Description/After the great Meishan Earthquake rocked Chiayi in 1906, the Governor-General's Office re-planned the city's streets and placed special emphasis on urban parks, which serve the multiple functions of fire prevention, evacuation, recreation and assembly. Thus, Chiayi Park was constructed in 1910. Chen Cheng-po made several paintings of the park and its facilities, including the tropical vegetation, lotus pond and zoo. The subject of this painting is the park's Biantian Pond. Flame trees, a symbol of the southern countries, grow wildly by the pond, the swirl of their branches recalling calligraphic strokes. The brushwork depicting the leisurely Red-crowned Cranes and white geese in the pond is equally free-spirited and lyrical, and a carefree and peaceful air permeates the painting. The two Red-crowned Cranes in the foreground have similar postures as that of another work under the same title, which is in the collection of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Chen's inclusion of egrets, aquatic birds and old trees extends beyond mere placement of interesting staffage. He was making a reference to the flower-and-bird genre in traditional Eastern painting. Using brushwork recalling traditional ink wash paintings, he blends Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese elements to express his ideal for toyoga (or "Oriental" painting.)
- Chuanying Yen, The Complete Collection of Taiwanese Art 1: Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Artist Publishing, 1992), 239.
- Hanni Chiu, "Homeland Consciousness and Identity Politics in Chen Cheng-Po’s Paintings: A Study of his Three works, Outside of a Chiayi Street (1926), Street Scene on a Summer Day (1927), Chiayi Park (1937)," Taida Journal of Art History 33 (2012.09): 271-342.