The final piece in New Taipei City’s hall of fame, the portrait of former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), was finally put up at New Taipei City Hall last week, five years after he retired from the post in 2010.
Cultural Affairs Department division chief Chen Chun-mei (陳春美) said that it was a tradition to capture the image of city heads on canvas and have their images adorn the walls of city hall, as the portraits symbolize the city’s history.
However, the tradition came to a halt when Chou, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), turned down the city government’s requests to have a portrait of him made.
Chou’s portrait had been missing from the gallery for four years since Taipei County was upgraded to New Taipei City in 2010.
Later, Chou finally agreed to be depicted by artist Chen Yuan-cheng (陳員成), who spent three months completing the oil painting in which Chou, in a blue suit, smiles warmly.
Currently on display on the fifth floor of city hall are replicas of portraits by the late master painter Li Mei-shu (李梅樹) of four former Taipei County commissioners, including Mei Ta-fu (梅達夫), Tai Te-fa (戴德發), Hsieh Wen-cheng (謝文程) and Su Ching-po (蘇清波) all members of the KMT.
The originals reside in the New Taipei City Art Center collection.
Chen succeeded Li for the portraits of former Taipei County commissioners Shao En-shin (卲恩新) and Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) of the KMT, as well as You Ching (尤清), Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former acting commissioner Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) of the Democratic Progressive Party. The portraits are on display on the sixth floor of city hall.