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Description/Chen Cheng-po was raised by his grandmother Lin Baozhu because both his parents passed away when he was still young, so he was very close to her. Already 88 when the portrait was done, she is seen in this half figure in a sitting position, wearing a set of traditional Taiwanese jinshan and holding a straw fan. The outfit was commonly worn by women during the Qing dynasty and early Japanese rule. It includes a top and a bottom; the top is classified by the collar design and the location of the buttons. When it became trendy to wear Western garments and kimono during the Japanese colonial period, jinshan came to be referred to as the "Taiwan garment". Here, Chen simplifies the human figure into a half circle, and the curvy profiles of the head, the fan and the chair complete the geometric rhythm. Grandmother with her slim face and dark brown clothing appears spirited and dignified in bright and warm hues against a vermillion background and the yellow fan and chair. In art history, painters have often used portraits to demonstrate their skills or undertake formal experiments. Matisse the Fauvist, Whistler the Impressionist and Picasso the Cubist painted portraits for their mothers, wives or daughters, expressing affection with their original visual lexicons. Despite its simple composition, Chen succeeds in imparting the temperament of his grandmother in this portrait through depiction of her facial expressions and clothing details like her head accessory, earrings and jinshan buttons.
- Chuanying Yen, The Complete Collection of Taiwanese Art 1: Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Artist Publishing, 1992), 232.
- Yuchun Lin, Oil‧Passion‧Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998), 77.
- Suchu Li, Painting "Something"—A Study on the Stylistic Maturation of Chen Cheng-Po (1895~1947) (Chiayi City: Chiayi City Cultural Affairs Bureau, 2005), 11.
- Peiting Chen, “From Taiwan Garment to Western Clothing—The History of Development in Western Clothing for Women in Taiwan (1895~1970)” (Master's thesis, Graduate Institute of History and Historical Relics, Feng Chia University, Taichung City, 2009), 33-38.
- Chihao Wu, "Clothing Culture of Gentry in Early Colonial Taiwan," Taiwan History Research 19:3 (2012.09): 201-236.
Portrait of Grandmother 1930.09
Materials & Techniques：Oil on canvas