■ 標題:/張萬傳的簡介
公布時間 :2010-11-25 16:14:23

 


飄浪‧典麗,與豪邁-張萬傳的生命與藝術   文/蕭瓊瑞國立成功大學歷史系教授

 

在台灣美術史中,張萬傳是一位傳奇性的人物。高大壯碩的身材,是體育家的外形,卻擁有一顆傲桀不屈又細膩敏感的心靈。從年少時期的十餘歲開始,立志成為畫家,到九十五歲辭世,漫長的八十餘年藝術生涯,畫筆始終不曾離手,甚至到餐廳吃飯,都可以沾醬汁作畫;但對於畫壇主流,乃至學院教育,則始終冷眼以觀、疏離自在。

張萬傳一生創作,一如生命本身,在雄渾豪邁的筆觸下,透露著細膩、典麗的色彩;在豐食厚美的畫面肌理中,又散發著淡淡的憂鬱與愁苦。甚至可以說:再台灣第一代接觸西方油彩的畫家中,能真正知覺並掌握油彩魅力與質感,並將情感與畫筆完全結合者,張萬傳如果不是唯一的一位,也是極少數中的一位。

 

一、出生淡水

張萬傳,出生於日治時期的台北縣淡水鎮。父親張永清公(1877-1945),是屬於清末前進的知識份子,因諳悉英語,而任職海關。張氏娶妻二人,均不幸去世;再娶第三夫人-張王安女士(1891-1958),1909年生下一子。此時,永清公三十三歲,在那樣的年代,被認為已是得子較遲,乃為長子取名「萬傳」,就是閩南語中「慢傳」的意思,但也有「萬世流傳」的寓意。

1909年,是日本統有台灣的第十五年。淡水作為清末以來對外交通的重要窗口,更是1858年(咸豐8年)《天津條約》中,台灣正式開放各國通商的口岸之一。由於外商雲集,淡水極早就展露出多元文化的特色。

張萬傳出生的1909年(日明治42年),父親永清公受派至此,在淡水關任職,萬傳的童年就在這個山迴水轉之地度過,烙下了生命記憶的第一章。淡水景物,也成為他日後永遠描繪不厭的題材。

大約在萬傳三歲左右,父親的職務,又有了調整;而這次的調動,是前往同為北台大港的基隆關。不過,可能是先入為主的成見,張萬傳對基隆的回憶或描繪,始終比不上對淡水的深情與豐富。

在基隆與淡水間,到底有過多少次的來回遷徙,連他自己也無法交代清楚。不過可以確定的是:到了1916年,也就是他八歲那年,舉家遷到台北大稻埕的太平町,今延平北路一帶;從此,安定下來,直到1923年他十五歲那年,自士林公學校畢業。在這之前,似乎他也曾經和父親回到草山(即今陽明山)的祖父老家公館地,甚至在那裡讀過一段時間的公學校。也可能就是因為父親工作地點的不斷遷徙,使他遲至十五歲的年紀,才從公學校正式畢業。


就讀公學校期間,最鮮明的記憶是:二年級時,父親送給他一盒蠟筆;鮮豔的色彩,成為他對美術最早的認識。不過,對美術真正產生興趣,仍是公學校畢業以後的事情。

1923年,張萬傳自士林公學校畢業後,再唸高等科一年。這個時期的張萬傳,是否曾經投考當時人人爭讀的師範學校,不得而知。不過張萬傳自士林公學校高等科結業的1924年,也正逢台灣美術史上一個重要的發展年代。

日據以來,儘管日人採取高壓、懷柔交相運作的巧妙統治策略,但台灣社會仍始終存在著一股抗日的情緒。直到1915年(大正4年)的「噍吧哖事件」之後,台灣人民才逐漸知覺到:以純粹的武力抗爭,是無法對抗強大的殖民政權。因此,文化抗日的行動逐漸取代武裝抗日的舉動。1921年,「台灣文化協會」成立,更激發了本地青年的抗爭意識,其中又以作為台灣最高學府之一的「台北國語學校」,連續數起學生抗議事件,最引起社會及行政當局的注目。北師校長太田秀穗在社會輿論壓力下引咎辭職,繼任校長志保田鉎吉,力謀對策,乃邀其同學石川欽一郎(1871-1945)來台擔任美術教學的任務,企圖以美術活動的推動,來轉移學生的注意力,進而消彌學潮的發生。

