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Highlights of Donated Artworks by Lin Yu-Shan (Review) Appreciation
Exhibition Banner - Highlights of Donated Artworks by Lin Yu-Shan
Exhibition Dates: 2019/11/23 ~ 2020/03/22
Place: 302 Gallery
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 ※Galley 302 on the third floor –Highlights of Donated Artworks by Lin Yu-Shan will reopen after Tuesday, March 3rd, when annual air condition maintenance is done. We are looking forward to your visit again.

Date: 2019 / 11 / 23 – 2020 / 03 / 22

Venue: 302 Gallery


Lin Yu-Shan (1907-2004), originally named Ying-Gui, was born in Chiayi. When Lin was nine years old, he started learning painting from folk painter Tsai Zheng-Hsiang, who worked for his family-owned framing store “Feng-Ya Xuan.” At the age of 15, Lin studied literati paintings, such as the Four Gentlemen Painting from Sikou Isaka, and in 1926 he enrolled at Kawabata Painting School in Tokyo, Japan, for training in drawing and Japanese painting techniques. In 1935, Lin proceeded to Insho Domoto Painting School in Kyoto for further studies, focusing on Song Dynasty flower and bird paintings. During this time, he was also exposed to different schools and techniques of Eastern painting. Throughout Taiwan Art Exhibitions and Governor-General’s Art Exhibitions, the official exhibitions organized during the Japanese Reign, Lin’s works were admitted on fifteen-sixteenths occasions, alongside several prestigious honors. The artwork A Lotus Pond (1930) was designated as a National Treasure in May 2015. After the Taiwan Provincial Fine Art Exhibition was established in 1946, Lin was appointed as a jury member for over twenty years. Lin dedicated more than 80 years to creating artworks and to art education. Before the war, Lin was a notable painter in southern Taiwan; when the war ended, Lin started teaching at the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University. Lin’s emphasis on everyday drawing and his painterly style of integrating vibrant Eastern gouache with elegance and atmospheric quality of Chinese ink paintings became a great inspiration for the development of Taiwanese ink paintings.


Lin Yu-Shan upheld drawing both in his oeuvre and teaching. By inspecting the subject matters through deep observation and drawing, Lin is able to capture the essence of his subjects. Lin’s mastery in everyday drawings enabled him to excel in depicting various themes, including flowers, plants, birds, animals, fish, people, and natural landscapes; especially his depictions of tigers and sparrows. Lin’s works not only reveal details of reality but also the spirit and inner qualities of the subject matter. His early works were mostly depictions of his hometown, capturing the scenes within everyday surroundings, conveying the natural landscape and local culture of Taiwan through warm, bright tones. Throughout the middle and later years of his career, apart from depicting the landscapes of Taiwan, Lin also traveled worldwide and captured the exotic sceneries of other countries, putting his emphasis on drawings and creativity into practice. In the later years, Lin’s paintings no longer consist of sceneries alone but expanded to encompass a variety of themes, expressing his beliefs through colored ink, Eastern gouache, gold pigment, and other materials along with different techniques. Lin’s mastery of everyday drawing fueled his creativity, allowing him to showcase the grandiosity of modernity through bold, changing colors.


This exhibition focuses on the works and drawing manuscripts donated by Lin Yu-Shan and the family members over the years. The exhibition is grouped into five sections, featuring flowers and birds, animals, human figures, landscapes, and drawing sketches. The relation between the donated works and drawing sketches intends to lead discussions on how Lin established his own painterly philosophy, how “drawing” had been used to present in different themes and its meaning; also the variety of style and technique on those repeating themes that appear in different stages of the artist’s career. The exhibited works include the first ink landscape Lin created in 1926, the flower and bird painting Lin depicted when he first traveled to Japan for study, compared with works on the same theme created during his second visit to Japan in 1937; Lin’s first tiger painting Fierce Tiger Descending from the Mountain which painted at the age of 17 in 1923, the later Painting of a Tiger, Young Tiger, the extended themes Yellow Tiger Flag, Great Aunt Tiger, and other works; also drawing manuscripts created between 1920 and 2000. The exhibition presents a lifetime of creative mastery, embodying Lin Yu-Shan’s broad vision and his dynamic artistic style as a painter, witnessing the historical development of fine art from the Japanese Reign to post-war Taiwan.
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