Chen Cheng-po 陳澄波 (1895-1947), known for the first Taiwanese artist to have an oil painting accepted for the highly regarded, government run Imperial Art Exhibition (Teiten 帝展) in Japan, is an important figure during the budding period of Taiwanese modern art. He left behind a huge amount of artwork, correspondence and other documents, more than 4,500 pieces in total, are first-hand materials for researchers and learners to explore his life and time. Through an ongoing collaborative digitization project among the Institute of Taiwan History at the Academia Sinica, Cultural Affairs Bureau of Chiayi City, and Chen Cheng Po Cultural Foundation, the scattered artworks and documents related to the artist are now gathered together in digital format, and expected to be accessed by the public through a single database interface by the end of 2014.
Considering the amount and variety of the collection Chen left are rarely seen among his fellow artists, the Academia Sinica Digital Center selects 566 images from the collection and creates a thematic website “Starting Out from 23.5°N: Chen Cheng-po” that guides learners through the collection with texts, images and other clues such as time, place, people and events that form the context surrounding the objects. The website features 10 chapters, each focuses on different aspect of Chen’s personal history, artistic achievement, travelling paths, or social networks. In order to best present the stories, each chapter uses different tools and visualization to organize the information in a meaningful way. The website also takes advantage of other online resources like timelines, maps, thesaurus and other digital collections, making it a showcase of how the digital content can be mashed up to enrich an online self-learning platform.
The website is in Chinese and in English. We invite you to come and take a look at http://chenchengpo.asdc.sinica.edu.tw/