Born in Miaoli in 1938, Pan Chau-sen and his family moved to Jiale Village in Jianshi, Hsinchu because his father worked in the Forest District Office there. Later, he moved to Neiwan, Hsinchu with his family and spent his childhood there. Since his childhood, he has shown great sensibility in painting. Having suffered from eye disease for two years, he did not go to school until he was ten years old. In 1955, he started studying painting under the guidance of Hsiao Ju-sun. In the same year, he received the first prize of “The Provincial Student Art Exhibition.” He graduated from the division of art at Taipei Normal Education School (now the National Taipei University of Education), where he showed impressive performance and received the second prize of “The Provincial Student Art Exhibition.” Later, he graduated from Taichung Normal School (the forerunner of National Taichung University of Education) in 1964 and received the award of “Tai-Yang Art Exhibition” in the following year. In 1968, he received the first prize of “Tai-Yang Art Exhibition” and the third prize of “Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition.” In 1969, his work was exhibited at San Paolo International Biennial Exhibit, Brazil. For all these years, he has participated in many exhibitions (domestic and overseas) and has received several awards – which prove his great accomplishment as an artist. He is best known for his unique painting style. At the early stage, he preferred obscure hues such as gray and blue. Later, he gradually adopted warm colors and again made a transition to the use of black-and-white, through which he visualized the tranquil atmosphere in his painting. The mouthless figures in his painting often remain silent with their eyes closed – as if they are inviting viewers to enter the world of meditation with them.
His artworks can be roughly divided into five stages: 1.) the fishing village series during the mandatory military service; 2.) the silent beauties series; 3.) the landscape and still life series; 4.) the naked women and the memory series; 5.) the self-discovery series.
In 1968, he won the third prize of “The 23rd Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition” with the work Girl and Bird. The girl in this painting has thus become the prototype of all the human figures in his following works. The girl closes her eyes with her both hands folded up around the chest and her face showing her sentiment as if she is pondering. Girl in Pondering is one of the examples featuring this typical kind of girl. Within the peaceful atmosphere, the artist captures the romantic but yet melancholy aura.
Pan Chau-sen grew up in the post-war Taiwan. Under the modern art movement, he followed the guidance of Hsiao Ju-sun and established his unique personal style while choosing a path different from others. There is always a mysterious atmosphere in Pan’s painting as if he is trying to tell a story through the work. The mouthless figures with their eyes closed become the typical subject in his paintings. These figures often close their eyes, with their hands folded up as if they are absorbed in their thoughts of memories. The melancholy expression on their face reveals the romantic sorrow. The symbolic silence creates a gloomy space to imagine the suppressed desire. With the both hands folded up around the chest, the gesture suggests the self-prisoned loneliness while there is no connection among these people. In addition to the symbolic gesture, the use of blues is another feature in Pan Chau-sen’s painting. The melancholy figures in pinkish white are painted with the dark blue, the misty blue, the tranquil blue, and various blues, creating the atmosphere of gloominess, silence, and sentiment. Such a gloomy and suppressed image secretly reveals Pan Chau-sen’s emotional desire and obsession. It is indeed a unique expressive style of the post-war art in Taiwan.
|English title：||Girl in Pondering|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the 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：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1931-1940|