Tan Ting-pho

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Chen Cheng-po

Tan Ting-pho (simplified Chinese: 陈澄波; traditional Chinese: 陳澄波; pinyin: Chén Chéngbō; February 2, 1895 – March 25, 1947), was a well-known Taiwanese painter. In 1926, his oil painting Street of Chiayi was featured in the seventh Empire Art Exhibition in Japan, which was the first time a Taiwanese artist's work could be displayed at the exhibition. Chen devoted his life to education and creation, and was greatly concerned about the development of humanist culture in Taiwan. He was not only devoted to the improvement of his own painting, but also to the promotion of the aesthetic education of the Taiwanese people. He was murdered as a result of the 228 Incident, a 1947 popular uprising in Taiwan which was brutally repressed by the Kuomintang (KMT).


In 1946, Chen was elected as a member of the city council in Chiayi, where he was born.[2] Due to the 228 Incident, severe conflict occurred in 1947 between the Chiayi citizens and the KMT, whose military was trapped inside the city's airport. The city produced a "228 Incident Committee", composed of Chen and five others who would approach the military as representatives of peace. The military, however, captured four of them, including Chen, and released the remaining two. On the morning of March 25, 1947, after being tied up with wire, the four were forced to march from the city's police station to the train station, where other three were shot dead in public. His son, Chen Shigemitsu, recalled that as soon as hearing that his arrested father was paraded, he went onto the street and found his father on a military vehicle at Chiayi Fountain. He followed the contingent and realized what would happen when his sight suddenly met his father's.

When the vehicle stopped at Chiayi railway station, the army strafed the square in front of the station, with bystanders fleeing in disorder. Tan Ting-pho was the last one pushed off the vehicle. Soldiers shot at him from three meters. The first shot missed but the second penetrated his chest, and Chen fell forward. The Kuomintang forbade the families from collecting the corpses immediately, so Chen's remains were left to decompose on the street for several days.


Chen's work Chiayi Park was sold for $5,794,100 HKD at a Hong Kong auction on April 28, 2002.[1]

In 2015, Google Doodle commemorated his 120th birthday.[2]


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