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Description/This painting is the only extant family portrait by Chen Cheng-po. "I recently completed a size 50 portrait," he wrote in a letter dated Feb. 3, 1931 to the monthly alumni newsletter at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, "and it is a very somber painting unlike the beautiful paintings of the past." He was most likely referring to My Family. Everyone in the painting was wearing a weighty winter coat and arranged in the following order: Chen Cheng-po, second daughter Chen Bi-nu, wife Zhang Jie, eldest son Chen Tsung-kuang and oldest daughter Chen Zi-wei. Everyone is holding a "prop" that represents his or her personality and identity. Chen is holding oil painting utensils, and a volume of Proletariat Art Theory rests on the desk. His wife is mending clothes with a needle and thread; the two daughters have pictures and books by their hands; the young son is holding a toy. At the center of the desk are a Chinese calligraphy set and a Chinese-style envelope addressed to Chen Cheng-po. The multiple-angle and non-perspective layout of the picture allows the viewer to clearly see every character and object. A meticulously depiction of outfits and the interior confer the painting with exquisite and decorative aesthetics. The facial expressions are portrayed using the impasto technique. A solemn penumbra pervades the painting, and the artist's convictions seem to be concealed in the symbolic meanings behind the objects.
- Chuanying Yen, The Complete Collection of Taiwanese Art 1: Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Artist Publishing, 1992), 233.
- Qianfang Huang, "The Last Paradise in the Hearts of the Children—A Discussion of My Family, a 1930 Work by Chen Cheng-Po," Art of Collection 55 (1997.04): 221-223.
- Yuchun Lin, Oil‧Passion‧Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998), 80-81.
- Suchu Li, Painting "Something"—A Study on the Stylistic Maturation of Chen Cheng-Po (1895~1947) (Chiayi City: Chiayi City Cultural Affairs Bureau, 2005), 15-16.
- Suchu Li, Something that Reflects the Era—A Study of Paintings by Chen Cheng-Po ( Taipei City: Art & Collection Group Publishing, 2012), 54-59.
- Hanni Chiu, "Reappraising Chen Cheng-Po’s ‘Shanghai Period,’” in Journey through Jiangnan: A Pivotal Moment in Chen Cheng-Po's Artistic Quest ed. Yuchun Lin et al. ( Taipei City: Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2012), 32-49.
My Family Date Unknown
Materials & Techniques：Oil on canvas