Born in Hongcuo Village in Xiaying, Tainan, Yan Shuei-long was orphaned at an early age, and was raised with the one of his three older sisters by his grandmother. Yan was 12-years-old when his grandmother died, and was left to live on his own at age 14 when his sister married and moved away. In 1916, Yan enrolled in a teachers’ training facility, and began teaching in the Xiaying public school in 1918. In 1922, he was accepted for admission to study Western art at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in Japan, where he was a contemporary of Chang Chiu-hai. Yan’s was assisted in his work by Fujishima Takeji and Okada Saburo, and was especially inspired by Okada’s extensive collection of Arts and Crafts movement paintings. Subsequently, Yan entered the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1927 for graduate studies, specializing in oil painting. Around the same period, his work, Female Nude was selected for an inaugural exhibition in Taiwan. In 1929, Yan left for France to study at the Academie Art Moderne under the direction of Jean Marchend (1882-1941). There, he was influenced by the work Joseph Fernand Léger (1881-1955), and by the bold colors in the work of Kees Van Dongen (1877-1968), whom he met at Cannes. In 1931, his work Montessori Park was selected for the Salon d’Automne exhibition. Upon his return to Taiwan in 1932, Yan actively participated in arts activities, cofounding the Chidao Association and the Taiyang Art Association, as well serving on the jury of the Provincial Exhibition.
Yan Shuei-long is the first Taiwanese artist to systematically research and record the arts and crafts of Taiwan’s indigenous people. He was also the first Taiwanese artist to set foot on Orchid Island (Lanyu). Because of his extensive research of indigenous arts and crafts, Taiwan’s indigenous culture provided limitless subject matter for his oil paintings. In this particular work, solid blocks of color and decorative design elements depict scenes of Orchid Island. The wave patterns of the water are reflected the patterns on the Yami tribal canoes creating a primal mystery and vitality in the calm scene. Yan Shuei-long has always strived to combine pure aesthetics with decorative elements. His work emphasizes the interconnectivity between each of the element within the painting, bringing out the uniqueness of each object with a gentle and persistent strength. This particular work showcases his unique composition, and colors that exude a calm elegance.
Upon his return from France, Yan had specific views about inspiring popular art in Taiwan. He believed that raising the quality of life begins with raising the public’s sense of aesthetics in daily living. He devoted himself to the promotion of the arts and crafts, and made significant contributions to the development of Taiwan’s arts and crafts. Yan established the Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center, and taught at the National School of Fine Arts (now the National Taiwan University of the Arts) as well as at the Arts and Crafts department of the Shih Chien University. He was among the first of Taiwan’s early artists to devote themselves to environmental art, and to promoting lifestyle crafts that beautify living spaces and daily objects in an effort to raise the standards of living in Taiwan by bringing art into daily living. Among the early generation of artists, Yan played an important role in helping to develop Taiwan’s indigenous arts culture.
|English title：||The Landscape of Lanyu|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1903 - 1997|
|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|