Chin Jun-tso was born in Tainan in 1922. His grandfather, Chin Tsi-ba, had been zongye (governor) of Miaoli Town in the Qing Dynasty. Born into a distinguished family, Chin Jun-tso had the opportunity in 1937 to travel to Japan with his third uncle Chin Li-shui and entered the Osaka City Kogei (handicraft) School to study design. In 1939 Chin went on to study oil painting and drawing under Koiso Ryohei at the Osaka Fine Arts School. He returned to Taiwan in 1944; after the Retrocession, Chin worked in the Taiwan Panorama and the Taiwan Crafts Production and Promotion Committee. Although Chin Jun-tso studied design at school, the training under Koiso Ryohei established a good foundation for his painting skills. He combined applied and fine arts, dedicating himself in creative projects. Chin had been awarded exemption from examination for the “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition” and established with his peers the Chingyun Art Society and Era Art Association. In 1957 he embarked on a study trip to Japan, in time to witness the works of Cubism by Georges Braque, which made a huge impact on Chin’s artistic style. After 1959 he slowly broke away from the Braque influence and developed a simpler imagery, where the topics and contents embodied more literary references, and in the paintings found a lyrical and serene poetics. Unfortunately at the height of his creative power and maturity, Chin died of a stroke in his studio at the age of 63.
This piece is one of Chin’s creations in the 60s. Instead of using the traditional techniques of light, shade and gradient to represent a three-dimensional object, Chin exploited the effect of saturation in colours and shifting planes to create a mental space with a stronger visual impression and broader conceptual impact. In stretches of dark and subdued shades, the interspersed bright colours were to enrich and create a multi-layered spatial composition. The simple outlines of the lilies strike a balance between formal semblance and non-formal expressiveness. Simplified forms and colours bring forward a lyrical serenity; the contrast lies between the weight and solidity of the background darkness and the flowers of whiteness, which set off the solitary pride and purity of lilies in its precise, structured formal sophistication.
Chin Jun-tso was one of the pioneering Taiwanese painters that studied in Japan during the late Japanese colonial rule. Although he studied and worked in the realm of design and crafts, it never deterred his determination and passion for painting and creative work. Because Chin did not train under the institution of Tokyo School of Fine Arts, there is no plein-air technique present in his works, which distinguishes him from other painters educated in Japan during the early colonial period. Chin’s early paintings were known for their realism. His work Roadside (a boy selling tobacco), selected for the first “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition”, already conveyed Chin’s attention to social issues since his early years. However this kind of topical works eventually waned as a result of the social unrest in Taiwan at the time. Chin’s work then turned its focus onto scenery and still life. He was not interested in objective, realistic representation but created a subjective interpretation and expression. Artist Lee Chun-shan once commented, ‘Chin Jun-tso is not about the “formal” but the “symbolic”, or, one may say, “romantic” and “poetic”.’
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1922 - 1983|
|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|