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United in Art— Artist Groups and Their Network of Activities during the Japanese Colonial Period

A digital collection of archival documents has been in development over the recent years under the auspices of the Archives of Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica. It includes the profiles of such artists from the preceding generations as Chen Cheng-Po, Yen Hsuei-Long, Chen Chih-Chi, Pu Tian-Sheng, Liu Chi-Hsiang, Kuo Hsueh-Hu in addition to papers of the nature of cultural patronage from Yang Zhao-Jia as well as private collections of works of calligraphy and painting and other historical materials. This article focuses on the activities of important artist groups that Taiwanese painters helped to create during the first half of the 20th century. Through selected private manuscripts, letters and documents, images, newspapers and magazines housed in the Archives, the exploration of interactions between various parties in the history of modern art - including individual artists, the painting groups and their patrons - reveals how the arts and society developing in parallel and prospering in unison!

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I. Institutional Archives
(i) Historical Materials Related to the February 28 Incident and White Terror (1947-1956)

This record group includes investigative reports conducted by agencies of the Secrets Bureau. It contains intelligence sources collected by agencies in different divisions of Taiwan during the February 28 Incident and White Terror periods. The records are important historical materials for research on the February 28 Incident and the White Terror period.

(ii) Records on the Taiwan Provincial Legislature (1946-1951) 

The Taiwan Provincial Legislature was established on May 1, 1946. It was the supreme public opinion institution until the Taiwan Provincial Interim Assembly was founded in December of 1951. This record group contains official documents related to the February 28 Incident, including the petition jointly submitted by representatives asking the government to release arrested representatives and suggesting that they hand down lenient sentences. These records are first-hand historical materials for research on the attitudes and behavior of the Taiwan Provincial Legislature during the February 28 Incident.

(iii) Forestry Records during the Taiwan Provincial Executive Office Period (1945-1947)

After World War II, the Kuomintang government took over Taiwan and established the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office and later founded the Forestry Bureau to take over the transactions conducted by the Taiwan Government General and to manage Forestry administrative works in Taiwan. The record group includes documents related to inner investigations of staff members’ involvements in the February 28 Incident. It contains reports on the progress of events, and statistics on death, injury, and property damage. Although this record group presents the government’s perspectives, it still gives the reader a glimpse of the government’s reaction to the February 28 Incident and the tension between officials and citizens.


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