Liou Jin-tang was born in Din-chiao-tze-tou, Taichung in 1894. After he graduated from the Department of Education, Taipei Guóyǔ School, Liou went to Japan to study painting. Liou first studied at Kawabata Art School, and in 1916 he was accepted by the Department of Western Painting, Tokyo School of Fine Arts and became the first Taiwanese student on campus.In 1920 Liou went to Shanghai to participated in political affairs and he was adopted by Wang Fa-ching, who is the founding member of KMT—as his foster son. Liou changed his name to Wang Yue-zhi afterwards. After he graduated from Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1921, Liou went to the College of Liberal Arts of Beijing University to study. While attending, Liou (Wang) also worked as a professor teaching western style painting in the Beijing Art School. He stayed in China ever since. Liou passed away in 1937. Though Liou studied western painting with his peer Taiwanese overseas painters in Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he devoted himself to bring western and orient paintings together. Setting off from style and a nationalist zeitgeist, Liou developed a unique art craft of his own.
Portrait of the Artist's Wife Holding an Orange is a work Liou completed during his Hang-Zhou period. The original Chinese title, “Shiang-yun,” means oranges scattered and held in the hand of the lady in the painting. The artwork is a portrait of Liou’s second wife, Guo Shu-ling, sitting and toying with an orange. The artwork shows no trace of an early impressionist touch and boldly renders the color black. It is a new experiment for Liou who shows his favor for the color black, saying: “White is the result of the mixture of light, yet black is the result of the saturation of colors, therefore, black is the richest color.” Liou wishes to integrate oil painting with traditional Chinese painting through the line-sketching method of Chinese painting. Liou obviously presents his creativity in this nationalist oil painting genre. The painting discharges a sense of simple and straightforwardness within the brownish hue tableau.
After Liou Jin-tang settled down in China, he became acquaintances with culturati such as Lee Da-zhao, Chang Shi-Zhao, and Liu Ban-non. In 1922, he established the first western painting studies group, Apollo Association, and set up the Apollo Art Institution to teach western painting styles in Beijing with Gao Shu-yuen, Wang Tze-yun, Chen Chi-ming and others. The founding purpose of the association was to welcome a luminous future of the arts and to bring about art evolutions. From this, one can understand Liou Jin-tang’s ambitions in popularizing arts.In 1932, Liou inaugurated as the president of Beijing College of Fine Arts. Two years later (1934), he held a personal exhibition with new works such as The Left-behind People of Taiwan and The Deserted People in Nanjing. The Left-behind People of Taiwan is a work that reflects upon history and patriotic emotions. Adding profound symbols in a realistic portray, Liou’s work reveals the unrestrained aspiration and blessings toward his thoughts of motherland Taiwan. The Deserted People shows Liou’s concern toward those who were forced to abandon their home due to the persecution of war. Liou had devoted himself without reservation in bring together Chinese and western painting styles. Setting off from style and a nationalist zeitgeist, Liou developed a unique art craft. Though he lived a short life, his artistic creativity was blossomed with distinctive excellence in oil painting which his successors praised with the depth found in his work.
|English title：||Portrait of the Artist's Wife Holding an Orange|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1894 - 1937|
|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|