Shiu Wu-yung was born in Tainan City in 1920. In 1933, Shiu entered the General Studies Department of Taipei High School and became familiar with Siotuki Touhou (1886-1954) who later became a great influence on Shiu’s style of painting. In 1941, after graduating first place from Taipei High School, Shiu entered the prestigious Medical School of Tokyo Empire University, Japan where Shiu had a chance to learn from Higuchi Karoku. During his study, Shiu had a chance to see George Rouault’s artwork Christ dans la banlieue (1920-24) and the experience had changed his style ever since. In 1943, Shiu’s work Crossroad was selected by the 13th “Japan Independent Fine Arts Exhibition.” Shiu’s painting instructor Higuchi Karoku once commented that Shiu would be a better painter if not a doctor. During 1948-1952, Shiu participated in the annual “Taiwan Provincial Fine Art Exhibitions.” Shiu’s 1951 work Farewell won the first prize of “Tai-yang Art Exhibition.” During 1953-1955 Shiu won the scholarship provided by U.S. Department of State Administration of Foreign Affairs (now Bureau of Diplomatic Security) to study in University of California, Berkeley. In 1987, Shiu had a major surgery because of colorectal cancer. Afterwards, Shiu decided to set up Shiu Wu-yung Romance Museum of Fine Arts. Shiu had to give up his project due to the consideration of the forthcoming difficulties expected for the future operation.
A Street on the Hill (Taiwan) was completed in 1943 before Shiu graduated from Tokyo Empire University. The style and composition of the painting is similar to his Crossroad. On the left of the painting is a girl looking ahead of her and behind her are houses that represent her hometown Taiwan. On the right one can see cattle looking backward to where they belong which expresses the sensation of an overseas student and his yearning for his homeland. Leaving behind the streets that extended to the far end, the solemnity shown on the girl’s face expresses the painters’ indecision for his future, however, still with certain assurance which reveals some determination in his mind. Various themes such as landscapes, flowers, religions, and legendary stories were adapted by Shiu, and his paintings reveal his deep concern for his motherland Taiwan. Shiu’s style of painting is inspired by Siotuki Touhou. He was once infatuated with Cubism and the romantic world discovered in Chagall’s paintings. His creativity is a combination between the rational and scientific thinking, and the sensational artistic performance. Whatever the style and form, the only thing stays unchanged is that Shiu Wu-yung always presents his most sincere affection, with every detail he portrayed in his paintings, to the extraordinary utopia he illustrated in his heart.
Shiu Wu-yung is a respected Taiwanese forerunning painter. Shiu grew up in a period when the dominant western painting style was known as “Pan-Impressionism,” and the Cubism in art was not visible in most of the paintings. Shiu began to adapt a cubist style in his Self Portrait publicized it while still studying at high school. His work was highly appreciated by the poet professor Nezu Kingo. During his study in the United States, Shiu had chances to witness modern artists’ works such as works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. After returning to Taiwan, Shiu presented his cubist paintings successively for a decade in “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibitions.” Thus, Liu Gou-song praised him as “the only national cubist” while Lee Chun-shan also praised him as the artistic forerunner during the “Era Art Exhibition.” Shiu chose to live a peaceful life as a physician after he saw the demise and misery of his relatives and friends in 228 Incident. However, Shiu never stop his artistic creativity throughout his life. He served an important role and won his position in the Taiwanese art scene.
|English title：||A Street on the Hill (Taiwan)|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|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|