Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation chairman, and son of the painter, Chen Chung-kuang donated 20 of his father’s priceless paintings to the Tainan Fine Arts Museum’s permanent collection, which is currently making preparations for construction and set to open in 2017. The donated paintings include the large oil painting New Building, certainly a prized possession for the museum. Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai is grateful for the foundation’s altruistic willingness to part with the paintings, and said that the Tainan government is planning a touring exhibition of Chen’s works — “Chen Cheng-po’s 120th Birthday: An East Asian Touring Exhibition” — which will be on display, touring five major cities, starting with Greater Tainan on Jan. 18 next year, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei.
Chen’s works Tamsui and A Picture of Tamsui at Dusk were sold several years ago on the international art market at record prices exceeding NT$100 million. The same as A Picture of Tamsui at Dusk, New Building was completed in 1941 at the peak of Chen’s career. His scenery depictions of Taiwan in oil painting form receive the most praise, and New Building is one of the few large oil paintings that Chen made of Tainan scenery. The foundation’s willingness to part with the painting has indeed provided a precious gem to the yet unborn Tainan Fine Arts Museum.
The Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau says that aside from New Building, among the 20 donated paintings and drawings are watercolors, pencil outlined drawings, gouache paintings, ink wash paintings and pencil sketches. The donated works comprehensively cover the scope of his artistic career, including works from his formative years studying at Taiwan’s Japanese Language School, as a student at the Tokyo University of the Arts, while teaching in Shanghai, and works from his travels after returning to Taiwan.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)