Art is a form of thinking and reflects the era. åSince the inaugural Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition held in 1927, whether through special selection or exemption from examination, Chen Cheng-po's artworks constantly featured in the event until 1943. Driven by his love for art and his homeland, Chen ardently promoted cultural activities and art education in Taiwan.FindARTs, in a special partnership with Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation, handpicked six of Chen's exhibition works. Through these artworks. One can experience the idealism, romance, and cultural self-awareness of artists from that generation, and witness how the pioneering artist remarkably broke new ground in Taiwan's art scene hundred years ago.
As the riverbanks, bridges, houses, hills, and the lines of the objects keep receding and shifting into the distance, our eyes are brought into a space of profound magnitude. The traditional vocabulary is met with new expressions of the modern era. Between the Chinese ink wash and the Western painting techniques, it seems to reflect the inspirations of great mind.
What is “Oriental”? Through this painting, Chen Cheng-po may have found a coherent answer to his puzzle. Can you see his enlightenment through the color of the water in the West Lake flowing out from the pigment tube?
In the cool air of the alpine region, the colors of the nature seem to be brighter and more vibrant. The deep blue sky, the green mountains, and even the roofs of the houses in the villages all appear in rich and exotic colors.
During the early spring in the mountains, the cherry trees seem to blossom into beautiful flowers, bringing a lively touch to the whole painting. In the joyful rhythm of the salute to life, the dangerous cliffs also seem to be friendly and lovely. How do you feel when you look at the scenery of Ali Mountain in Chen Cheng-po’s painting?
英國長老教會自馬雅各醫師於1865年進入臺南傳教以來，幾經波折終於在臺南城西邊建立據點，到1880年代已在臺南城東內外陸續建立建築聚落，該區域之後發展出聚珍堂報社、新樓醫院、臺南神學院(城內)、長老教(長榮)中學校、女學校 (城外) …等等。圖中所繪場景即為臺南神學院區域之巴克禮牧師館及甘為霖牧師館。
ince Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell entered Tainan as a missionary in 1865, the English Presbyterian Church finally established a presence on the west side of Tainan City after many twists and turns, and by the 1880s had already established several buildings in the eastern part of Tainan City. The area was later developed to include Treasure Hall Newspaper Office, Sin-Lau Hospital, Tainan Theological College and Seminary (inside the city), Presbyterian (Chang Jung) High School, Girls’ School (outside the city), etc. The scenes pictured here are Rev. Thomas Barclay’s residence and Rev. William Campbell’s residence inside the campus of Tainan Theological College and Seminary.
One scenic corner of the town, in which the geometric lines intersecting with one another, the temples with upward-curving ridges, the wooden houses with the hill-shaped roofs, and the western style chalets are found. Buildings with a great variety of shapes and patterns render a rhythmic interest to the marvelous imagery. The branches of the broadleaved trees are stretching out with their full might and the lush greenery makes up the background of the painting. All these exhibits an exuberant vitality in nature, even if the season is set in an early autumn in the southern region. Laundry is hung outside to dry on wooden poles, overlooking silently at the small world beyond the railings. Do you, gentle readers, feel the atmosphere of idyllic peace presented here?
With extraordinary style features, a tall tower commands in the distance. Below the tower, huge tracts of farmland spread out along the hillside, a luxuriant green flowing here and there. The transverse lines of the field ridges, road, and tree crowns rise and fall in lively motion like the lines on a sheet of music. Also in harmony with the melody are the egrets in the fields and the electric poles, skipping and pulsing with delightful variations in the horizontal composition. Like a great conductor, Chen Cheng-po briskly waves his paintbrush over the canvas to compose a beautiful and joyous symphony for the pastoral scene on the hill.
Tourists tread on the waves leisurely. In the whitish gray waves, several figures can be seen swimming in the sea, and the atmosphere is relaxed and carefree. However, the natural scenery in the painting conveys a quite different visual experience. The eroded rock walls resemble the roaring waves of the ocean, and we can seem to hear the roaring sound of tidal waves in the chaotic piles of rocks. Looking at the shore of Putuo Mountain, will you marvel at nature's magic creation, or will you indulge in the joyfulness of the beach?