Traditional paintings in Taiwan were affected by Chinese cultures hundred years ago, during Japanese colonization with its culture and Western styles introduced here, bringing a new element to our painting world and changing the history. After KMT Chinese army retreated to Taiwan, replacing the previous styles including Japanese and setting the new standard for the painting industry. For a long period of time, the national paintings have been disputed due to different customs and cultures.
One of the prestigious painters is Tân Tîng-Pho who was born in Japanese era and joined official exhibitions, which was rare due to his identity and dedication to the paintings. He met a Chinese student in Tokyo and worked in China after that. After few years in China, the Chinese started to rebel against Japanese because of war. Japanese left China, and Taiwanese were considered as Japan nationals, so he and his family went back to Taiwan. Tân Tîng-Pho was friendly to Chinese, and was hoping that they could treat Taiwanese like family. But after KMT Chinese landed our island and slaughtered many people, he was one of the representatives to talk with army and ended up dying in front of Chiayi station. His wife stored his paintings at the depository, fearing one day that Chinese army would break in and take away. Because of his brave wife, now we can finally appreciate his paintings at the museum.
Another painter I want to introduce is Chen Chin, who was the first female painter in our history. She was born in Hsinchu and educated in Tokyo after high school, as a female and Taiwanese, she had hard time without a doubt but she insisted her identity and created many paintings until she died. Even Japanese praised her ability and persistence. She worked so hard and made her mind that one day she will be more successful than Japanese, with her unique Taiwan style in the same time. Though her paintings were criticized by Chinese due to different painting techniques, she did not give up. She died at the age of 91, and her son who was a doctor in the States came back here to take care of her while she was sick.
The modern paintings were also popular and vivid, these creations even won a prize in Tokyo with the topic of office lady.
Nowadays, many painters contribute their work and hold exhibitions in the art museum for us to see. These artists make our painting cultures more colorful with their love to the art. Their hard work should be seen.