Siotuki Touhou was born into a Japan amateur samurai family in 1886. He held two degrees from the Miyazaki Teachers’ School and the Painting Education Department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. Upon graduation, he would teach at various high schools and universities in Japan and Taiwan. While he studied at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, Siotuki was influenced by Kuroda Seiki of the impressionist painting school. During his stay in Shikoku (1915-1921), he was selected for the 10th “Ministry of Education Art Exhibition” in oil painting. As he moved to Matsuyama City, he started to actively create “Nanga” literati painting, such as Hot Spring collected by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. It was during this time that he befriended local literary figures who introduced literary quality to his works. Siotuki came to Taiwan in 1921 and lived on the island for 26 years before being deported back to Japan in 1946. Other than founding the “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition”, he also served as a reviewer of the “Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition” between 1927 and 1936 and the “Taiwan Governmental Fine Arts Exhibition” between 1938 and 1943 in the western painting group. Siotuki established a private painting studio “Kyomachi” and gave lectures at the Kurotsubo Association, contributing immensely to the development of contemporary art in Taiwan. Siotuki’s paintings have bright colors, an imposing aura and sharp brushstrokes typical of fauvist works. With the majority of his paintings portraying the indigenous people of Taiwan, the artist expressed his love and passion for the island. Such is an evident feature of his works.
During his stay in Taiwan, Siotuki painted a lot about the indigenous people and the mountains and oceans of Taiwan. He used the colors in impressionist and fauvist painting, ink and wash in traditional Chinese ink painting, heavy oil paint and thick drawing lines to establish a strong personal language full of local characters. October 1930, the Wushe Incident took place, which resulted in military oppressions from the colonial government to indigenous residents. Siotuki created several paintings on the social event, such as Mother that presents a displaced mother and child. Bright orange color sets the ground for this painting. A large piece of patterned white cloth covers the protagonist’s body. The four white lines indicating banners move from the top to the bottom, manifesting tribal power. The indigenous protagonist seems to protest silently with his fierce looks. Siotuki enhances the symbolic meaning of this painting by transcending realism. For Seediq people, the color of red represents blood and strength. Primary colors like blue, green and yellow are also common in Siotuki’s works to present indigenous or folk themes.
While Siotuki taught art in Taiwan, the Japanese government implemented the assimilation policy on the island. It was also during this time that free expressions in art education were emphasized throughout Japan. Influenced, Siotuki highly valued the freedom to express one’s thoughts and develop one’s painting style. For him, character and creativity must be shown in one’s painting. He would inspire his students more than instruct them if possible. Siotuki’s approach to art education is close to the “free drawing movement” initiated by Yamamoto Kanae in 1919. Such is also a fine example of how liberalism of the Taisho Period influenced art education in Taiwan. For his emphasis on free expressions and personal styles in art, Siotuki as an art teacher and an exhibition reviewer cannot be ignored for his pivotal contribution to the development of contemporary western art in Taiwan.
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1886 - 1954|
|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|