12/05 (Tue)

Opening Hours 9:00-17:00

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!


Publication of the newspapers series including The Taiwan Minpao, The Taiwan Shinminpo and the subsequent Kounan Shinbun (Kounan News) spanned from 1923 to 1944. It was in April 1932 when The Taiwan Shinminpo became a daily that Taiwanese finally had a newspaper they considered their own and of significant meaning to them. In contrast to the fortnightly, 10-day and weekly versions, the daily edition enabled more effective dissemination of thoughts and opinions to the general public. Although with some issues missing, the collection of The Taiwan Shinminpo and Kounan Shinbun (Kounan News) at our Institute is currently the most complete and exclusive. This article is a comprehensive review of this single newspaper founded by the Taiwanese, from the layout format and language use to main contents and subject matters covered in the columns. Moreover, it further analyzes the particularity and variations in content materials as time evolved.

The main contents of the daily included news, commentaries, columns, and advertisements. Besides reporting on domestic and foreign events and local news, it also had rich contents on arts and literature. In addition, the columns on each page carried in-depth thematic contents, including editorials, features of local events and the industries, as well as financial and legal information. Further observation revealed the changes in reporting and choice of contents with political developments as time evolved. From 1938 onward with the war intensifying, it became increasingly difficult for Taiwanese to express their opinions and to fight for their rights; and the way of reporting was accordingly adjusted. In line with the southward advance of the Japanese military and the national kōminka (Japanization) policy, the number of pages was reduced and the commentary and tone became different. The reports were mainly updates on the war and most of them became the mouthpiece of the colonial government. Some reports were even inconsistent with historical facts. In addition, most columns were phased out, reflecting the curtailment of media freedom and official control on speech during World War II. The changes in content of The Taiwan Shinminpo reflect that the newspaper does not equate society and historical reality but is a media product, influenced by the external environment and constructed by internal decisions, involving the political parties behind the newspaper and its political stance, business nature and ideology.

11F., South Wing, Building for Humanities and Social Sciences, 128, Sec. 2, Academia Rd., Nangang Dist., Taipei City 11529,
Taiwan Tel: +886-2-2652-5181 Fax: +886-2-2652-5184 【Contact us
Copyright © 2010 Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica. All Rights Reserved