石川對台灣美術的提倡,不完全局限在台北師範校園內,為了推廣西洋美術的學習,石川也利用課餘時間組成「學生寫生會」、「台灣水彩畫會」,甚至「暑期美術講習會」,歡迎校外青年的參與。剛自公學校高等科畢業的張萬傳是否在石川來台的1924年就已經加入石川教室的學習行列,還有待進一步的查證;不過,可以肯定的是,1927年年底,由倪氏出資支持的「台灣水彩畫會」首次展覽,張萬傳的名字已經名列其中。而1929年年中,倪氏又出資聘請石川出面指導的「台北繪畫研究所」成立(隔年改名「台灣洋畫研究所」),張萬傳也在這裡學習,並得識同樣是非北師學生的陳德旺(1910-1984)、洪瑞麟(1912-1996)等人,並成為終生的藝壇摯友。

在「台灣繪畫研究所」中,石川欽一郎的啟蒙固不待言,但被退學的北師學長陳植棋(1906-1931)的影響,顯然更為深遠。

原來「台北繪畫研究所」雖由石川掛名負責教學,但實際上,許多北師的學長,尤其是東渡日本的一些美術留學生,也會利用暑期或返台探親的機會,前來協助教學。這當中包括1924年因北師學潮遭到退學,反而在民族運動人士資助下赴日學習美術的陳植棋。

陳植棋是一位個性率真的畫家,從日後的作品檢驗,我們甚至可以大膽指出:在張萬傳的水彩作品中,固然有著石川水彩畫清淡薄鬆的影子,但陳植棋強烈的油畫筆觸,顯然更深刻地撼動了少年張萬傳的心靈,成為張氏日後油畫創作的基調。而陳植棋1928年以[台灣風景]和廖繼春的[有香蕉樹的院子]同時入選「帝國美術展覽會」(簡稱「帝展」),更激勵著這些年輕學弟的學習意志。

當時留學日本,是學習西洋美術最便捷的管道,在1929年之前,前往日本留學的台灣美術青年,早有劉錦堂(1915)、黃土水(1915)、張秋梅(1917)、顏水龍(1920)、楊三郎(1922)、陳澄波(1923)、劉啟祥(1923)、林之助(約1923)、陳敬輝(1924)、廖繼春(1924)、陳植棋(1925)、王白淵(1925)、陳進(1925)、郭柏川(1926)、林玉山(1926)、陳慧坤(1927)、李梅樹(1928)、呂鐵洲(1928)、張義雄(1928),及李石樵(1929)等多人。在石川教室中學習已經一段時間的張萬傳,此時也已廿一歲;他和陳德旺、洪瑞麟等三人,早成為焦孟不離的知己;在陳植棋的鼓勵下,三人決定一起前往日本,尋求更進一步的學習管道。


 

二、遊學東京

1930年8月,陳植棋為運送作品赴日參展第11屆「帝展」,適逢颱風、家中淹水,張萬傳特地幫忙搬運作品到基隆上船。洪瑞麟就在此時,和陳植棋同船,率先赴日。

張萬傳在同年稍後的秋冬之際,也前往日本。首先抵達京都,在京都待了一段時間,參與了許多有趣的球類運動。

那年冬天,張萬傳到達東京,和洪瑞麟會合,陳德旺也在此時到來,三個好友重新聚首。開始的一段時間,他們和亦師亦友的陳植棋,以及李梅樹(1902-1983)、李石樵(1908-1995)等人同住。此時陳植棋已自東京美術學校(簡稱「東美」)畢業,而李梅樹則剛剛在前一年考入東美,至於李石樵已經兩次落榜,還在準備重考中。

從台北師範到東京美術學校,最後進入帝展和台展,似乎是當時美術青年躍登龍門的一條捷徑,也是大多數日後成名的畫家共同遵循的一條通道。

不過對張萬傳、洪瑞麟、陳德旺這三位均非北師畢業的青年而言,東京美術學校要求報考者必須具備中學五年畢業或專科學校考生檢定合格的資格限制,顯然已經關閉了這條通往成功的管道。洪瑞麟是原「給仕教場」的成淵學校畢業;「給仕」即是雜役工之意,即使改名「成淵學校」,仍是專為政府基層員工進修所辦的夜間補校,並不是正式的中等學府。陳德旺則讀了一年的台北一中之後輟學。張萬傳也只是公學校高等科一年的學歷。

不過,無法報考東美,並不代表就沒有進修學習的管道;而不同的學習管道,似乎也已經預定了他們將走的正是一條與大多數人不同的藝術路徑。

在初臨東京的這年冬天,張萬傳有機會認識了也在台灣任教的日籍畫家鹽月桃甫(1886-1954),鹽月完全不同於石川的畫風,以及開放、多元的藝術見解與思維,大大地震撼了張萬傳的心靈。尤其是鹽月那種帶著野獸派傾向的豪放、率性的油彩筆觸,更讓渾身帶著運動細胞的張萬傳,感受到一種舒暢、開朗的生命動力。

