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Description/Chen Cheng-po gained access to many historical Chinese paintings while teaching in Shanghai and constantly pondered how to apply elements in Chinese painting to oil painting. He utilized many expressive techniques in classical Chinese painting. In terms of brushstroke, he added the cun technique to his repertoire (the cun technique uses a partially dry brush to emulate the texture of rocks). In terms of the handing of space, he leveraged the zigzagging lines of mountains or rivers in traditional Chinese landscape paintings to bring field of depth and subtlety to the resulting image. Taihu Lake Villa and Wuli Lake are two works that exemplify this development. Wuli Lake is located in today's Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Engulfed by mountains, its water is linked with Taihu Lake but is more narrow and smaller in area. It is also known as "Lihu Lake" because legend has it that Fan Li and Xishi, a revered couple in Chinese history, enjoyed boating here. The artist takes a high vantage point toward Wuli Lake, the theme of the painting. The viewer's eyes are focused on the center of the picture, where the lake in the middle ground is enclosed by an inverted triangle formed by the distant undulating hills and the nearby trees. Sails adorning the lake and buildings studding the hills breathe life into this enclosed space and complete a tranquil water-town scenery.
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- Yuchun Lin, Oil‧Passion‧Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998), 63-65.
- Tungfu Huang, "Chinese Aesthetics Consciousness in Chen Cheng-Po's Paintings—A Turning Point while Lecturing Shanghai," Journal of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts 87 (2012): 4-31.