Tamsui Riverside


畫布油彩 Oil on canvas


私人收藏 Private collection


英文版  譯者:杜德倫、許邏灣
西文版  譯者:孔方明
法文版  譯者:徐鵬飛 
德文版  譯者:孫敏學
日文版  譯者:富田哲
俄文版  譯者:律可娃柳博芙、劉皇杏

The yellowing oil paint is the color of the old days, and the heavy story seems to be caught up in a maze of old streets and houses. Any historical person who has fallen into this maze is bound to be delayed quite a time before finding the road back to home. Looking from afar both time and memory are stacked into the sea which lies in the abnormal space at the base of the hill, the still sluggish sea; there are only seagulls overlooking the never ceasing river and unhurriedly soaring.


In the series of oil paintings in which Chen Cheng-po takes Tamsui as the subject matter, the story atmosphere expressed in this painting is widely different from his other works. The light in the scene is pale yellow and bleak, the community of buildings is uninhabited, the river is endlessly vast, a leafless withered tree is on the hillside. All the details in the painting everywhere are brewing a powerful sense of desolation.


In the far distant line of sight, the red bricks of Red House as before are an impressive brick red. Nevertheless, the small town at the foot of the hill which has lost its color seems to be forever stuck in the old times. One old house after another without any order is variously scattered about. It leaves one with the illusion of having disappointedly gone astray.


The line of perspective displays something genuinely interesting. Looking from the direction facing the small town, the line of sight from close to far has depth. The line of perspective proportions with the other scenery in the picture seems by no means to be balanced. The line of sight shifts between high and low. It indistinctly has some odd sense of disharmony.


As for the space arrangement of landscape paintings, Chen Cheng-po really has his own special thinking. In his works, we often are able to see fanciful visual effects which multi-point perspective induce. Considering the painstaking effort to make the lonely atmosphere of this painting, all the vagueness and misalignment in the general appearance perhaps is the arrangement of the painter adopting an original approach. Putting yourself in the town of Tamsui, have you or have you not encountered before the antiquated image inside this picture?

淡水禮拜堂屋脊上的小型尖塔(pinnacle),也出現在這幅畫當中。Photo Credit:日本旅行協會臺灣支部編,《臺灣鐵道旅行案內》(臺北:日本旅行協會臺灣支部,1940),頁164,〈詩と繪の淡水〉,中研院臺史所臺灣古籍研究資料庫。

日本畫家片瀨宏在1929年第三回臺展當中的入選作品《淡水風景》,視角與陳澄波的畫作相若,同樣表現了淡水下街擁擠的建築群落。除了淡水河上的帆影以外,他也描繪了遠處的白樓、木下靜涯故居以及紅樓等淡水的特色建築。Photo Credit:臺灣創價學會