加國畫家深耕台灣19年 繪出寶島日常驚艷國際 | Canadian calls Taiwan home in inspiring painting exhibit

木柵傳統市場|Muza Traditional Market, 2020, 45.5 cm x 38 cm, cm, Acrylic on canvas (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)


Where is “home” for you — that place where you feel you most belong? Is it the house where you grew up? Is it your current home? Is it just being with your loved ones, wherever you are or is it something else entirely? 

如果你去欣賞James Hugh Gough的畫展,你很快地會發現對他而言,家就是「台灣」。此畫展「居之鏡面與花園,台灣」於台北外琨塔Vaikuntha藝術生活中心展出至8月23日,透過一幅幅畫,你能慢慢深入了解這位加拿大藝術家作品背後的靈感來源。

If you visit the latest painting exhibition of James Hugh Gough, the answer to this question might be plain and simple: Taiwan. “Glass and Gardens — Taiwan, My Home,” which runs until Aug. 23 at Vaikuntha Art Gallery, Taipei, for sure gives you an insight into the Canadian artist’s many sources of inspiration here. 

加拿大藝術家 | James Hugh Gough is pictured in this undated photo taken at Vaikuntha Art Gallery. (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)
還是家好 | Home Sweet Home

在與The China Post的訪問中,James表示「在台灣,我居住過的社區提供我大部分作品的靈感。板橋的巷道、鐵窗和市區與大自然交界的木柵,每次去六甲老婆家那邊都讓我有回到家的感覺。」

“The neighborhoods I’ve lived in during my time in Taiwan provide most of the inspiration for this exhibition,” he told The China Post. “The alleys and grated windows of Banqiao. The way urban sprawl meets a wall of nature in Muza. The comforting feeling of ‘home’ when I visit my wife’s family in Liujia.”


In many cases, the views depicted in his paintings are from the apartments he has resided in while in Taiwan, or streets nearby. They are all connected by the deep affection he has for this special place he calls home. 

板橋家門口前,壓克力顏料|Doorway in historical Banqiao, 2016, 25.5 cm x 17.5 cm, Acrylic on canvas (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)


“I knew this was home the first time I returned from a trip back to Canada. I love Canada, but my wife and I were there for about a week when we started really missing the food here,” he continued. “We landed in Taiwan, got our baggage, and the automatic doors opened at Taoyuan airport. The heat hit me, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was home.”

板橋後巷,針筆畫|Banqiuao Alley, 2017, 22 cm x 27 cm, Ink on paper (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)
Common Scenes, Variety of media  | 多樣繪畫媒材展現生活日常景象


Common scenes are of great interest to the artist who looks at everyday life from various perspectives using a variety of media: pen and ink, watercolor and acrylics. Acrylic paints seem to fit his disposition.  

They dry faster than oils, which allows him to move to the next layer more quickly. 

福隆陽台,媒材壓克力顏料|Fulong Balcony, 2019, 100 cm x 80 cm, Acrylic on canvas (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)


It takes him a long time to finish a painting, so this helps get things going a little bit faster than if he used oils. Also, he feels that he can get a similar result, as long as he stacks the layers properly.

James Hugh Gough於新北板橋工作室作畫|James Hugh Gough works in his workshop in Banqiao, New Taipei, in this undated file photo. (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)


For his books, he uses watercolor pencils. “Mistakes cannot be covered up, so it can be a tedious, yet rewarding, affair doing watercolor pencil drawings,” he added. “I feel watercolor pencils provide the right atmosphere for children’s books. Acrylics suit adults. Using a variety of media allows me to be creative; to reject being stifled.” 

Children Literature |兒童文學


Gough’s next project is another children’s book. He has finished the drawings and written it already. Currently, the art director is doing the layout and he hopes to release it this fall.  

2018 壓克力顏料 45.5cm X 38cm 靜夜中的六甲老家|Liujia Home at Night, 2018, 45.5 cm x 38 cm, Acrylic on canvas (Courtesy of James Hugh Gough)


“It’s a little different from his previous two books,” he explained. “I’ve still used watercolor pencils, but gone with a simpler approach. Also, it’s not illustrated poetry. It’s a straightforward story, with humor and adventure. It deals with climate change, which I think is, perhaps, the most important issue of our time.”


Asked about his creative process, he said that it all starts with an idea.  


“Get one of those and you’re golden. Then buckle up for years of meticulous work. For my books, I do almost all of the drawings first,” he remarked. “That takes forever. Then, I write the words. Generally, I’ve had years to think about them, so they tend to come a bit more quickly. Then I add any drawings I need to fit the text.” 

How to get there? | “Glass and Gardens — Taiwan, My Home” | 台北市大安區潮州街55巷3-1號1樓(近古亭捷運站5或6號出口步行約10分鐘|1F, No. 3-1, Lane 55, Chaozhou St., Daan District, Taipei | Near MRT Guting Station, exit 5 or 6 (10 min. walk)