Artist biography

Wen-Ying Tsai born 1928

Pioneer of cybernetic sculpture, born in Amoy, China. Received early instruction in Chinese painting. In 1939 moved to Shanghai, where he later studied engineering at Ta Tung University. Emigrated to the USA in 1950. Studied mechanical engineering at Michigan University, and after graduating moved in 1953 to New York. Worked as engineer for the next ten years, collaborating with architects in the design of laboratories for atomic research etc., continuing his art studies at the Art Students League and elsewhere. First one-man exhibition, of paintings, at the Ruth Sherman Gallery, New York, 1961. Became a US citizen in 1962. After receiving a John Hay Whitney Opportunity Fellowship for painting in 1963, decided to give up his career as engineer and devote himself to art. Made three-dimensional constructions using optical effects, radiant paints, ultra-violet light, etc. Edward MacDowell Fellowship 1965. Began in 1966 to make cybernetic sculptures with vibrating steel rods, stroboscopic effects and electronic feedback systems. Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1969-71. Since 1971 has lived mainly in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.730-1