Tainan Art History
Caption: Fang Jau-Ran, Instrument Room, 1940, from the catalogue of the 3rd Futen (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition).
This painting of Fang Jau-Ran (1923-2008) was selected into the 3rd Futen (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition) in 1940. It portrays the instrument room at the end of a straight corridor in Tainan’s Confucius Temple, which has octagonal partitions. Fang depicts the view at eye level and with a linear perspective, guiding the spectator’s sight line to the focal point that is the space in the front. The horizontal inscribed board hanging above reads “Instrument Room.” It is an internal space for storing the music instruments used in rituals and ceremonies. Temple is a recurring theme in Fang’s work. This is because his family served at Tainan’s Confucius Temple for generations, and he himself also served as a guide and master of ceremony. So, he had deep feelings for temples. In the Taiwan Nichi Nichi Shinpo (Taiwan Daily News) of 1938, it is stated that “a first-time selectee in the 1st Taiten after it is re-organized…Fang Jau-Ran…is not yet sixteen years of age…After graduating from the Public School, he worked as a guide at the Confucius Temple.” Based on this information, it is clear that Fang was selected into the 1st Futen for Overlooking the Scenery from Wenchang Pavilion (文昌閣にて眺めた風景) before he turned sixteen. After the war, Fang joined the Tainan City Artists Association (臺南市美術作家聯誼會) and the Southern Fine Arts Association (臺灣南部美術協會), and was a dedicated advocate of art in the southern region. (Peng Wei-Chen)
Lee, Shu-Pei. “A Study of Landscapes of Tainan in the Catalogues of the Taiten and the Futen during the Period of Japanese Rule.” The 2022 NCAF Visual Arts Grant for Study and Research – 2nd Phase, 2023.
Wang, Tzu-Shuo. “From a Master of Ceremony at the Confucius Temple to a Master Painter—Fang Jau-Ran’s Quest of Dream.” Missing Pieces: Taifuten Historical Archives. https://www.gjtaiwan.com/new/?p=66280 (Viewed on 2023.8.24).
Huang, Tung-Fu. “Final Report of the Research on (Taiwanese and Japanese) Tainan-based Artists in Government-sponsored Fine Arts Exhibitions during the Period of Japanese Rule.” Tainan: Tainan Art Museum, 2019.