When it comes to modern art's development in Taiwan, Chiayi born artist Chen Cheng-po (1895-1947) cannot simply be overlooked. Chen’s Outside Chiayi Street was selected for the Imperial Art Exhibition (Teiten) when he was still an art student in Japan, making him the first Taiwanese to earn the honor with an oil painting. Over the course of his life, Chen produced many artworks representing scenes of life and landscape in Taiwan infused with his personal vision, and conveyed them to the world. He was also an organizer and active participant in many significant Taiwanese artistic societies and exhibitions during the Japanese ruling period and early postwar years. In addition, during his stay in Shanghai, Chen experimented in integrating western painting techniques with Chinese painting skills while interacting local Chinese artists, which was an unusual experience among his peers.

Chen’s life of artistic experience and accomplishment manifested his passion for artistic creation and served as a window through which later generations could view the development of Western art in Taiwan. Chiayi, located on the Tropic of Cancer, was Chen’s hometown and a repeated theme in his paintings. This website is therefore named Starting Out from 23.5°N: Chen Cheng-po, and the artist's hometown provides the starting point for a deeper exploration of a Taiwanese art movement's initial stages.

This website is planned and created by the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC). Its main materials come from the digital archives of Chen Cheng-po’s Paintings and Documents, the result of cooperative efforts from the Institute of Taiwan History at the Academia Sinica, Cultural Affairs Bureau of Chiayi City, and Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation. Applying related research achievements and information technology, we are able to visualize Chen’s works, correspondences, photos, news clips, and personal collections through 10 different themes, creating a three-dimensional context in time and space through which the audience can discover Chen Cheng-po’s life and times.

We sincerely invite you to begin this journey with us.

The Production Team
Content planning & Back-end technologies by /
Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC)

Art design & Front-end technologies by /
Bright Ideas Design

Photos provided by /
The Archives of Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica
Center for GIS, RCHSS, Academia Sinica

Technical cooperation by /
Center for GIS, RCHSS, Academia Sinica

Special thanks to /
Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation
Li Suchu (Associate Professor)
Lin Xinyi (Assistant Professor)
Lin Yu-chun (Associate Research Fellow)
Pai Shihming (Associate Professor)
Yen Chuan-ying (Research Fellow)
(In alphabetical order)

  • *The Romanization of place and person names are translated in the form of pinyin, otherwise based on contemporary usages in other forms such as Wade-Giles.
  • Controlled Vocabulary Data
  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus Taiwan / A cooperation project between Academia Sinica and Getty Research Institute
  • Historical Timeline Reference
  • Chen Cheng-po’s Life /
  • Suchu Li, “A New Timeline of Chen Cheng-po’s Life,” Something that Reflects the Era — A Study of Paintings by Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Art & Collection Group Publishing, 2012), 209-214.
  • Chuanying Yen, “A Timeline of Chen Cheng-po’s Life,”The Complete Collection of Taiwanese Art 1: Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Artist Publishing, 1992), 236.
  • The Website of Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation, “Timeline”
  • Art History of Modern Taiwan /
  • Chuanying Yen, “Chronological Table of Major Events in Modern Taiwanese art” (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998).
  • History of Modern Taiwanese Art /
  • Bichuan Yang, “Timeline of Taiwanese history,” 1st ed. (Taipei City: Independent Evening News, 1988).
  • Hsueh-chi Hsu, ed., “Dictionary of Taiwan History,” (Taipei City: The Council for Cultural Affairs , 2004).
  • Yuan-Liou Taiwan Pavilion, Micha Wu, “Events of Taiwan History”(Taipei City: Yuan-Liou, 2000).
  • Photo Usage
  • Chen Cheng-po’s Paintings and Documents / Cooperative Digital Archive of Institute of Taiwan History at the Academia Sinica, Cultural Affairs Bureau of Chiayi City and Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation
  • Taiwan Digital Archives — Union Catalog (http://catalog.digitalarchives.tw/)
  • Measured Drawing of Chiayi City Streets (1931) archived by Taiwan Historica
  • Measured Drawing of Chiayi City Streets (1931) archived by Taiwan Historica
  • Great Japanese Empire’s Commercial Map for — Chiayi City / Douliu Street / Huwei Street / Puzi Stree archived by SMC Publishing Inc.
  • Formosa (Taiwan) City Plans, U.S. Army Map Service (1945) archived by The University of Texas Libraries
  • Chiayi City Map (1:25000 scale) (official version III) archived by the Ministry of the Interior, Republic of China (Taiwan)