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Painter | Chen Yin-hui

  • Date:2024-04-18
Chen Yin-hui

Chinese Name: 陳銀輝

Born: Aug. 5, 1931

Died: Jan. 8, 2024

Birthplace: Chiayi County (Southern Taiwan)


Did You Know That…?

Striving for the essence of painting, Chen Yin-hui expressed himself in his creations through natural forms and colors, offering his viewers calm and classical tones. He absorbed the modeling theory and rules of Cubism and integrated the color tension of Fauvism, thereby creating his unique semi-abstract style in oil paintings. Chen was the recipient of prestigious art awards, including the Tai-Yang Art Exhibition Yang San-Lang Award (臺陽美展楊三郎獎), the Wu San-lien Awards (吳三連獎), and the Arts and Business Awards (文馨獎).



Born in 1931 in Lucao Township (鹿草鄉), Chiayi County, Chen Yin-hui showed his talent and interest in drawing and painting from a very young age. In his student days, Chen was a frequent winner of art competitions. In 1954, Chen graduated from the Arts Department of the Provincial Taiwan Teachers’ College (now the Department of Fine Arts of National Taiwan Normal University, NTNU), where he was mentored by masters Liao Chi-chun (廖繼春) and Yang San-lang (楊三郎). 


After graduating from college, Chen Yin-hui actively participated in important domestic art exhibitions, such as the Provincial Exhibition, the National Fine Arts Exhibition, and the Tai-Yang Art Exhibition. He was later recommended to become a member of the Tai-Yang Art Association (臺陽美術協會) and was selected as a member of the Taiwan Academy of Fine Arts (台灣美術院). Since 1957, Chen had taught at his alma mater NTNU until his retirement in 1995. During his tenure as a professor, Chen tirelessly buried himself in his artistic works, and, at the same time, he established a scholarship in his own name to encourage his students to get into the creative process, cultivating numerous talented artists for Taiwan’s art community. In 2008, Chen Yin-hui was awarded an honorary professorship from the Department of Fine Arts of National Taiwan Normal University.


From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, Taiwan’s modern art movement reached its peak. At that time, young painters organized art sessions and held exhibitions, eager to present their ideas about “modernity” through their works. Following this artistic trend, Chen and his friends founded Mind Image Art Group (心象畫會), highlighting the deconstruction of visual experiences and transformation of object forms. Since then, Chen’s artistic style has gradually evolved into abstract art.


Chen once said that his art was soundless music, adding that viewers could feel its musicality, an art that is formless and flowing. The musicality in his works, as Chen mentioned, did not refer to the flowing of pigments or the sliding of brushes employed by Jackson Pollock, an American abstract artist whose paintings are replete with spontaneous sliding and flowing like free Jazz. By contrast, Chen’s creations, which were associated with classical music, displayed calmness with a basic tone. The artist used bright lines to enrich the dark background and black lines to accentuate the intensity of the bright color blocks.


In the course of Chen’s artistic life, he not only accurately grasped equilibrium and harmony in his creations but also fully exhibited modernity and contemporaneity. Under the impact of various new artistic concepts and ideas, he still took an uncompromising attitude towards arts and steadily created his unique style. Chen Yin-hui’s creative philosophy embraced the world that is full of interaction and communication between life and objects in arts as well as the expression of emotion, spirit, and vitality.


Those significant black lines in Chen’s paintings were perfectly proportioned. Based on his mastery of composition and sensitivity to colors, the artist gave vigor to the bright colors in his images through black, the color of coolness, calmness, and neutralness. 


Chen Yin-hui drew inspiration from Taiwanese culture and art, and he expanded his artistic experiences through travel. Between tradition and modernity, the painter absorbed Cubism theories, integrated bold Fauvist colors, and developed poetic lines of abstract art.