The painter takes a high vantage point to capture this panorama view of the modernized city of Chiayi. The coiling and hefty broad-leaf trees frame the painting on both sides, their thick foliage bursting outward with the vibrancy of Taiwan's southern countries. Farmers toiled away in the field. An array of new and old buildings is scattered throughout the city amongst lush vegetation. Pluming chimneys and a neat row of electric poles serve as icons of modernization in Chiayi. The rural and urban faces of Chiayi, the traditional and modern, the natural and industrial are all interwoven here into a coherent and refreshing picture. The stylistic personality of Chen Cheng-po is distinct in this painting. He creates a rich texture with his brushwork and bury the profiles under decisive and bulky passages, using brush movement and masterly color coordination to effect visual drama. In autumn of 1934, he stated in an interview that his recent creative philosophy was to coalesce Renoir's fluid lines and Van Gogh's brushwork from the West with a more intense palette from the East. This painting exemplifies his tenet of fusing Eastern and Western brushwork and using Western oil paint to create an Eastern mood.
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Chongray Hsiao, "Ilha Formosa! The Lush Forests and Trees of Taiwan as Portrayed by Chen Cheng-Po," in Nostalgia in the Vast Universe: Commemorative Exhibition of Chen Cheng Po, ed. Huifang Wu and Meichen Tseng (Kaohsiung City: Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, 2011), 18-24.