Early on in his student career, Master Chiu worked as a part-time cartoonist for a newspaper and showed an unusual passion for drawing. He later started to publish his own comic series that vividly captured life of ordinary people and mockingly reflected societal conditions. During the martial law era, his work was closely scrutinized and inspected by the national publishing agency and there were times he had to be bailed out because of his controversial work. After learning a fellow cartoonist was executed for mocking the military agency, he decided to quit drawing cartoon.
Though he could quit drawing cartoons, he could not quit his love for drawing. He briefly engaged in more traditional painting like oil and watercolor painting, but he was not satisfied. When he saw some workers paving roads in front of his house, he started thinking that “Can I paint with asphalt?” He experimented with the little asphalt he got from the workers, and with the help from his chemical engineer friend, they got it to work. In 1980, he was brutally criticized by the local Taiwanese conservative artists as being disrespectful to the tradition. A year later, he had the opportunity to exhibit his work in New York. The sensation of asphalt paintings immediately caught people’s attention and the exhibition went extremely successful.
He was invited by the Vatican demonstrating the process of asphalt painting to the Pope. Even former US president Bill Clinton is a collector of his artwork. Master Chiu’s passion, persistence and creativity for painting opened up a new sky for his art world.