與鹽月的結識,讓張萬傳在學長陳植棋之外,又獲得一次藝術走向的印證;似乎有一股力量,潛藏在他體內,不斷地被誘發、引導出來,也就是透過具有感通、共振的藝術品,來誘導他對藝術追求的方向;陳植棋的作品如此,鹽月的作品也是如此。

透過陳植棋的介紹,張萬傳和洪瑞麟、陳德旺等人受到了當地日本前輩畫家吉村芳松(1887-1965)的熱情照顧與指導。他們在吉村位於東京北區的畫塾中學習,也在他的建議下,投考成立未久的私立美術學校-帝國美術學校。

帝國美術學校成立於1929年,位在東京西部的武藏野吉祥寺附近,因此後來改名為「武藏野美術大學」。這個私立美術學校創始之初,即設定建校宗旨:在培養有教養的優秀在野藝術家,以期和官辦的東京美術學校相抗衡。


帝國美術學校的設立,顯然呼應了社會廣大的需求,成立第一年的招生人數,原本只有21人,但兩年後的1931年,已足足成長了10倍之多。張萬傳和陳德旺、洪瑞麟,就在1931年春天,一起考入該校。不過日後,只有洪瑞麟持續唸完,順利畢業。陳德旺根本沒有去入學,張萬傳則在唸完一年後即因「哲學」課程太多,占去了真正畫畫的時間,辦理退學。

原來,帝國美術學校創設之初,即採取有別於東京美術學校強調實技訓練的理念主張藝術應結合政治、社會、人生的關懷,注重學生人文思想的養成,關心普羅大眾,也熱中前衛藝術的實驗。

恰逢1930年待世界性的經濟大恐慌,日本各地發生入超嚴重、生產下降、失業人口驟增的社會危機。尤其1931年,日本東北地區遭遇百年未見的寒害,糧食歉收,農民生活陷入困境。帝國美術學院的師生都深受這波災難的氛圍感染,反映在創作之上。直到1937年,洪瑞麟還繪有[山形市集]一作,描寫的正是日本東北部偏遠山區農民艱辛的生活圖像。

相對而言,張萬傳的藝術走向,似乎和這樣的關懷有所不同。他率直的個性,對周遭事物固然也有著敏銳的感觸,但在藝術的表現上,他顯然更在乎於材質本身的特性及畫面形色舖衍的表現,以及自身情感的流露。

就在張萬傳等人考入帝國美術學校的同時,回台養病的陳植棋,卻傳來不幸病逝的消息。頓失藝術引導的張萬傳等人,自此失去了諮詢請教的對象,必須自我決定前進的路向。

早在1930年年底,張萬傳等人出到東京的時期,便在機緣巧合的情形下,接觸到留學巴黎的日本青壯派畫家如佐伯祐三等人的作品,他們組織了一個名為「一九三O年協會」的團體,倡導開創新時代風格、標舉前衛藝術。他們以帶有野獸派傾向的個人主義畫風,吸引了大批年輕創作者的心靈。

巴黎畫派的生命情調,是他們心中追求的理想,巴黎畫派的畫家,如史丁、羅特列克、莫迪利亞尼,乃至日籍的藤田嗣治,則是他們仿效的英雄。這些畫家,都有一種遺世獨立、超脫流俗的強烈個性;這樣的精神和風格,顯然和嚴謹、拘束的學院作風,有著巨大的鴻溝。初臨東京學畫的張萬傳,深受這種精神的感召,在心理底層,已然種下了「反學院」的在野精神。雖然在前輩的建議下,勉強進了帝國美術學校,但到底仍無法馴服於那些制式的課程安排,終於決定辦理退學。


從帝國美術學校毅然退學的張萬傳,重新回到川端畫學校;在這裡,他可以毫無拘束地成天進行素描與油畫的練習和探索。這一年(1932),他的一件油畫[廟前之市場],送回台灣參加第六屆「台展」,獲得了入選。

這件作品題材顯然取自台灣,雖然原件已佚,無法看出色彩的運用,但明顯地,在筆觸運作上,是一種頗為率氣、大膽的作風。以廟前的布幔為焦點,底下的人群,及後方的廟頂、樹叢,乃至左側的房舍,都是大膽落筆,而非細筆勾劃。大概在這件初期的作品中,已經可以隱約看到張萬傳日後藝術的走向及追求。

