Chen Cheng-po was born on 1895 in Chiayi, Taiwan. In March 1924, he was admitted into the Art Teacher Training Department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. During the third year of his studies (1926), his oil painting Outside Chiayi Street (1) was selected for the Imperial Fine Arts Academy Exhibition. Chen was the first Taiwanese painter to have obtained such an honor.
In 1927, he continued to pursue his studies at the Teacher Training Department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. Upon his graduation in 1929, Chen Cheng-po went straight to Shanghai to take up a teaching post. Apart from his close association with art circles, he also experimented extensively in his own creative process. This included the integration of Chinese and Western painting skills and the exploration of avant-garde trends.
In 1933, he returned to settle down in Taiwan from Shanghai. In 1934, he founded the Tai Yang Art Exhibition with a group of painting enthusiasts from all over the island. The exhibition was the largest non-official art organization in Taiwan and one that has remained active to this day. During this period, Chen had freed himself from all restraints and expressed his inner passions without reserve in his works, a legacy of painting masterpieces of his homeland.
In 1945, the World War Ⅱ came to an end and Taiwan was returned to the Nationalist Government. He was actively involved in promoting art and planned to establish an art school. Chen Cheng-po was only 53 years old when the 228 Incident in 1947 claimed his life.