Tsao's aesthetic judgment is so specific that even those who don't read Chinese will appreciate her image selections, and the book is also accompanied by several pages of English text including:
In the first section, which makes up more than half of this book, Tsao introduces and interviews leading Western art figures such as realist painters Antonio Lopez Garcia and Philip Pearlstein and critics Michael Brenson and Hilton Kramer.
In the second section of commentaries, Tsao compares art writings by Kramer with those by poet W.S. Di Piero. She also reviews and comments on New York City exhibitions including "Realism from China". In her revision, Tsao adds insights gained from seeing shows of classical Chinese art in New York City during the 1990's. The in-depth interviews and reacquaintance with Chinese art past and present reflect her point of view as a bi-cultural observer.
Writing from the perspective of an artist, Tsao explores images and questions that intrigue her in her own pursuits. Two articles in the book directly pertain to her own work: In the first, Tsao is interviewed--via correspondence--by Huang Chun Hsiu on the art of the pastel. In the second, written on the occasion of her solo show at the National History Museum in Taiwan, Tsao looks back on her own artistic development.
Tsao devotes the book's final chapter to Chinese translations of "New York Times" art reviews by Michael Brenson and Hilton Kramer. Tsao uses these translations of art criticism to elucidate the transforming Chinese art world.
Image and text are equal partners in this book of essays. For Tsao, the image triggers the writing. The author enjoyed the cooperation of museums, galleries and artists in New York City for the 111 (mostly color) images reproduced in the book. Jacket photos of the Spanish master Antonio Lopez Garcia and his sculpture "Standing Maria" anchor this international project.
To view paintings online by this Taiwan-born artist and author see