Originally from Tainan, Taiwan, Kuo Po-chuan (1901-1974) graduated from the Japanese Language School (now known as the National Taipei University of Education), and studied under Okada Saburousuke at the Western painting department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now known as the Tokyo University of the Arts). As a professor, Kuo taught at the Peking Normal University, National Taiwan University of the Arts, Jinghua Private Art School. He returned to Taiwan in 1948 and settled in Tainan, where he established the Tainan Arts Association, and taught as a professor in the Department of Architecture at the National Cheng Kung University. He also served on the jury for the Provincial and National Art Exhibitions. In 1966, he received the Golden Goblet Award from the Painting Association of China, and has held many solo exhibitions of his work.
Overlooking the Drum Tower (Zhonggulou) Avenue at the Forbidden Palace, this Beijing thoroughfare is as magnificent and elegant as though the emperor himself were passing through. Kuo plays up the contrast between warm and cool tones using oils thinned out to resemble opaque watercolors. The light refraction from a distance creates an effect of light reflecting off the building itself. The Forbidden Palace of old Beijing is one of Kuo’s favored themes. In his work, the imposing grandeur of the Palace is palpable. Blooms typical of brush and ink inspire this oil and turpentine work with thin, rapid and short brushstrokes to create the green and red hues of the Palace. The upper portion of the painting uses impressionist techniques to create an effect of refracted light in the colors that depict distant mountains, and the eye is focused on the red walls and blue tiled roof of the Forbidden Palace at the center of the painting, conveying an overall feeling of grandeur and calm.
Kuo Po-chuan left for Japan to pursue further studies at age 26. Though he originally wanted to study law, the political environment at the time posed an obstacle, and he decided to study painting and drawing instead. After three attempts at entry, he was finally accepted into the Western painting department at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Okada Saburousuke. According to senior artist Lee Mei-shu, Kuo was ranked fifth in his graduating class when he completed the program at age 33. In 1937, Kuo left Japan for China, where he lived for 12 years. This marked a turning point in his artistic life. His 12-year tenure in Beijing, the epicenter of humanities and culture – with its vast landscapes and history as the seat of millennia of Chinese royalty, stimulated Kuo’s mind and inspired his exploration of traditional architectural forms and scenes. Kuo settled in Tainan upon his return to Taiwan in 1948, and spent 20 years as an art professor at Tainan’s Cheng Gung University Department of Architecture. Kuo found his unique artistic vision by drawing together the color harmonies he found in Taiwanese folk implements, embroidery and temples, creating a mature Eastern sensibility.
|English title：||The National Palace Museum|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
|Life-span：||1901 - 1974|
|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|