The exhibition, “Life, Painting, and Traveling – Commemorative Exhibition of Chen Chyan-Ming,” held at Liang Gallery presents works by Chen Chyan-Ming, the second son of Taiwanese pioneer artist Chen Cheng-po. For many years, he had been engaged in the management of chemical industry and only after he retired, he returned to painting. Over the past 20 years, he had painted a large number of works. Famous sights around the world were the source of his creation. After he started learning to paint and create, he established the Xialin Painting Society and led the members in holding exhibitions in various locations. He also gathered retirees from Nanya to form the Business Inheritance Association, which he chaired. These 20 years could be said to be the most psychologically fulfilling two decades of his life.
Chen’s art was not accidental. His heart was always swaying with oil paint, and the exchanges with Liang Gallery’s director had, even more, inspired his enthusiasm for art. It was not until he touched the canvas that he realized that he had the sensitivity to color, depth of field, and perspective. Maybe it was inherited, or maybe it was a sudden awakening. However, he was always aware of his father’s admiration and breaking the taboos. He had a natural talent and was skillful in his craft.
The subject matter of his oil paintings was primarily the landscapes he traveled to. Most of Chen’s landscape paintings adopt a wide-angle view. Among his paintings, several depict the grandeur of the summit of Jade Mountain, whose ridges and folds are unrestrained. His brush strokes are strong. The change of light and shadow is determined in seconds. The landscape paintings after 2011 contain more and more figures to highlight the scenes. Although the figures in the painting are only used to develop the main theme, the details are sufficient to reflect the essence of contemporary recreational activities. The figures are vivid; almost every individual could be made into a silhouette and transformed into cultural and activity icons. This kind of atypical fun, achievable only by those who are beyond academic influence, is a feature of Chen’s painting.
Chen Chyan-Ming was born in Chiayi, Taiwan, in 1934. He was the youngest child of Taiwanese painter Chen Cheng-po and his wife, Chang Chieh. He was born in the following year after the whole family left Shanghai and returned to Taiwan. Chen’s father who was emotional about his homeland gave him Chyan-Ming’s name, meaning the “adherent of a former dynasty.” He entered Chemical Engineering Division at Chiayi Industrial High School in 1953; after graduation, he started working as an assistant engineer at Taijian Kaohsiung Plant in 1956; he served as a Manager at Nan Ya Coloring Division, Formosa Plastics Group from 1960 to 1974; joined Tah Kong Chemical Industrial Corp. in 1974; officially retired in 1996 and started painting again. Established the Xia Lin Painting Association in 2007; organized ink and oil painting New Year’s exhibition with the Xia Lin Painting Association at Sanxia History Museum in 2009 and upcoming years; exhibited at Sanxia History Museum in 2011; passed away at home at the age of 83 in 2016. He was an avid painter who liked to paint. Works created from 2003 to 2008 reflect Chen’s continuous explorations, experiments, and creative challenges. His paintings are filled with abundant artistic energy gathered from life, brushstrokes vary from cautious and reserved to unrestrained and vivacious, rusty colors gradually turn into bright and beautiful. From 2009, Chen’s paintings progressed regarding completeness and expression. He depicted the objects more clearly, and the used colors were more harmonious and lively. Painter’s rich emotions naturally integrated into artistic expressions and revealed a clear and pure taste of life.