畫布油彩 Oil on canvas
尺寸不詳 Dimensions unknown
Since Chen Cheng-po met with misfortune and died in the February 28 Incident of 1947, a great number of his works have been preserved well at his home in Chiayi, thanks to his wife, Zhang Jie, who was devoted to taking care of these paintings year after year. Unfortunately, many of his paintings that were lost or disappeared are no longer extant. During the period of White Terror, “Chen Cheng-po” was a taboo name; therefore, none could make a systematic collation or do research in the legacy of his works. In the late twentieth century, when people on this island began to retrieve the history that had been erased from memory, Chen Cheng-po’s glorious achievements in art regained the world’s recognition.
This oil painting, a prize-winner at the Taiwan Art Exhibition in 1936, is among the important paintings that have disappeared so far. Fortunately, as the annual Taiwan Art Exhibition would publish a catalogue for all the selected pieces, we can see the black and white photograph of this painting.
The “winding path” in the picture is the Mackay Street in Tamsui Town; some old photographs share exactly the same view as this picture. Clearly depicted in the picture are a big house with two open windows in the middle and the towering steeple of the Chapel of Presbyterian Church on the left. To the left behind the steeple, the outline of the Red House is faintly discernible. Beside the winding path, a flight of steps leads up to the first residence that Missionary Mackay rented in the small town.
However, the most fascinating landscape of Tamsui is the houses that tier along the hills and river. The small houses pile up one after another to create a deep labyrinth, as if the pictorial winding path would lead you down the slope and into that fantastic, ancient town. Or, later, you would also walk up the Mackay Street to locate the winding path that came within Chen Cheng-po’s eyesight, and find the mysterious entrance to the time tunnel.
This old photograph was shot before 1932. In the picture, there is no asphalt road in the neighborhood, and in the distance, the Chapel of Presbyterian Church is not renovated in the Gothic style.
This photograph was shot in 1941 as a souvenir of the Second Graduation at the Private Tamsui Middle School.