The Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery (李梅樹紀念館) in Sanxia District, New Taipei City, is presenting the "The Blooming Age: A Tale of Three Countries (繁花盛開 美術史裡的"三國演繹")" exhibition, featuring paintings by late Japanese painter Kinichiro Ishikawa (石川欽一郎), who introduced watercolor painting to Taiwan, and works by his mentor British artist Alfred East and Ishikawa's Taiwanese students, including Li Mei-shu (李梅樹).
The exhibition, which opened on Sept. 26 and will last until Nov. 8, is one of the highlights of the annual art celebration "Mei-shu Month (梅樹月)" in Sanxia. The annual art event was first initiated in 2012 by the Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery and co-sponsored by local art organizations and artists.
The exhibition is divided into two main sections, "Spring Overture – Prelude (春萌序曲－師生頌前奏)" at the Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery and "Landscape of Light and Wind (光風薈萃－風景繪譜曲)" at the outdoor art gallery of National Taipei University .
"Spring Overture" presents over 50 pieces of drawings, prints, watercolors, and oil paintings from late 1800s till mid-1900. "Landscape" section will be displaying more than 50 large-scale pieces of the landscapes of Taiwan, Japan, and Europe.
Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te, along with Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery director Li Jing-guang (李景光), Li Mei-Shu Cultural and Educational Foundation director Li Jing-wen (李景文), and family members of late painters Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波), Ran In-ting (藍蔭鼎) and Chen Chih-chi (陳植棋) attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition on Sept. 26.
Minister Lee remarked that the exhibition, which shows the inheritance and development of fine arts in Taiwan, is a grand event of the Taiwanese art community and an important page in Taiwan's fine arts history.
Curator Li Jing-wen said that the exhibition, revolving around Ishikawa and introducing his mentor British artist Alfred East as well as his students, including well-known Taiwanese painters Li Mei-shu (李梅樹), Chen Chih-chi (陳植棋), Ni Chiang-huai (倪蔣懷), Hung Rui-lin (洪瑞麟), and Ran In-ting (藍蔭鼎), signifies the unique connection between teachers and students. It is especially meaningful that the exhibition was launched on the eve of Teacher’s Day, he added.
Minister Lee stated that Li Mei-shu, who was born and raised in Sanxia, was an important antecessor of fine arts of Taiwan. He is also remembered for leading the reconstruction of Changfuyen Qingshui Zushi Temple (長福巖清水祖師廟) in Sanxia. Li brought in many highly-acclaimed artists to participate in the reconstruction project. After the reconstruction, the temple in Sanxia has become a "folk art palace" and a domestic aesthetics signature.
Minister Lee also emphasized that Li's conviction of preserving and growing Taiwanese art and culture is in alignment with the intention of the Ministry to establish a comprehensive record of Taiwan’s art history.