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Mountains, Seas, and Plains

Li-Po Chen

Li-Po Chen

Chairman of Chen Cheng-po
Cultural Foundation

To the people who have never heard of “Taiwan,” how do the Taiwanese explain where their home is? Is it “just beside China,” or “under Japan,” or “close to the Philippines”?

Li-Po Chen, CEO of the Chen Chengpo Cultural Foundation, believes an answer can be found in the mountains, the sea, and the plains that make up Taiwan’s breathtaking natural environments. What does the geology of the island tell us about Taiwan? How can we use geography to explain this place called Taiwan?

His grandfather, Chen Chengpo, was a Taiwanese painter who had received a Japanese education and created many oil paintings of the various landscapes found throughout Taiwan, from the mountain ranges of Alishan to the everyday streets of his hometown, Chiayi. Although he died in the February 28 Incident, his legacy of promoting Taiwan’s scenery lives on.

Listen to Li-Po Chen tell his grandfather’s story, and get to know Taiwan through the island’s natural beauty!

About The Artist / Li-Po Chen

Li-Po Chen is Chen Cheng-po’s eldest grandson, returning to Taiwan after over thirty years living abroad. In the process of organizing his grandfather’s works and historical relics, he began to understand new sides to this person called Chen Cheng-po, his dreams and aspirations. Using a combination of mediums, Li-Po Chen strives to express what his grandfather wished to convey, to make Chen Cheng-po’s dreams a reality, in hopes that Chen Cheng-po is not just remembered as a political casualty.

Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation

The Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation was established in 1999 by Chen Cheng-po’s children, with the purpose of developing Taiwan’s local culture. Over the past two decades, the foundation has organized many activities in regards to Taiwan’s local arts and culture. In the early days, the foundation focused mainly on the Chiayi region; in recent years, the foundation has expanded, cooperating with other cultural institutions across Taiwan and abroad to hold exhibitions that feature a variety of different themes, including original works and digital interactive presentations. These exhibitions are able to reach school campuses and promote art education, opening up dialogue with new generations so that art is no longer limited to restricted standards. In the past five years, the foundation has been a regular sponsor for the North American Taiwan Studies Association to study Taiwan’s political, economic, social, historical, and cultural aspects, focusing on the marketing and promotion of Taiwan and its place in the international community. 

In 2010, the foundation focused on a comprehensive restoration and digitization of Chen Cheng-po’s works, cultural relics, and cultural documents. In the process, it was discovered that Chen Cheng-po had paid high attention to the Alishan District, with more than 40 oil paintings and sketches featuring landscapes of the area. It is the mission of the foundation to continue Chen Chengbo’s unfulfilled ambitions, and thus it became the foundation’s duty to understand and study Alishan. In 2017, the foundation collaborated with local NGO groups to promote the Alishan cultural landscape to be registered on the World Heritage List. They hoped that through the promotion process, scholars from various fields will invest in different aspects of Alishan’s investigation and research, which would allow more people to care about the past, present, and future of Alishan. The goal is to gather people together, to find the island of Taiwan’s simplest and original beauty, and re-understand the land we live in.

Li-Po Chen

Li-Po Chen

Chairman of Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation

To the people who have never heard of “Taiwan,” how do the Taiwanese explain where their home is? Is it “just beside China,” or “under Japan,” or “close to the Philippines”?

Li-Po Chen, CEO of the Chen Chengpo Cultural Foundation, believes an answer can be found in the mountains, the sea, and the plains that make up Taiwan’s breathtaking natural environments. What does the geology of the island tell us about Taiwan? How can we use geography to explain this place called Taiwan?

His grandfather, Chen Chengpo, was a Taiwanese painter who had received a Japanese education and created many oil paintings of the various landscapes found throughout Taiwan, from the mountain ranges of Alishan to the everyday streets of his hometown, Chiayi. Although he died in the February 28 Incident, his legacy of promoting Taiwan’s scenery lives on.

Listen to Li-Po Chen tell his grandfather’s story, and get to know Taiwan through the island’s natural beauty!

ABOUT THE ARTIST / LI-PO CHEN

Li-Po Chen is Chen Cheng-po’s eldest grandson, returning to Taiwan after over thirty years living abroad. In the process of organizing his grandfather’s works and historical relics, he began to understand new sides to this person called Chen Cheng-po, his dreams and aspirations. Using a combination of mediums, Li-Po Chen strives to express what his grandfather wished to convey, to make Chen Cheng-po’s dreams a reality, in hopes that Chen Cheng-po is not just remembered as a political casualty.

Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation

The Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation was established in 1999 by Chen Cheng-po’s children, with the purpose of developing Taiwan’s local culture. Over the past two decades, the foundation has organized many activities in regards to Taiwan’s local arts and culture. In the early days, the foundation focused mainly on the Chiayi region; in recent years, the foundation has expanded, cooperating with other cultural institutions across Taiwan and abroad to hold exhibitions that feature a variety of different themes, including original works and digital interactive presentations. These exhibitions are able to reach school campuses and promote art education, opening up dialogue with new generations so that art is no longer limited to restricted standards. In the past five years, the foundation has been a regular sponsor for the North American Taiwan Studies Association to study Taiwan’s political, economic, social, historical, and cultural aspects, focusing on the marketing and promotion of Taiwan and its place in the international community. 

In 2010, the foundation focused on a comprehensive restoration and digitization of Chen Cheng-po’s works, cultural relics, and cultural documents. In the process, it was discovered that Chen Cheng-po had paid high attention to the Alishan District, with more than 40 oil paintings and sketches featuring landscapes of the area. It is the mission of the foundation to continue Chen Chengbo’s unfulfilled ambitions, and thus it became the foundation’s duty to understand and study Alishan. In 2017, the foundation collaborated with local NGO groups to promote the Alishan cultural landscape to be registered on the World Heritage List. They hoped that through the promotion process, scholars from various fields will invest in different aspects of Alishan’s investigation and research, which would allow more people to care about the past, present, and future of Alishan. The goal is to gather people together, to find the island of Taiwan’s simplest and original beauty, and re-understand the land we live in.

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