Tainan Art History
Caption: Wong Kun-De, Platform, 1938, from the catalogue of the 1st Taiten (Taiwan Art Exhibition).
This painting by Wong Kun-De (1915-1995) was selected into the Yoga (Western-style painting) Division of 1st Futen (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition) in 1938. Although the exhibition was already reformed and renamed “Futen,” most people were still used to call it “Taiten” (Taiwan Art Exhibition). The painting depicts a farewell scene of drafted soldiers being sent away on the platform of Chiayi Station, which brings to mind the 19th-century “flâneur” portrayed by modern painters in life, who depicted the development of cities, along with the people, events, and things, recording the affairs of the time. The image is delineated in a semi-realist style, and aims to deliver the remarkable sight of numerous families seeing soldiers off. The flapping Japanese national flags add a sense of movement into the painting, expressing the nationalist passion. The train and the electric lights indicate the progress of city construction in Taiwan at that time. After studying painting in Japan and returning to Taiwan, Wong founded Qingchen Fine Arts Association (青辰美術協會). With members of the association, they painted together and organized exhibitions. After the war, he continued participating in the Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition (臺灣全省美術展覽會), founded the Chiayi City Fine Arts Association (嘉義美術協會), and joined the Tainan Fine Arts Association (臺南美術研究會). Devoting his time to the study of art and the creative spirit, Wong created a valuable legacy of paintings featuring the streetscape and architecture of the Tainan Prefecture. (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.
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.
Lin, Jung-Yeh. “Wong Kun-De, a Western-style Painter Who Prefers Solitude.” Missing Pieces: Taifuten Historical Archives. https://www.gjtaiwan.com/new/?p=97982 (View on 2023.8.24).