unable to stay in one place for very long, he spent several months in Paris, where he put together an important exhibition at the Galerie Internationale d'art contemporain, 253 rue Saint-Honoré, which was run by Comte Maurice D'Arquain. He then went on to Bâle, to see Mark Tobey, who had been living in Switzerland for two years.
1966 He decided to go to London, where he stayed for six months. At the Signal Gallery he met Paul Keeler.
1967 - 1973 He went to New York with Giuseppa Pia Pizzo, the Italian artist whom he married in 1962.
Back to Europe
Feeling more and more drawn to Buddhism, and having had enough of America which he found too superficial, Hsiao Chin returned to Europe.
1974 Patrice Trigano and Pierre Nahon organised an exhibition of his recent work in the galerie beauborg rue pierre au lard, in the 4th district of Paris.
1978 Along with nine other artists, of six different nationalities, he started the SURYA, ( sun ) movement. Seven exhibitions were then held, in Italy,Spain, Taiwan, and Switzerland. The CH'AN series ( CH'AN is Japanese for Zen ) dates from this time, and is characterised by the contrasts between the surfaces and the warm and cool colours.
1981 - 1988 While teaching at the Art school in Urbino, then in Turin and Milan, he continued to hold exhibitions of his own work, in Italy, Taipei , Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
1989 - 1990 The Tiananmen Square Massacre left its mark on the artist. He did a series of paintings on this theme spring in Peking - before the Tiananmen Square massacre- the Tiananmen Square massacre - a year after Tiananmen Square - the renaissance of China.
1991-1992 Following the death of his daughter Samantha, Hsiao Chin overcame his sadness by creating the series the threshold, Towards the eternal garden.
1994-1995 The theme recurs in the eternal garden and flight to the eternal garden.
1992 - 2005 A number of retrospectives of his work took place in Taichung (1992 ), Peking (1994 ), Taipei (1995 ), Darmstadt (1998 ), Milan ( 2002 ), Shanghai ( 2004 ), Recanati ( 2005 ), Guangdong ( 2005 ), and Zhonshan ( 2005 ).
1996 The next significant events in his private life were his marriage to the Austrian soprano Monika Unterberger, and his decision to teach at Tainan University.
1998 The di Meo gallery, rue des Beaux-Arts 75006 Paris held a personal exhibition.
2006 - 2009 The Beijing national Museum showed Glory to the source, Hsiao Chin 1955-2005