Now entering its 10th year, the Taiwan Soka Association has laid a firm foundation for art in Taiwan since it was founded in 2003, and shown that the power of the people is no less powerful than that of public institutions. The main tenets followed when organizing exhibitions are to find roots through culture and establish 100 years of Taiwanese art. An exhibition of paintings titled “Under the Searing Sun — A Solo Exhibition by Chen Cheng-po” opened on April 8 with Chen’s son, Chen Chung-kuang, serving as tour guide during the opening ceremony. Wu A-ming, Board Chairman of the Liberty Times, sister newspaper of the Taipei Times, was also in attendance that day to appreciate the achievements of the artist, who was a victim of the 228 Incident.
More than 200 of Chen’s paintings and other works of art are on display, showing the quintessence of his life’s work in its entirety. The most unique aspect is that many of these works by Chen, who was a pioneer in modern Taiwanese art, were kept in storage for many years, and are now being shown to the public for the first time ever. Among them is a painting from 1938 titled Ancient Temple, which he entered in the first annual Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan Art Exhibition held that year. After undergoing restorations, this is the first time the painting is on display for the public. Among other works on display for the first time are 16 watercolor paintings as well as several works that he completed before going to study in Japan.
The exhibit consists of two main themes. The first theme is “Love for the Land,” which shows various sceneries from Chiayi County as depicted in Chen’s paintings, recreating the street scenes of Chiayi in the 1930s in the main hall of the exhibit. For the other theme — “Love for Culture” — portrait paintings of nude women, still lifes, Japanese-style paintings, and 16 watercolor paintings never shown to the public before are on display. A reconstruction of Chen’s dream “Art Museum” can also be seen in the display area, which includes paintings and cultural artifacts Chen collected during his life.
1. victim n.
受難者 (shou4 nan4 zhe3)
例: A memorial service was held yesterday for the victims of the fire.
2. pioneer n.
先驅 (xian1 qu1)
例: George Harrison is considered to be one of the main pioneers of using the sitar in popular music.
3. restoration adj.
修復 (xiu1 fu4)
例: Without art restoration many invaluable paintings would be lost to future generations.
The exhibit will be on display at the Taiwan Soka Association’s Chih-shan Art and Culture Center in Taipei’s Shilin District until June 16 with free admission. The center is open every day from 8:30am to 5pm and is closed on Mondays.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)