Li Che-fan was born in 1907 and died in 1989 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He was admitted to Taipei Normal College in 1921. In 1926, he began teaching at the Hsinchu First Public School, where he would continue teaching for 20 yeras. In 1946, he was employed by Hsinchu Teacher’s College as an art teacher. There he continued teaching for 19 more years. He also taught at the Continued Education Center of National Taiwan Normal University (teacher), the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University (lecturer), and the National Taiwan Arts School (associate professor). He retired in 1965 but continued teaching part-time until 1976. Li dedicated his entire life to education. He was also a reviewer of “National Art Exhibition of the Republic of China” and “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition.” The artist received the Golden Nobility Award from Republic of China Painting Association in 1974. July 10, 1989, Li Che-fan died of disease in his residence at age 82. August of 1994, Li’s descendants founded Li Che-fan Memorial Art Gallery.
Starting in 1950s, Li Che-fan adopted an impressionist painting style, using various colored dots, lines and masses to create contrasting spaces in substantial and abstract forms. In fact, Li’s works are featured by the presentation of space. He would highlight a corner in the far distance to reflect things in the foreground. The artist was especially good at using various types of blue to paint mountains in varying distances. With force, the contrasting blue masses form a thick, solemn and quiet space. This can be seen as a derivative of the “Sfumato” technique in Italian painting combined with Li’s own washing and overlapping techniques. One can see the blue mountains in the background as the central figures in his paintings. According to the artist, “While my instructor Ishikawa Kinichiro focuses on the mid- and back- grounds, I emphasize the foreground of a picture.” In this painting, the artist presented the small town of Tungpu from a distant view. Surrounded by swirling clouds and high mountains, the place looks almost like an isolated paradise on earth. Inheriting the ethereality of Ishikawa Kinichiro, Li went beyond the boundaries of transparent and opaque painting, obtaining a balance between fineness and volume.
Li enrolled at Taipei Normal School in 1921. He became a pupil of Japanese painter Ishikawa Kinichiro in 1922. The artist graduated in 1926 and was selected by the second “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition” for his watercolor painting Summer Afternoon in 1928. Only one year later in 1929, Li won the grand prize at the third “Taiwan Watercolor Painting Society Exhibition” for Sunset, and was selected by the third “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition” for City God Temple in Early Autumn. For Afternoon, Li was selected by the first “Taiwan Governmental Fine Arts Exhibition” in 1938. Thereafter, he won several prizes in Chinese and western painting at the “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition” and “Tai-yang Art Exhibitions.” Li had a simple painting style and truthfully portrayed Taiwan between the 1930s and 1990s. In his own language, Li reflected upon the culture and humanity of a city by painting its historic sites and street views. He even created the “water-washing” and “color layering” techniques. Li would “clean” his painting with tap water before repaint. His creative principles are as follows: observe the nature, seize one’s inspirations, dare to try new things and express oneself to the full, but do all of such spontaneously.
|Medium / Classification：||Watercolor|
|Life-span：||1907 - 1989|
|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 Ⅱ：Highlights from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Collection|