Works by murdered Taiwanese painter to be exhibited
Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA)
The exhibition, to run until May 13, will feature oil and water paintings, sketches and artifacts of Chen Cheng-po, often described as a pioneer in the development of modern art in Taiwan. Some of the works will be on display for the first time.
Chen was the first Taiwanese artist to have his work featured in the Imperial Art Exhibition, a prestigious art exhibition in Japan during his time.
The painter was shot dead in public in March 1947 during the 228 Incident, the violent suppression of an anti-government uprising in Taiwan by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
"My father was someone who had little tolerance for corruption," Chen Chung-kuang, son of Chen Cheng-po, said at a press conference Tuesday.
The 85-year-old said that his father, who cared about civil affairs, was selected as one of six representatives to hold peace talks with the KMT, but was instead captured and executed in public two weeks later at a train station in Chiayi City.
Chen recalled his father sending his family letters during his captivity, saying that he had no regrets about sacrificing his life for the people of Chiayi and calling on artists to unite and dedicate themselves to art development in Taiwan.
"Finally, he mentioned family and said we should treat our parents (mother) well," said Chen.
Lin Yu-chun, deputy director of Taiwan's famed Paper Windmill Theatre, said Chen's romanticism and courage in pursuing his dreams reminded him of legendary literary figure Don Quixote.
The theatre will stage a play about Chen's life at the opening of the exhibition Feb. 18.
Titled "Journey through Jiangnan: A Pivotal Moment in Chen Cheng-po's Artistic Quest," the exhibition will feature works by the artist during a period when he stayed in Shanghai from 1929-1933 after completing his graduate studies at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts.
Shanghai was an important place for Chen as it is where he underwent a stylistic change and experimented with blending traditional Chinese painting techniques with Western ones, said the exhibition's curator, Lin Yu-chun.
Visitors will be able to see Chen's portrayal of China's Lower Yangtze region, including the West Lake in Hangzhou, Taihu Lake in Suzhou and other cultural and historic sites.
(By Christie Chen)