同年(1932),張萬傳利用假期,前往中國大陸,回到廈門老家省親。事實上,在此之前,張萬傳也已經數度到過廈門。此次他特地拜訪了廈門美專。

廈門美專是大陸東南沿海頗負盛名的美術學府,原創辦於1918(民國7)年,後與創設於同時的「廈門繪畫學院」及稍後的「廈門美術師範學校」合併。原廈門美專創辦人,也是後來的校長黃燧弼,乃廈門望族,少年時代即跟隨一位法籍畫家學習西洋畫;及長,留學菲律賓大學美術系,攻習油畫及雕塑。返國後,一度開設專為人畫像的「真廬畫室」。

黃燧弼深受革命思潮影響,在海外即參加同盟會;辛亥年,亦親自參與光復廈門的行動。對後來日軍的侵華,黃氏始終積憤難平,時常帶領學生上街遊行抗議。

張萬傳訪問廈門美專,與黃校長相識,並與當時求學的台籍學生,如黃連登(1906-1987)、謝國鏞(1914-1975)等人相善;日後黃、謝二人均參加由張萬傳等人組成的「紀元畫會」展出。經常撰寫美術史誌的高雄畫家莊索(1914-1997),祖籍廈門,十五歲(1928)時也入學廈門美專,他曾回憶張萬傳到學校和同學相處的情形,寫道:

「民國十九年到二十年,或二十一年這段期間的春季,在日本川端畫學校研習中的張萬傳,利用假期有兩、三次到廈門省親。常常到美專與台籍學生聚玩。有時邀約謝國鏞等幾位學生去寫生,亦友、亦師、亦是老大哥。有時到宿舍裡講故事或教唱日本美術學間流行的歌曲。『為了追求馬諦斯、畢卡索而徬徨,苦練素描,無法突破,不覺淚雙垂。嚓卡灰!嚓卡灰!』接著拍桌子、搥椅子、敲打洗臉盆,嬉皮地胡鬧一陣。同室不諳日語文的其他同學,也荒腔走板,湊起熱鬧來。」

生動地描寫了張氏坦率、活潑的個性。此後,張氏便經常往來於日本、廈門與台灣之間。

居留東京留學期間,除了畫室中的摸索、練習,張萬傳還有另一項重要的工作,便是參觀畫展,這也是他學習的主要管道。東京作為當時亞洲最先進開放的國際都會,許多西方藝文資訊,都可以在這裡輕易接觸、取得。1933年的第十一屆「春陽會展」,張萬傳在會場上見到了日本旅歐畫家鳥海青兒的油畫作品,那曾經在陳植棋、鹽月桃甫等人畫面中出現、令他深受感動的狂野、豪邁的作風,再一次深深地吸引了他。而隔年(1934),在另一個展覽會上,法國畫家烏拉曼克(Maurice de Vlaminck, 1876-1958)的作品,那流動、豐富的筆觸與色彩,又強力地震撼了張萬傳的心靈。

這個時期的張萬傳,在整個藝術的走向上,似乎也陷入了一些猶疑與掙扎。到底是要走向一種較趨向於學院要求的嚴謹畫面安排與形色結構?或是走向一種率性放縱的自由作風?曾經在第六屆「台展」中獲得入選,張萬傳不可能不再參展,但多屆的缺席,顯示他的作品,並未獲得評審的青睞。尤其相對於1935年第九屆「台展」,陳德旺以[裸女仰臥]一作,獲得「朝日賞」、洪瑞麟也以[蟬聲]入選;第二年(1936)的第十屆「台展」,陳德旺再以[藍衣]入選,洪瑞麟更以[慈幃]獲「台日賞」的榮譽。張萬傳在這個藝術叉口的抉擇上,正面臨了巨大的困境與挑戰。

 

三、創組「MOUVE

1935年,台灣最大的民間美術團體「台陽美術協會」(簡稱「台揚美協」)成立,隨即在秋天舉行首展。這個由「台展」得獎台籍畫家推動組成的畫會,雖不見得有和官辦「台展」相抗衡的明確動機,但在美術運動的推動上,試圖擺脫日籍評審的制約,建立自我運作的機制,則是可以肯定的。張萬傳和陳德旺、洪瑞麟三人,也在第二年的1936年,正式受邀入會,成為會員並參加第二屆的展出。

1937年,張萬傳再度前往中國東南沿海旅遊,經由廣東等地,也回到福建廈門居留較長的時間。位在廈門對岸的鼓浪嶼成為他大量畫作的題材。次年10月開展的第一屆台灣總督府展覽會(簡稱「府展」),張萬傳正是以[鼓浪嶼風景]一作,獲得「特選」,也是當屆特選名單中唯一的一位台籍畫家。

