Tainan Art History
Caption: Hsieh Kuo-Yung, Movie Theater during the War, from the catalogue of the 1st Futen (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition).
This work by Hsieh Kuo-Yung (1914-1975) was selected into the Yoga (Western-style painting) Division of the 1st Futen (Taiwan Viceroy Art Exhibition) in 1938. Depicting a movie theater in Tainan (now the shopping street on Zhongzhen Road) during the First Sino-Japanese War, the image comprises simple geometric shapes with uncomplicated lines, showing the artist’s observation of Tainan’s changes during the war and displaying the quality of modern painting. Inaugurated in 1930, the movie theater Seikaikan (世界館; literally, the World Pavilion) was the first one to install air-conditioning in Tainan, as well as the very first theater in Taiwan that was installed with chairs. In the image, a signboard at the center states: “Urgent news. Temporarily screening a news documentary from Japan. The Imperial Army No. OO has launched a major attack (free admission for soldiers in service). Ticket price is 10 dollars.” After the war broke out at that time, movie theaters often screened war documentaries to encourage Japanese people in Taiwan to be more involved in the national affairs and showing their nationalistic fervor. Hsieh traveled to Tokyo in 1936, and studied human body drawing and painting at Kawabata Painting School (川端畫學校). After he returned to Taiwan, he co-founded the MOUVE Artist Society (Mouve美術協會) with Chen Te-Wang (陳德旺) and Chang Wan-Chuan (張萬傳). Hsieh also joined the Tainan Fine Arts Association (臺南美術研究會) to continue nurturing later generations and organizing arts and cultural activities. (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.
Hsiao, Yi-Shan. “The Daily Life in Taiwan Art Exhibition and Chosun Art Exhibition.” Journal of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, no. 114, pp. 31-52.