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Description/The expanse of calm and emerald water where Xindian River enters the city from the mountains, known as Bitan, has long enjoyed fame for its charming scenery. In June and July 1927, Taiwan Nichinichi Shimpo, the widest circulating newspaper during the Japanese colonial period, launched a vote for the "New Eight Sceneries of Taiwan". After a month-long campaign, Eight Sceneries and Twelve Attractions were selected based on their recreational value and local identity. Bitan, Xindian was selected as one of the Twelve Attractions. A suspension bridge was completed in 1937 to link the river's two shores; it facilitated traffic across the river and became a landmark of Bitan Pond. In this painting, Chen Cheng-po makes Bitan look like a closed water body even though it is not really a lake. The parallel rocky riverbanks are distorted and, together with the straddling suspension bridge, embrace the water to conjure the image of a hidden gem depicted in a vivid and lively palette. The recreational popularity of Bitan is evident in the painting because every spacing between the bridge cables is dotted with a small human figure and many others can be seen fishing, boating or just enjoying the water.
- Nanxuan Song, “Changes in 'Taiwan's Eight Sceneries' from the Qing Dynasty to the Japanese Colonial Period” (Master's thesis, Graduate Institute of Art Studies, National Central University, Zhongli City, 2000), 43-49.
- Shaoli Lu, "Tourism Activities in Taiwan and the Construction of Geographical Imagery during the Japanese Colonial Period," in When images speak : visual representation and cultural mapping in modern China, ed. Kowu Huang (Taipei City: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, 2003), 309-316.
- Xindian District Office. “History of Bitan Pond.