Born in 1909, veteran Taiwanese painter Chang Wan-chuan died in 2003 at the advanced age of 94, making his life representative of the developmental period of modern art in Taiwan. Chang started out finding stylistic inspiration in the fauvist and expressionist movements, later receiving influence from the modernist School of Paris, and eventually fusing all of these elements with a Taiwanese rural psyche to create his own unique artistic idiom.
Chang most frequently used red, yellow and blue hues, building chaotic mixtures of roiling colors caked with a heavy blackness to enhance the textures of his works, keenly representing the artist’s own personality. Having grown up in Danshui, Chang left behind many nostalgic works depicting local landmarks, including the Danshui Customs Officer’s Residence, commonly known as the “Little White House” and the Danshui Presbyterian Church. As a young man he studied painting in Japan, eventually becoming a teacher in Taipei at midlife, and even spent a brief stint as a fisherman, which later served as inspiration for his fish-themed series. In 1954, while teaching amateur artists, he began creating nudes of women to better instruct his pupils. At the age of 67 he moved to France, where he painted numerous European travel paintings representing his life there.
“Chang Wan-chuan: Taiwan Senior Artist Memorial Exhibition” will be on display at the Bo Art Gallery in Taipei’s Tianmu area until May 28.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)