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Description/After Chen Cheng-po graduated from the National Language School in Taipei in 1917, he went to teach at the Chiayi Public School and then transferred to the Shuikutou Public School in 1920. This plein-air work was made while he was teaching at the latter. Shuikutou, the former name for Shuishang Township, Chiayi County, is traversed by the Tropic of Cancer. During Japanese rule, the Taiwan Governor-General's Office decided to erect a landmark for the Tropic of Cancer here. Chiayi's first such landmark was built in 1908 and, after extensive damage from natural disasters, was reconstructed in the same spot in 1921. The second-generation landmark, the temporary structure depicted in this painting, was a bamboo spire that tapered upward to receive a long needle at the crown. Chen chose a three-quarter lateral angle at eye level and delineated the texture of the landmark in a faithful way. The structure stretched from the middle of the picture to the top edge. The farmland and distant mountains were given an ambiguous treatment and, together with the large area of blue-purple in the sky, set off the sight of a landmark protruding amidst a sprawling plain.
Related Collections/No related collections.
- Yuchun Lin, Oil‧Passion‧Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998), 23.
- Shihming Pai, "'Sketching from Life’ and the Formation of the Modern Landscape: An Analysis of Chen Cheng-Po's Early Watercolors (1913-1924) and Their Significance in Modern Paintings," in The Spring of Alishan—New Perceptions on Chen Cheng-Po and Taiwanese Art History, ed. Soka Arts and Cultural Center Committee (Taipei City: Chin-Shuan Cultural & Educational Foundation, 2013), 129-131.