1937年,張萬傳在廈門認識了廈門美專畢業的許聲基(後改名呂基正,1914-1990),兩人一見如故,相談甚歡,乃發起何祖「青天畫會」。隔年8月,並和新加入的日人山崎省三,舉行三人展於廈門,引起注目。

1938年,張萬傳和洪瑞麟、陳德旺、許聲基,及同是台灣留日的陳春德、雕塑家澎湖人黃清呈等人,共組「ムーヴ美術協會」(即Mouve,簡稱「Mouve美協」)於台北,並於同年三月十九日起假台北的台灣教育會館舉行三天的首展。五月,張萬傳與洪瑞麟、陳德旺三人,即宣告退出「台陽美協」,使「Mouve美協」儼然成為「台陽美協」外另一個有著不同屬性與主張的在野美術團體。


1938年年底,廈門也成為日軍掌握統治的地區,雖然在此之前,接續前往南洋募款卻因病猝逝的黃燧弼校長而擔任廈門美專校長的林克恭,他也是台灣板橋林家子弟,力邀張萬傳到校任教,但張萬傳發現:校園教學幾乎停頓,戰爭已經波及校園,師生相繼逃難、轉學,包括林校長也赴香港避難。不久,廈門美專也就被迫停辦。張萬傳在1939年年初,返回台灣,赴倪蔣懷的瑞芳礦場任職,成為洪瑞麟的同事。洪瑞麟是在1938年的7月回到台灣,9月進入瑞芳礦場工作,日後並以他那些散發著地底聖火的礦工畫作,膾炙畫壇。

不過張萬傳在礦場的工作,並沒有持續太久,同年年底便離開礦場;但瑞芳礦場一坑分坑的同仁仍為他舉行了一場盛大的送別會,並合拍照片留念,顯見張氏與這些勞動者間親近和諧的友誼。

 


1939年年底,離開瑞芳礦場的張萬傳,決定成為一個專業畫家,這是他個人繪畫成熟的重要階段,但也是生活至為艱苦、飄蕩的一段時間。

這個時期,日本發動的侵華戰爭,陷入動彈不得的泥淖,全國經濟都受到支援戰爭的影響而停滯;幸運的是:台灣雖在戰爭陰影罩下,「府展」仍持續辦理。張萬傳一方面以較偏向巴黎畫派,如尤特里羅或日本畫家佐伯祐三的風格,持續參展;另一方面,他也在烏拉曼克式的筆法和巴黎畫派的風格中,逐漸走出自己的一些面貌。

首先,他在1940年的5月,與黃清呈、謝國鏞,在台南公會堂舉行了一場「Mouve三人展」。「Mouve三人展」似乎也成為「Mouve美協」的最後一次公開活動。「Mouve三人展」的第二年(1941),即因日本與英美國家交惡,政府明令禁止公開使用西洋文字,而被迫改名、改組。新組成的畫會名稱為「台灣造型美術協會」(簡稱「造型美協」),強調「造型」,也可以看出這些成員思維的取向。新成立的畫會,增加了幾位新會員,包括顏水龍、藍運登、范倬造,和事實上已經參加「Mouve三人展」的謝國鏞等人。「台灣造型美術協會」在同年三月初,假台北市教育館展出三天,張萬傳提出油畫作品[台南風景]等十七件,是所有成員中展出數量最多的一位。這個時期的張萬傳經常往南部,尤其是台南跑,也因此留下了許多以台南古蹟為題材的作品,包括〔台南孔廟大成坊〕及[赤崁樓]等。

1914年年底,日本轟炸美國軍事要地珍珠港,正是引爆太平洋戰爭,也引起日本國內物資的更加困乏,政府開始全面實施「繪具材料統治法」,包括畫布在內的繪畫材料,取得都相當困難;張萬傳乃以「馬糞紙」為媒材,充當畫布。

同時,也由於戰事關係,張萬傳居留台南的時間更長;以安平進港的鮮魚為題材,開始了他對「魚」的造型之研究,「魚」也成為他創作中一個新且持續至老的重要畫題。1942年,他就在台南的「望鄉茶室」,舉行了一次速寫展。

不過整體而言,在這1940年代初期的發展過程中,淡水仍是張萬傳創作生命中,逐漸取代鼓浪嶼,而成為最具代表性且百畫不厭的風景題材。同樣是對外通商的口岸,同樣是本土與洋風雜陳的建築風格,但這個他出生、童年成長之地,似乎更增添了一份滄桑、神秘的人文氣息與生命記憶。

