Born in Changle County, Fujian Province, he had another name “Er-shih.” When he was seven, he lost his hearing in an accident but he still could speak. He learned traditional Chinese painting with Chang Ling-po and was admitted into the department of Chinese painting at a private college in Shanghai. In 1936, when he was the managing editor of the “Ten Day’s Report of Resistance” in Fuzhou, he began to do woodcut illustrations. In 1938, he used the name “Eh-shih” and published his first woodcut piece Before the Resistance Guerrilla Departs. In 1945, he was discharged from the army and came to Taiwan. The next year he was employed as a graphic designer at the Taichung branch of Peace Daily, editing “New Age Literary Supplement” and “Illustrated Weekly.” Because of the 228 Incident, he left Taiwan to work as an editor at the “Shin-ming Daily.” In 1948, he returned to Taiwan and worked at the National Taiwan Library. In 1957, he quit his job at the library and picked up his woodcut knife once again. His early pieces were still realistic. He participated in the Fifth Month Art Group. In 1958, he cofounded the “Society of Modern Printmaking” with Chin Song, Jiang Han-dong, Yuyu Yang, Lee Shi-chi and Shih Ye. After 1986, he was dedicated to creating pieces of ink splashing on acrylic and readymade steel engraving.
Since the early 1960s, the artist began to explore new techniques and media. After 1964, he used the cane fiber board, a side product of the Taiwan Sugar Corp., to create large-sized prints. In 1969, inspired by Chinese bronze script and oracle bone script, he gave up woodcut techniques and created Hibernation by tearing and breaking cane fiber boards. Thus he produced a effect of fissures on the boards. He laid the broken boards on another one to make a matrix for printing modern abstract prints. The style of his prints is almost as simple as irregular rectangles and circles. Although the piece is in plain black, it has infinite tension and a powerful presence. In 1970, it won the first prize of “The First International Biennale Print Exhibition” held by the Donga Daily in Korea.
Since the late 1950s, abstract art had been the indicator for modern art in Taiwan. The Society of Modern Printmaking shifted to the style of distortion and abstraction. With non-painting techniques such as rubbing to copy an inscription, they created abstract expressions out of Chinese calligraphy or totems. As a member, Chen Ting-shih was so influenced that he gave up his familiar woodcut art form and techniques. To focus on the vision of the artist, he gradually left realism behind and adopted abstract expressions. From 1964 to the second half of the 1980s, he spent more than twenty years exploring his abstract style. His abstract prints of this period were most representative of the development of his style.
|Medium / Classification：|
|Life-span：||1916 - 2002|
|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|