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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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Project Under Way

The project has been carried out since 2007, there are, however, a lot of historical materials need to be arranged, interpreted and digitized as a result of the time-consuming process. These collections listed by country are as follows:

  1.  Russia
    •  Records of the Taiwan Communist Party
  2. Records of the Taiwan Communist Party acquired from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in 2008 contain details of the organization and activities of the Taiwan Communist Party from the end of the 1920s to the beginning of the 1930s. 

    The acquisitions are further arranged, interpreted and then promoted through publications and exhibitions.  With joint efforts of the original author from Russia, translators from China and editors from Taiwan, and under the consent of the publisher and the RGASPI, The Taiwanese Communist Movement and the Comintern (1924–1932): Research and Documents was published in Chinese in 2010.  The original is the first Russian publication on the Taiwan Communist Party under Japanese rule and its relationship with the Comintern.  In the same year, “Turn Left!” --- Exhibition of the Archives of the Formosan Peasant Union and the Taiwanese Communist Movement was held.  The exhibition featured both records acquired from the RGASPI and related materials archived by the Institute of Taiwan History, tracing the development of Taiwanese Communist Movement from the colonial era to the immediate aftermath of World War II.

  3. Japan
    • Taiwan historical images in the Archives and Mausolea Department of the Imperial Household Agency in Japan (IHA)
  4. Photo albums acquired from the Archives and Mausolea Department of the Imperial Household Agency, Japan in 2010 contain historical images of Taiwan in the eyes of the colonial government in the early Japanese era (1897-1925). 

    • Yoshioka Kisaburo's Diary (吉岡喜三郎)

    Yoshioka Kisaburo (1882-196?) was a policeman in Taiwan from 1907 to 1931. This project acquired the originals of Yoshioka’s diaries from his kin in Japan. The diaries date from 1910 to 1937 except for 1913, 1920, and 1932 to 1396.

    • Tsutsumibayashi Kazue Papers(堤林數衛)

    Tsutsumibayashi Kazue (1873-1938), an important personage in the early stage when Japanese started the business in Southeast Asia, came to Taiwan as a jailer in 1895. During the time he stayed in Taiwan, he made acquaintance with a Taiwanese merchant-Guo Chun-yang, who significantly influenced Tsutsumibayashi Kazue’s commercial business in Southeast Asia afterwards. This project acquired his papers, comprising diaries (1910-1937), account books, notebooks and documents about commercial affairs, photos, and letters.

    • Family photos of Nakata Hidezou (中田秀造) 

  5. China
    •  Xu Shoushang Papers (許壽裳)


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