Shiy De-jinn (1923-1981) was born in Sichuan Province in China. Upon graduation from secondary school, he entered the Chengdu Polytechnic College where he was influenced by fellow artist Pang Xunqin, and was exposed to the works of Matisse and Picasso. He then transferred to the Shaping Dam National Art Academy in Chungqing, where he was taught by Lin Fengmian, and moved in the same circles as Zao Wou-ki, Ju De-chiun, and Lee Chun-shan. After World War II, the National Art Academy was reestablished in the Xihu area of Hangzhou, and Shiy relocated there. He graduated from the academy in 1948, and came to Taiwan. Shiy taught at the Provincial Jiayi Middle School for four years before he resigned to move to Taipei where he could devote himself to his artistic vision. Though he was not able to realize his artistic ideals in his short life of 59 years, his accomplishments in his paintings and his research of Taiwan’s architecture and artifacts are truly worthy of admiration.
The subject in the 1962 painting Boy in Red is a lanky figure with large eyes, with a silhouette outlined with vivid black lines, on an abstract background. The painting portrays an uncomplicated character, shy but mischievous. The work is the most acclaimed among Shiy's portraits. The young man depicted in the painting was fellow artist Chuang Chia-tsun, for whom Shiy had romantic feelings. Chuang was 19 years Shiy’s junior, and as he was heterosexual he did not return Shiy’s affections. However, Chuang wrote in his essay "Shiy Der-jinn and I": "Shiy's brush seemed to be in continuous motion while passionate sounding South American music played in the background. Spirited bright colors filled the canvas. Youthful, vital and wild: the person in the painting didn't seem like me at all. He was an incarnation of the artist himself. No wonder Shiy would say later that this painting was among his most satisfactory during that period."
Toward the end of 1950s, Western styles gradually became part of the artistic vernacular in the East. Shiy De-jinn played a substantive role in the art of that era. In 1963, he was invited by the U.S. State Department to visit the epicenter of the modern art movement, and from there, he went on to tour Europe. The trip gave him new insights into modern art. Among Shiy’s catalog of works, his portraits are especially prized. His early work from 1948 to 1950 contained classical European stylistic elements and a flat, rustic palette. The period from 1950 to 1956 saw a daring use of color, and between 1960 and 1965, Shiy’s portraits were characterized by a background of vivid colors emphasizing by contrast the solid colors of the human subject. The 1962 work Boy in Red is exemplary of his work during this period. The dazzling hues in the background and the rich solid tones in the subject’s clothing imbue a vitality and high-flying youthful spirit to the work. Shiy’s stylistic shift in his art reflects societal changes at the time.
|English title：||Boy in Red|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1923 - 1981|
|Collection Unit：||National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||Unique Vision：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|