蔡草如:神話、戲臺與逆光赤城 Tshuà Tsháu-jû: Myth, Stage and the Backlit Fort Provintia|台南市美術館|活動

蔡草如:神話、戲臺與逆光赤城 Tshuà Tsháu-jû: Myth, Stage and the Backlit Fort Provintia|台南市美術館|活動點我加入樂活玩家|Instagram|IG|接受更多資訊
「蔡草如:神話、戲臺與逆光赤城」前導展與正式展兩階段,分別以「新神話」、「新視野」、「市井」、「臺灣牛」、「城門‧老廟」、「新時代」、「理想美」、「拂曉‧薄暮」、「戲齣」等子題分區,完整呈現蔡草如各時期所繪之廟宇建築彩繪與風景人物寫生作品,其中包括以形同導演視角,搭配深厚的漢學素養與考古精神所繪製出的神話故事與戲齣人物、東京時期風景寫生、家鄉市井人物的生活敘事、牛隻耕作情景、城門、老廟、新時代建設、女性人物特寫,以及於拂曉與薄暮之時所見之逆光風景繪畫。
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蔡草如(原名蔡錦添,1919-2007),出生於臺南,父親蔡振昆是打銅師,擅於繪製各式銅器花形,母親陳明花於陶瓷場以繪畫花鳥圖樣貼補家用,舅父為知名民俗繪師陳玉峰(乃陳壽彝之父),自幼即在耳濡目染之下展現十足的繪畫天賦與熱忱。蔡草如一生的創作秉持實地寫生與創新精神,對於自身的文化、藝術與信仰有獨特見解與嶄新詮釋,即使身處於新舊衝突不斷,矛盾共生的時代中,依然能內斂的以獨特的觀察視角與深厚的文化底蘊,表達當下的時空場景與市井間樸素、優雅的生活景緻。

身兼廟宇民俗畫師及藝術家身份的蔡草如,不僅於全臺近60間廟宇以戲齣人物般的舞台排場繪製神話與釋道故事,亦曾受聘至泰國私人宗祠繪製樑柱壁畫。1943年,在母親的全力支持下前往東京川端畫學校學習西洋繪畫。因皇民化政策實行下,須半工半讀的蔡草如在不得以的情況下改名換姓,以家鄉代表建築赤崁樓更名為「赤城堅一」以方便就業,除課程學習之外也以其繪畫專長服務於日本情報局及美軍進駐軍俱樂部,然適逢二戰爆發導致國際情勢急轉直下,迫使蔡草如必須得收拾行李急於返鄉與家人團聚。1946年回到臺南後,除了將習得的人體解剖學與透視概念應用於廟宇彩繪之外,也首次參與全省美術展覽並拔得頭籌,接連於十餘年間榮獲佳績,接踵而至的榮耀,並未改變其一貫的謙遜,隨後也獲免審查而受邀擔任展覽評審委員。1964年,在因緣際會下創立臺南市國畫研究會(又名國風畫會),除了定期舉辦團體出遊活動以實行寫生與題材創新,也藉此提升地方創作風氣與審美品味。

蔡草如特別著重時代背景考究與人物骨骼動勢的拿捏,即使題材與寓意相同,在其筆下的人物景緻總是別出心裁,引人入勝。然而,在臺灣相對潮濕與高溫的熱帶型氣候下,使得建築彩繪容易因受潮而剝落,加上當時文物保存意識低迷,時有定期整修、覆蓋,甚或是拆除行為,使得蔡草如自覺心血白費而淡出廟畫領域,轉而精進於較易長久保存的紙本彩繪創作,並定期籌辦畫會展覽,推行藝文相關活動,以追求更具藝術價值的表現。或許是性格使然,亦或是決心專注於繪畫表現與文化傳承的使命之中,一生淡泊名利,雖其藝術造詣與品格素養之高,卻不易廣為人知。人稱「草如仙」的蔡草如,特別擅長將東西方媒材交融並用,配以俐落線條與清亮色彩,傳達寓意深遠的生活敘事。本次試圖透過展覽呈現其藝術創作與為人間所蘊藏的知性、理性與感性,集學識與才華於一身的創新視野與傳承精神。

