Wed, Dec 28, 2011 - Page 16 News List

Yen Shui-long’s warm poetic impressions of Orchid Island
溫暖而詩意 顏水龍畫筆下的蘭嶼印象

Mayor Chiang Tuo-li, left, guides a boat from Orchid Island into Shangwu Harbor in Taitung County on June 29.

Photo: Chen Hsien-yi, Taipei Times
照片: 自由時報記者陳賢義

As someone who was born in Tainan, studied in Japan and France, and researched the uniqueness of the Aboriginal culture on Orchid Island in the 1930s, Yen Shui-long (1903-1997) is quite unusual in the history of modern art in Taiwan. He was apparently an artist who went against the mainstream. When many artists were striving to make a name for themselves through exhibitions, Yen was off deep in the mountains near the ocean documenting the art and cultures of Taiwan’s Aborigines.

Yen’s early works followed the late impressionist style of the West — simple, refined, with an intense contrast among warm colors — a painting style that transmits a sunny and warm style specific to Taiwan. He spent his entire life pursuing a refined and well-executed style that had a poetic and romantic flavor. Yen used southern Taiwan’s bright sunny colors to represent the energy of social life in Taiwan, the lifting up of the boat on Orchid Island as a symbol of its ancient elegance, as well as bright warm hues filled with infinite concern for everything in his surroundings.

Yen’s artistic achievements span several fields, including painting, industrial art, commercial design, public art and city planning. The exhibition of Yen Shui-long’s works currently on display at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum — “The Public Spirit — Beauty in the Making” — is divided into three broad categories representing his life’s work: elegant Aboriginal works, simple life aesthetic works, and modern metropolitan images. There are over 200 works on display, including 92 oil paintings, around 70 drawings and prints, and around 40 industrial art design and advertising works. The exhibition will last until Feb. 26 next year.



1. intense adj.

強烈的 (qiang2 lie4 de5)

例: Art is capable of evoking intense emotion.


2. hue n.

色調 (se4 diao4)

例: The bright red in this pattern dominates its green hues.


3. field n.

領域 (ling3 yu4)

例: Although she initially trained to be a psychologist, most of her research has been in neurology-related fields.






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