這個曾經一度風華的通商大港,隨著台灣經濟重心的北移,在歷史的流程中逐漸沉睡,一種廢港的景象,使走入這個地區的人,均能深刻感受到強烈的歷史滄桑感;而高岡處處的山坡地,沿坡而建的樓房屋宇,又予人以一種濃稠的現實感。似乎每一棟古樓就隱藏著一則曲折的故事;而歷史與文化的遺影,最容易從那些斑駁著歲月痕跡的屋瓦牆面中呈露出來。

滄桑與華美的結合,正符合張萬傳的美感傾向,在多少描繪淡水白樓的畫家作品中,張萬傳得以顯得特別突出,不是沒有原因。

有關淡水的作品,在這段時間,產量極豐,且各具特色。除了表現建築物與巷道之美外,淡江及觀音山也是畫家捕捉的焦點。

1943年,張萬傳以[南方風景]入選最後一屆(第六屆)「府展」後,「府展」停辦;張萬傳也在隔年(1944),受召入伍。在軍隊中,因繪畫的專長,被調派專責軍事用圖的繪製。偶爾也因熟諳日語而被調充通譯,為此協助過不少中國的農民百姓。軍隊在汕頭、金門一帶都待過。

1945年8月,兩顆原子彈分別投在日本廣島、長崎,結束了戰爭,也結束了日本在台灣的統治。

在中國沿海就地復原的張萬傳,首先回到廈門,將一些畫作打包成箱,並變賣家產,準備回台定居。他租了一艘木板船,載著畫作,一路回到嘉義附近的港口,由於船長擔心船隻被海邊的蚵架破壞,乃吆喝眾人下船,張萬傳只得將畫作的箱子或提或扛地搬下小船,企圖上岸;但多年的心血,就在這種功虧一匱的情形下,毀壞於嘉義海濱的海水浸泡中。

回到台北的張萬傳不久便接到以「志願軍」受召入伍的二弟不幸在南洋陣亡的消息。年底,父親張永清公,也因勞累過度,突然去世。張萬傳從此一肩挑起照顧家族的重責大任。

幸好,在這個時候(1946),台北市建國中學校長張耀堂邀請他前往任教;由於編制上的缺額,張萬傳暫時負責學校的體育課程及部份的訓導工作。熱愛體育的張萬傳,特地為他們組成「橄欖球隊」,加上負責部分訓導工作,因此與學生的情誼特別深厚。

不過不幸的事情,在不到一年後的隔年(1947)二月發生。震動全台的「二二八事件」,許多台北的學校均牽連在內,「建國中學」自不例外。

事件發生後,風聲鶴唳,張萬傳為了學生的安危,四處奔走打探;然而本身既是留日、又負責訓導工作的他,也成為緊張局勢下,隨時可能遭受不測、牽連的特定對象。更何況個性強烈、正義感十足的張萬傳,在這波變動的事件中,是否也涉入了某些行動,隨時可能遭到調查,乃至逮捕的命運。因此,在學校同事,也是廈門同鄉前輩書法家曹秋圃(1895-1993)的建議下,張萬傳決定暫時離開學校,走避風頭。

果然不久,全台即展開大規模的掃蕩行動,多人受害。張萬傳此時已回到草山老家,再經產業道路,前往台北縣的金山(原名「金包里」),暫時隱密在執醫的大弟張萬居家中。

日子雖然在苦悶、驚恐中度過,但對張萬傳的人生而言,金山的避難,似乎也不是完全沒有收穫。就在避難金山期間,他認識了當地一位小他14歲的姑娘-許寶月(1922-1989)小姐。兩人都已是屬於晚婚的年紀,但時局的不安、生活的不定,一切只有靜待局勢的好轉。

 

五、教師生涯

1948年,張萬傳接到台北市大同中學的教師聘書,同時擔任美術與體育的教學。

這所中學,原為日治時期的一所私立學校。戰後由台北市政府接管,校址也移往新生南路今龍安國小處;之後,因教室不敷使用,再遷往同在新生南路上的金華國中現址。直到1959年才遷往大同高中今址。

張萬傳前往報到的大同高中,即屬金華國中現址時期。他也在延平北路二段找了居住的處所,這是日治時期的太平町所在,也是藝文人士經常出入的地方。

工作、住所有了著落,張萬傳便正式迎娶許寶月小姐,這年他41歲。長女麗恩即在隔年出世,為了添補家用,張萬傳也利用夜間,前往延平補校兼課,家計的負擔,多少也影響了創作的數量。

