日治時期以來，隨著「現代化」（Modernization）建設之推動，臺灣開始輸入西方美術概念，同時透過美術教育、美術團體、展示活動、批評體制等機制，形塑「美術群屬」(Art Society)，藉由殖民統治轉接而來的西化過程，產生折射性的「文化轉向」（Cultural Transformation）。戰後政治局勢丕變，國族主義凌駕一切，產生另一波以政治正確為依歸的文化轉向，在冷戰中尋找民族復興契機的戰後美術，卻長久陷於「東方∕西方」、「現代∕傳統」、「本土∕外來」、「地方∕中央」等二元論戰之中。解嚴後，社會價值觀或藝術面向始趨於民主及多元，逐漸邁向摸索文化身分及主體認同的嶄新時代。
臺灣百年美術的發展，與學院美術教育的推動習習相關，從戰前的圖畫師範科到戰後美術院校的成立，在兼顧實用及美育理想的雙重目標下，歷經反映時局、維繫政權、跨越族裔及作為國際化文化資本等不同階段，演化出不同世代、群屬及價值觀等的美術典型。以國立臺灣師範大學美術學系為首的戰後學校美教單位，莫不在此種時代氛圍或體制主導的前提下，開展其機關面貌。透過符合國家政策及現實需求之考量，樹立其學術威權、國族或文化「正典」（National / Cultural Canon）等價值。
Since the time of Japanese rule, with the push for modernization, artistic concepts from the West have been introduced to Taiwan. Meanwhile, through art education, art organizations, exhibitions, systems of criticism, and other mechanisms, art societies are formed, and a refractive cultural transformation took place based on the Westernization inherited from colonial rule. After the war, the political landscape underwent dramatic changes. Nationalism reigned supreme, resulting in another wave of cultural transformation oriented toward political correctness. Post-war art in Taiwan sought opportunities of national revival yet was caught between binary debates over East vs West, modernity vs tradition, nativeness vs foreignness, and local communities vs the central government. After the end of martial law, social values and artistic pursuit began to democratize and diversify, ushering in a new era of exploring cultural identities and subjective identities.
Artistic development in Taiwan over the past century has been intimately linked with the implementation of academic art education. From the pre-war normal art departments to post-war art academies, juggling both practicality and ideals in art education, through stages of reflecting the times, sustaining the regime, transcending ethnicities, and serving as international cultural assets, artistic paradigms have evolved for different generations, societies, and values. Art education institutions, headed by the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, all began exploring possibilities within such zeitgeist or system. On the premise of complying with governmental policies and practical concerns, they established values including their academic authority and national/cultural canon.
The establishment, deconstruction, or reconstruction of the canonical come from the consensus and implementation regarding cultural transformation. If artists derive their reputation and status solely from their niche assigned by the system, they cannot escape the influence of mainstream values. Conversely, by resisting constraints or through aesthetic reconstruction, they may achieve transformation and, in turn, the diffusion of différance. Shifts in artistic trends involve the reevaluation of canonical values. The differences in aesthetic awareness and in the level of political and social involvement between generations has resulted in different canons and différance belonging to or manifesting generational consciousness as well as social identities.
Moreover, when discussing Yilan - a place often referred to as Taiwan’s back garden - what kind of canonization is its local art history undergoing based on the link between academia and the power relations within the capital’s art circles? Has the definition for “local” artists changed as they emigrate from and immigrate to Yilan? What kind of différance has such circumstances engendered? This exhibition features four “Yilan” artists - Chen Tung-Yuan, Hung Tung-Piao, Chen Shih-Chiang, and Lin Chin-Hsien. Against their “canonical” background in the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, the exhibition examines their connections and differences as influenced by transformations such as academic and social changes, as well as by personal experiences, so as to explore the process and phenomenon of the canonization of “Yilan art” along with the progressive changes regarding the resulting diverse différance.
Chen Tung-Yuan’s early works of still life reflect a meticulous, realistic style, constructing an eloquent yet objective paradigm for everyday objects and materials. With the rise of provincialism, he shifted his focus to long-forgotten remote regions, the wilderness, and rustic sights and sounds. Simply or complexly, dynamically or statically, macroscopically or microscopically, he manifests the humanistic thought of celebrating this “paradise on earth.” Hung Tung-Piao places emphasis on expressions of distortion, division, and reconstruction. Despite coming from the cubist and futurist schools, his goal is to deconstruct the rules and imitations therein while creating fantastical scenarios that transcend national, historical, and realistic boundaries. With years of feedback from his teaching and reflections on his identity, he has rekindled his passion for oriental and native aesthetics. His native land, poetic and dream-like, comes to life on paper as if awakening for the first time.
Chen Shih-Chiang’s shifting creative interests wander among varying artistic disciplines. Influenced perhaps by his self-enlightenment during school years and his keen perceptions of our treacherous times, his style is strong yet close to the perspective of the viewer. His collage techniques that blend hot and cold or condense reality and fantasy reflect the liberation from authority in pop art as well as the alienation processes in post-modernism with biases, hybridity, satire, and an unreal realism. Through portraiture and body language, Lin Chin-Hsien constructs classic imagery reminiscent of art history icons. With analytical experience from doing case studies during his academic years, he creates monumental structures and atmospheres. Inspired by the emphases on cultural subjectivity and reconstruction of ethnic identities, he has accelerated the canonization of the return to nativeness. Through portraiture, he reestablishes the laureate glory of native values.
策展人 | 白適銘
Curator ǀ Pai Shih-Ming
PhD in History of Art, Kyoto University
Professor of Department of Fine Arts and Chair of College of Fine Arts, NTNU