Who Am I?!
Identity is the culmination of an entire lifetime’s worth of experiences. This is a self-evident truth for a group of Taiwanese painters in the early 20th century, who were introduced to Western watercolours by Japanese artists during the 50 year period of Japanese government in Taiwan. This group of young artists soon led an artistic renaissance in Taiwan as the beauty of the island and their everyday life were captured by this new art.
However, their story was not so simple. With Japanese colonization came a wave of new traditions and lifestyles, and many Taiwanese struggled to reconcile the ways of their grandparents with these new, Western-influenced Japanese values. Political and cultural gentrification persisted throughout this era, dividing the population even through the reintroduction of their Chinese connections after the war. Through lifelong observation expressed in their art, this community of artists lived each day facing the question: “Who Am I?”
Robert Y.H. Kuo