Fri, Apr 03, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Chen Cheng-po prints on show in US

RETROSPECTIVE:Aside from 42 prints of Chen’s paintings, the touring exhibition will showcase manuscripts, photos and studies from his lifetime

Staff writer, with CNA

A visitor to the National Palace Museum in Taipei yesterday stands and admires Chiayi Street Scene, a painting by Taiwanese artist Chen Cheng-po. A selection of the artist’s works are to go on tour in the US next week.

Photo: Chen Yi-chuan, Taipei Times

Prints of paintings by famed Taiwanese painter Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波) are to go on tour in the US from Monday, with the aim of introducing Chen’s art and Taiwanese culture to Western viewers.

The touring exhibition is to start at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Madison Senior Center, where 42 prints will be exhibited from Monday to April 22, the Ministry of Culture said.

They will include prints of some of Chen’s best-known paintings, such as his Self-Portrait (自畫像), Sunset in Tamsui (淡水夕照) and Chiayi Street Scene (嘉義街景).

“It will be the first time that such a comprehensive exhibition of Chen’s works will have taken place in the United States,” said Chen Li-po (陳立柏), the grandson of the painter and executive director of the Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation.

He said the foundation has donated the prints to the North American Taiwan Studies Association, Wisconsin Chapter, which is a joint organizer of the Wisconsin exhibitions, because it has been moved by the passion of overseas Taiwanese students.

“They told me they have been making dumplings and performing Taiwanese glove puppetry for years to introduce Taiwanese culture to their American peers,” and hope to do something different this year, Chen Li-po said.

In addition to the prints, the exhibitions will showcase manuscripts, newspaper clippings, photos and studies from Chen Cheng-po’s lifetime, he said.

“We hope to introduce the entire time period through Chen Cheng-po’s works. It is not simply a one-man exhibition,” he said.

After Wisconsin, the prints will be showcased at Harvard University in June, followed by other universities, Chen Li-po said.

On April 13, Taiwanese graduate students will hold a concert at the Madison Senior Center, performing music inspired by Chen Cheng-po’s paintings and life, the Ministry of Culture said.

Born in Chiayi in 1895, Chen Cheng-po is often described as a pioneer in the development of art in modern Taiwan.

In 1924, he went to Japan to study at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts — now the Tokyo University of the Arts — and became the first Taiwanese artist to have his work featured in the Imperial Art Exhibition, a prestigious show in Japan at the time.

He then traveled to Shanghai, where he lived and taught from 1929 to 1933 and was influenced by Chinese ink paintings.

In 1933, he returned to Taiwan before the Second Sino-Japanese war and devoted himself to promoting aesthetic education. 0

The painter was shot dead in March 1947 during the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) brutal crackdown on anti-government uprisings that began on Feb. 27, 1947 — known as the 228 Incident — 16 months after Japanese colonial rule ended.

He was selected as one of six representatives in Chiayi to negotiate for peace with the KMT, but instead was captured and executed in public two weeks later in front of the Chiayi Railway Station.

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