Sat, Jul 16, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Chiang Wei-shui traveling art exhibit opens in Hsinchu

By Hung Mei-hsiu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Painter Liu Yang-che, right, Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien, center, and Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation executive director Chiang Chao-ken pose for a photograph in Hsinchu on Thursday.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times

A touring exhibition of 15 paintings about Taiwanese democracy pioneer Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水) has opened at the Hsinchu Bureau of Cultural Affairs’ Meiyuan Gallery (梅苑畫廊).

The paintings, by renowned Hsinchu artist Liu Yang-che (劉洋哲), were commissioned by the Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation (蔣渭水文化基金會) about a decade ago, when Liu was asked to create paintings depicting Chiang’s life and achievements in the 1920s.

One of the paintings, which is exclusive to the Hsinchu exhibition, depicts a historic pro-autonomy demonstration in 1926 against the Japanese colonial regime in Hsinchu.

Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) said that actions taken by Chiang’s movement during the Japanese colonial period — such as demanding that the Japanese government establish a representative assembly in Taiwan, and his founding of the Taiwanese Cultural Association, Taiwanese People’s Party and the Taiwan Minpao (台灣民報) newspaper — heralded the beginning of Taiwan’s democracy movement and political enlightenment.

The painting depicting a demonstration at Hsinchu Station in support of Chiang’s call for a representative assembly is a “testament to Hsinchu Station’s importance in history and Hsinchu residents’ support for democracy,” Lin said.

He said he was also moved by another painting depicting an incident in which Chiang was covered in mud thrown by hecklers after he delivered a speech, as it showed Chiang’s courage and will because he wore the mud as a badge of pride.

Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation executive director Chiang Chao-ken (蔣朝根), who is Chiang Wei-shui’s grandson, said that Hsinchu has been a “bastion of Taiwan’s democracy movement” and the location of one of the major headquarters of Chiang’s Taiwanese People’s Party.

The exhibition in Hsinchu, which is the eighth stop on the tour, runs through July 24.

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