The exhibition Tshuà Tsháu-jû: Myth, Stage and the Backlit Fort Provintia is presented in two stages: the preview part and the main part, with the sub-themes of “New Mythology,” “New Visions,” “Town Streets,” “Taiwan Cattle,” “City Gate‧Old Temples,” “The New Age,” “Beau Idéal,” “Dawn and Dusk,” and “Theatrical Performance.” The two-part exhibition presents a complete collection of Tshuà's temple architecture paintings and landscape and figure sketches from various periods. The selected works cover a wide range, including mythology and drama characters painted from the perspective of a director with profound sinological knowledge and archaeological spirit, landscape sketches from the Tokyo period, narratives of the lives of people in his hometowns, cattle farming scenes, city gates, old temples, modern construction, close-ups of female characters, and backlit landscape paintings at dawn and dusk.

Tshuà Tsháu-jû (formerly Cai Jing-Tian, 1919-2007) was born in Tainan, Taiwan. His father, Cai Zhen-kun (Tshuà Tín-khun), was a bronzesmith who specialized in painting various types of bronze vessels. His mother, Chen Ming-hua, supplemented her family’s income by painting flora and bird patterns in a ceramics workshop, and his uncle, Chen Yu-feng (father of Chen Shou-yi), was a well-known folkloric painter. From an early age, Tshuà’s talent and enthusiasm for painting were evident through his exposure to the family. Throughout his life, Tshuà Tsháu-jû upholds the spirit of on-site sketching and innovation with his unique insights and novel interpretations of his culture, art, and beliefs. Even in an era of constant conflicts and contradictions between the traditional and modern, he was still able to depict the current scenario and the simple, elegant life in the marketplace with his unique observation and profound cultural knowledge.

As a folkloric temple painter and an artist, Tshuà painted mythological stories in nearly 60 temples throughout Taiwan and was commissioned to paint the pillars of private clan temples in Thailand. In 1943, with the full support of his mother, he went to Tokyo to study Western painting at Kawabata Painting School. Due to the Japanization policy, Tshuà Tsháu-jû, who had to work and study simultaneously, had no choice but to change his name to facilitate his employment. He changed his name to “Agaki Kenichi” after his hometown’s significant building, the Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia). In addition to his studies, he also served Japanese Defense Intelligence Agency and U.S. Army Club with his painting expertise. However, the outbreak of World War II caused the international situation to take a sudden turn for the worse, forcing Tshuà Tsháu-jû to hurry back to his hometown to reunite with his family. After returning to Tainan in 1946, he applied his knowledge of anatomy and perspective to temple painting, and also participated for the first time in Taiwan’s Provincial Art Exhibition and won the first prize. He then won many awards over the next ten years. The following honor did not change his unassuming attitude. Subsequently, he was invited to be a jury member of the exhibition for his jury-exemption prize. In 1964, he founded the Tainan Chinese Painting Research Association. In addition to organizing regular group trips to practice sketching and discussing the subject matter breakthrough, he also took the opportunity to enhance the local painting trend and aesthetic taste.

Tshuà Tsháu-jû paid particular attention to the historical background and the movement and dynamics of depicted figures. Even though the subject matter and the moral are similar, the figures he depicted are always unique and fascinating. However, under Taiwan’s humid and high-temperature tropical climate, murals in the temple were prone to peeling due to moisture. Due to the low awareness of heritage conservation at the time, regular façade renovation and even demolition were often carried out, which made Tshuà Tsháu-jû feel that his efforts were wasted and decided to leave the field of temple mural painting. Instead, he started to paint on paper, which is easier to preserve for a longer time and organized painting exhibitions and cultural activities to pursue a more artistic presentation. Perhaps it was because of his personality or his determination to focus on the mission of painting and the succession of cultural heritage, he has been indifferent to fame and fortune throughout his life, making his high level of artistic achievement and nobel character less widely known. It is noteworthy that Tshuà Tsháu-jû, as known as ‘’Tsháu-jû Fairy’’, who is particularly adept at blending Eastern and Western mediums, using clean lines and bright colors to convey profound and meaningful myths and ordinary life depiction. The exhibition attempts to present the intellectual rational and sensual nature of Tshuà Tsháu-jû’s artworks, which combine knowledge and talent with the spirit of innovation and heritage.

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