Met new friends
My neighbor, Mr. Liu was graduated from Moscow University. His
Russian friends Stas and Tatyana came to visit him in Taipei. Stas
was a professional painter and his wife Tatyana was a leader of Ilya
Repin’s Memorial Home. Although they both work, the cost of
travelling from Russia to Taiwan was expensive. A painter couldn’t
have regular income, so Stas hoped to sell paintings while he was
Ilya Repin’s Memorial Home
Mr. Liu introduced the couple to me and asked me If there was
any chance to sell Stas’ paintings. I was not an extrovert, however
I had some friends who worked in the world of art. Professor Tseng
was an expert of art market in Taiwan, and he was willing to help.
He arranged a demonstration class for Stas at National Taipei
University of Education (NTUE). Tatyana, more interestingly, was
invited to have two speeches. One was at NTUE and the other was
for Taiwan Art Administration and Management Soceity (TAAMS).
Tatyana was invited as an VIP at NTUE
The art department of NTUE was holding a conference on
international university museums. The host of the conference
invited experts from different countries. With the experience of
working at the most important artist in Russia Ilya Repin’s Memorial
Home for over forty years, Tatyana was invited as an VIP to share
her knowledge. Tatyana was thrilled to have unexpected invitations.
She worked flat out on the speeches in my apartment for several
Ilya Yefimovich Repin- self portrait 1877
The speeches and painting class went successfully. I was very
impressed by Tatyana’s speeches about Ilya Repin.
Ilya Yefimovich Repin was born in 1844. He was a
leading Russian painter and sculptor of the
Peredvizhniki artistic school. An important part
of his works is dedicated his native country,
Ukraine. His realistic works often expressed
great psychological depth and exposed the tensions
within the existing social order. Beginning in the
late 1920s, detailed works on him were published in
the Soviet Union, where a Repin cult developed
about a decade later, and where he was held up as a
model "progressive" and "realist" to be imitated by
"Socialist Realist" artists in the USSR. The world
record price for a painting by Repin is £1.4m at
MacDougall's Auction House London, November 2009.’
Peredvizhniki Artistic School, was well known as Repin Institute of
Arts. We were lucky enough to attend Tatyana’s speeches, she was
graduated from Repin Institute of Arts.
Repin Institute of Arts
The luck reflected on Stas as well, he sold more than ten paintings.
Stas was a hard worker. During his visiting in Taiwan, he nearly
painted from morning to evening every day. He loved the coasts,
his feet had marked at Fisherman Wharf, Phuoclong seashore and
Tainan seashore. He finished quite a few shore boats, and almost
sold out. It was surprising and exciting to Stas and Tatyana.
Stas was painting a portrait of mine in my apartment
Why was Stas a such lucky painter? Stas said, ‘reasonable price’
before he left Taiwan. However, I have different opinions. Besides
working hard, Stas was smart enough to know how to paint and
what to paint. One might think he was a person of utilitarian. Stas
actually was a humble and shy artist, he never commented or
boasted about his work. His answer was always ‘I don’t know’
When I asked silly questions, such as, Do you like your paintings?
Do you think it is a good painting?
Stas Borodin Yachts in Paris 2009, oil on canvas, 75 x 60
Stas was an outdoor painter, his painting style followed the Post
Impressionists of late nineteen century, Paul Cezanne was his role
model. Although his paintings couldn’t have much contemporary
representation, his color was subtle and solid. The images revealed
the characteristics of Stas with a stable and calm atmosphere, within
them I saw the brilliant Russian.
My sister brought three paintings from Stas
By the way, Stas and Tatyana were filled with appreciation on the
day they left Taiwan. The couple invited Mr.Liu’s family and me to
visit their home town and promised to provide free accommodation
for us. They had received our hospitality over the three weeks. And
they thought that we were brilliant people, too.