不過整體而言,張萬傳這個時期的作品,在比例上,增加了許多水彩的創作,或許是基於教學上的需要,也可能是囿於時間的較為零碎,風景的水彩寫生,數量上大為增加。

在學校的教學,美術課之外,橄欖球隊的訓練,也佔去了藝術家相當多的時間。1951年,張萬傳出任大同中學訓導主任,也親自組織訓練該校的橄欖球隊。張萬傳對體育運動的熱愛,尤其是對橄欖球的推廣,至老不渝。

1952年,「台陽美協」在戰後的復甦中,邀請張萬傳、洪瑞麟、陳德旺等人重新入會。不過這段時間並不長,1955年,他們又再度退出「台陽美協」,成為二進二出的成員。

這種退出之事,固然有著藝術理念上的差異,但到了這種年紀,則主要還是在個性上的不同。獨立自主的張萬傳,實在也不能容忍那種處處講輩份、時時爭出頭的組織活動。

儘管不習慣「台陽」這種大組織的約束,但到底他還是和幾位志同道合的朋友,共同組織了戰後另一個重要的在野團體「紀元美術會」。

1954年,張萬傳邀集洪瑞麟、陳德旺,和張義雄(1941-)、廖德政(1920-)、金潤作(1922-1983)等人,共組「紀元美術會」,並在同年7月3 日,假台北市博愛路的「美而廉」茶室三樓畫廊,舉辦第一屆「紀元美術展」。

在當時畫展開幕請帖中,明白標示著這樣的文字:

「同人等回憶過去之藝術研究,感有疑問與困難,所以此次同人以小規模展出務求(疑問與困難的)明朗化,雖微而能克服過去,即是同人之願望。」

這樣的文字,標舉著研究的精神,正是之前Mouve精神的再延續。

在「紀元美術展」組成的同一年,張萬傳也鼓勵當時大同中學的同事,也是擔任理化教學的邱水銓(1928-),組織「自由加入」、「免審查」的「星期日畫家會」,所謂的「星期日畫家」,是源自日文的「日曜畫家」的意思,也就是所謂的「業餘畫家」。

「星期日畫家會」的初期成員有:大同中學教師邱水銓、黃清溪(1920-1980,即黃清埕之兄)、蔡蔭棠(1909-),台北市立女中教師陳炳沛(1916-)、陳錫樞(1921-),台北市立商職校長陳光熙(1920-),以及新莊信用合作社經理陳國寅(1919-2001)等人。

「星期日畫家會」在1954年成立後的第二年(1955)7月,即在台北中山堂舉辦第一屆年展。之後陸續追隨學習的,還有大同中學及延平中學的學生孫明煌(1938-)、廖修平(1936-)、廖武治(1943-),以及省立台北師範藝術科(今國立台北教育大學視覺藝術教育系)畢業的呂義濱(1934-)和吳王承(1934-)等人。

事實上,自1949年結婚以來,張萬傳的家計日重,七年之間,多了四個小孩,對張萬傳而言,這是不小的負擔。1958年,也是張萬傳五十歲那年,母親去世。隔年(1959),著名的「八七水災」毀去了他多年辛苦結晶的作品,這可以說是張萬傳生命最艱辛、困苦的一段時間。


不過,如果從目前的作品整理出來的結果無誤,大概也就是在1958年母親去世的那一年開始,張萬傳開始了一個全新的話題,即是對裸女的描繪。

幾件標記1958年的裸女作品,張萬傳分別以水彩、粉蠟筆,即油彩,進行裸女題材的創作。張氏的裸女,不再表現女體的性感與嫵媚,而在捕捉女體的結構,和周邊環境的關係。這種氛圍的掌握,務求在畫面上達到形色交融的境界。

這些畫作的出現,也代表張萬傳開始有了前往特定畫室進行裸女寫生的習慣,而這個行動,應與此前數年創立的「星期日畫家會」有關。他們經常共資邀請模特兒,張萬傳應該就是在這種機緣下,開始了這個日後成為他重要畫題之一的創作系列。

1960年代,是台灣現代繪畫逐漸形成風潮的時期,以大陸來台青年,如「五月畫會」、「東方畫會」、「現代版畫會」為主軸所帶動的西方現代繪畫,尤其是抽象繪畫所形成的風潮,激烈地衝擊著以本地前輩畫家為主體的西畫壇,尤其是「全省美展」與「台陽美展」。

