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Ocean as a Bridge: the Art of Wang Yi-yun, Chen Cheng-po and Their Friends

Mon, June 22, 2:00 to 3:55pm, North Building, Floor: 8th Floor, N802


The research on modern Chinese art has been focused on Shanghai and Beijing, leaving the peripheral areas such as Xiamen almost unstudied. While modern Taiwanese art is well-researched, the relationship between Taiwan and China has not been analyzed, although Taiwan had frequent contact with China even under Japanese occupation. Moreover, since the making of modern Asian art was actually a process of transformation through the fusion of native and foreign elements, the areas in close contact with West and Japan need to be examined because they played critical roles as the nurturing ground for new art. The areas include colonial Taiwan (ceded to Japan in 1895) and its gateway to China, Xiamen (one of the five treaty ports opened in 1842), the subjects of this paper.
The presenter’s previous research on three Minnan artists who were active beyond borders—Lim Hak Tai (1893-1963), Wang Yi-yun (1894-1982) and Chen Cheng-po (1895-1947)—delineated how Minnan network was linking the modern art scenes of Taiwan, Xiamen and Southeast Asia. The research also revealed the existence of a shared passion for both modern and traditional that was related to the search for culture identity in this circle of artists, poets and teachers. This paper will further explore the changing roles of Minnan network, probe deeper into the issues of “modernism and tradition” in the art of this group.