Surging Waves – Chen Cheng-po's 120th Birthday Anniversary Touring Exhibition, Tainan
地 點：新營文化中心 Xinying Cultural Center、臺南文化中心 Tainan Cultural Center、鄭成功文物館 Koxinga Museum、國立臺灣文學館 National Museum of Taiwan Literature
策 展 人：蕭瓊瑞 Hsiao Chong-ray、白適銘 Pai Shih-ming
Chen Cheng-po's life began during Taiwan's period as an immigrant society, and extended into its era of modernization under Japanese rule. In this sense, his rich life experience and creative ventures make his life a microcosm of Taiwan's art history in the modern era. In particular, the painting from life that he did and the records he kept during his travels through Taiwan, Japan, and China, as one stage in achieving his artistic ideals, are a unique testament to the changing, developing East Asian societies of the 20th century and the artistic environments he encountered.
This exhibition is the largest assemblage ever of Chen Cheng-po's works, whether during his own life or after his death in 1947. It is also the most comprehensive in terms of the various categories of works on display. To ensure the most effective exhibition of this vast collection of his works, writings, and historical materials, and to display to the full the value of these documents of the artist's historical era, six thematic exhibitions have been planned. Each in turn will reveal his works, writings, and related documentation, and together, will aid viewers in grasping the areas explored by each theme. We hope this will provide the best possible overall overview of his life and work.
展場 Exhibition Ground
新營文化中心 Xinying Cultural Center
‧現代之眼 Modern Eyes
As early as 1913, when Chen Cheng-po began the academic and crafts courses at the Governor-General's National Language School, he was already pursuing the question of "what is modern art?" During his ﬁve years at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts , its standard training courses gave him a more fundamental acquaintance with modern art. Beyond that, he also found a more personal awareness of its spirit and creative elements through numerous exhibitions and publications.
After 1929 came the ﬁve-year period of teaching in Shanghai and Chen's contact with "New School" painters such as Pan Yu-liang, Chang Yu, and fellow members of the Dike-breaking Club (Juelan She, 決瀾社). Those inﬂuences on Chen's artistic outlook placed him among the avant-garde of artists of the time. Understanding this about Chen Cheng-po is crucial to arriving at a complete and accurate understanding of his work.
‧美育前線 Art Education
With the exception of his childhood years, Chen Cheng-po was constantly active in social education during the more than ﬁve-decade span of his life. He entered the Taiwan Governor-General's National Language School, then returned to teach in his hometown; he was involved with teaching during his years in Japan, then moved to Shanghai to teach, after which he formed the Taiyang Art Society on his return to Taiwan. Always Chen was on the front lines of education, gaining new knowledge as a student and passing it on to future generations as a teacher.
臺南文化中心 Tainan Cultural Center
‧世界座標 World Coordinates
The "World Coordinates" theme shows how this gifted artist expanded his horizons, through study at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and through absorbing broadcasts and other information, making his individual creativity a part of the "global" artistic coordinates of the time. Chen Cheng-po's art had a new look, one that departed from the styles of the previous generation and even his own contemporaries and added distinctiveness to his still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. His art thus surpassed the boundaries and expressions of any one region, making him a great artist whose work had meaning as one of art's "world coordinates."
‧巴黎想像 Parisian Imagination
As a member of the first generation of Western style painters in Taiwan, Chen Cheng-po was eager, once he had finished his studies in Tokyo, to travel for further studies in Paris, the heart of the art world of that era. Intense study of French was part of his plan, but his family was not well-off, and at the urging of his teacher Kinichiro Ishikawa, Chen was convinced to lay aside his planned trip to Paris. Nevertheless, Chen Cheng-po's work always displays a certain sense of imagination and longing linking it with Paris, the "capital of contemporary art." The Xinhua Art School where he taught in Shanghai was located in the French concession, a fact that exerted an undeniable inﬂuence on his work. Upon his return to Taiwan, Chen put his energies to work in its local art movements and organizing the Taiyang Art Society, which was patterned after and helped embody the Parisian culture of his imagination.
鄭成功文物館 Koxinga Museum
‧東方情緒 Oriental Mood
Chen Cheng-po arrived in Japan in 1924, during its Taisho period, a time when democratic thinking was taking root along with an anti-Western mood, a push for national self-determination, and a return to native cultural roots. The influence of these trends on Chen, as on many Japanese, was a new self-awareness and the desire to rediscover "Eastern" cultural values. These prevailing trends in thought, along with Chen's move to take up a teaching post in Shanghai, help produce a deep "Oriental mood" that can be sensed in much of his creative work.
國立臺灣文學館 National Museum of Taiwan Literature
‧波光瀲灩 Glittering Waves
The National Museum of Taiwan Literature has invited Taiwan's best-known poets to take part in this great event by writing poems for Chen's works, based on the feelings for their native land they share with the artist. Their acute perception and poetic feelings will undoubtedly enhance viewers' appreciation for the scintillating appeal of Chen's masterful output and his spirit as a painter. This feast of poetry and paintings in dialogue with each other is part of this exhibition's gift of to the painter on the 120th anniversary of his birth.