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A special exhibition featuring artwork by the late Chen Chin (1907 - 1998, 陳進), the first female Taiwanese painter during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, will be held at the National Museum of History from Aug. 14 through Oct. 4.
Born in Hsiangshan Village of Hsinchu County, Chen began painting at a young age and her talent in the arts was recognized by Gobara Koto (鄉原古統), a Japanese painter who served as a fine arts teacher at the Taipei Provincial Third Girls' High School where Chen studied. With her father's support, Chen attended the Joshibi University of Art and Design at Tokyo to study fine arts in 1925.
At the 1st Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition in 1927, three of Chen's works, namely "Beauty (姿),” "Poppy (罌粟花),” and "Morning (朝),” were selected for display. In the following annual competitions such as the Taiwan Arts Exhibition and Governor-General's Exhibition, Chen's works were also selected every year.
Chen's diligence and achievements made her a representative of the new female image under the Japanese rule. Scholars believe that the gentleness and elegance depicted in Chen's female figure paintings reflect on herself as well as the ideal image of Taiwanese women at her time.
The exhibition will feature 93 works such as her best-known female portraits, scenery drawings, and flower paintings. Roughly 30 pieces of work preserved by her family, including a painting titled "Makeup (化粧)” that was selected by Japan's Spring Imperial Fine Art Exhibition in 1936, will be revealed to the public for the first time.
In addition, an exhibition catalogue will be released in conjunction with the exhibition. The catalogue contains articles co-written by scholars such as Yen Chuan-ying (顏娟英), Shih Shou-chien (石守謙), Lin Po-ting (林柏亭), and Wang Yao-ting (王耀庭) to pay tribute to the renowned painter.