這些前衛的思想,對張萬傳而言,或許也有某些理念上的相通與共鳴,然而一向獨來獨往、自外於畫壇主流的張萬傳,至少從作品風格來看,並沒有受到這些風潮具體的影響。


1961年,大同中學遭遇一些重大的變革:在政府「省辦高中、縣市辦初中」的政策下,大同中學取消了高中部。沒有了高中部的大同中學,長期培訓的橄欖球隊也只好劃下了句點;畢業生只得另組校友隊,勉強維持球隊的延續與練習。另一方面,沒有了高中部,張萬傳的美術教學,也失去了足以對談、溝通的年齡層。張萬傳美術創作的天地,似乎也因此變得更為孤獨而寂寞了。

1961年,三男出世,家中已經有了五個小孩,為了改善居住的品質,1963年,張萬傳舉家由錦西街遷往民生東路。隔年(1964),新成立的台北板橋國立藝專美術科(今國立台灣藝術大學美術系),敦聘他前往夜間部兼課。這是張萬傳首度正式面對學院學生,然而他的教法和為人,顯然也獲得許多學生的欣賞、認同。知名的水墨畫家楚戈(1931-),就回憶當年的受教情形說:

「在板橋藝專念書的時候,記憶中的張萬傳老師最愛畫魚,他有時和學生一起畫模特兒,使初學畫人體的學生知道:與其精描細繪其形,還不如粗略簡寫其神。他的示範作用,啓導了學生對空間的體認,大家因而知道,眼前的空間移植到畫幅之中時,是需要選擇的,不可照單全收,而畫面的視覺效果,則完全依靠個人的學養與經驗,他告訴學生,他全力追求的是形與色的交融。

在藝專其間,我喜歡張老師的是他的在野性格,從不和當權派打交道,……可是張老師自然也失去了很多有利的機會;可是張老師那種甘於平淡,從不討好社會的喜好,只求自我風格之追求,在學生中宛如一道清流,知道無休無止的作畫,就是一種滿足、就是無可取代的富有。

離開藝專以後,很少有機會見到老師,但他那愛護學生、和學生打成一片的風範卻永難忘懷。」

到藝專夜間部任教的第二年,發生了一件政治迫害事件,使得張萬傳對政治厭惡的心情更為加遽。原來在藝專擔任助教的吳耀忠(1937-1987),是張萬傳大同中學的學生,為了一些涉及思想上的言論,觸犯了當時的政治禁忌,和從事文藝創作的另一位年輕人陳映真(1937-),同時被捕下獄。

吳耀忠的被捕,對張萬傳的面世態度,無疑是雪上加霜。後來吳耀忠被囚禁七年之後,因肝癌病逝,這已是後話。

在沉悶的時局中,倒是1966年的春天,有了一趟北國日本之旅,開朗了心胸。

一位日本友人海江田正孝,在日治時期來過台灣,接受過張萬傳的招待,戰後也始終保持著密切的聯繫。熱愛藝術的梅江田,後來在日本九州南部的鹿兒島執醫,始終希望張萬傳有機會前往舉辦畫展。1966年春天,海江田醫師透過一間日本繪具公司,發給張萬傳一封邀展的聘書,在那個戒嚴管制的時代,歷經多重關卡的審核,也排除了課業的羈絆,張萬傳終於在當年8月,重新踏上睽違已經30年的日本,舊地重遊,感慨萬千。

張萬傳攜帶了許多小幅的作品,在福岡和鹿兒島兩地舉行畫展。透過海江田醫師的安排,他受到日本社交圈極熱烈的招待,也初嚐日本繪畫市場給予藝術家熱情又富尊嚴的回饋。

過了六十歲的年紀,尤其是一趟日本之旅回來,張萬傳希望放下一切、重作專業畫家的想法,又濃烈了起來。

首先他在1971年,假台北市中山堂舉行了多年來僅有的一場個展,展出作品包括人物、風景和靜物等油畫、水彩,共50餘件。

1972年,好友洪瑞麟從瑞芳煤礦退休,海闊天空的生活,也使他也決定自大同中學辦理退休。一個重新出發的專業畫家生涯,就等待著這些昔日的輕狂少年去重新圓夢。

 

六、風雲再起

洪瑞麟、張萬傳的相繼退休,長期以來對「紀元美術會」成員大力支持的收藏家呂雲麟(1922-1994),特地為此敦促、推動「紀元美展」的復展。1973年,先在其台北士林大西路的宅邸舉辦「紀元展-小品欣賞展」;隔年(1974)9月,第四屆「紀元美展」正式復展,於台北哥雅畫廊舉行。

這是台灣美術發展進入「畫廊時代」的起動點,紀元的重新復出,正是時候,市場的反應-如預期,收藏家爭相購藏。此時,台灣的經濟正從之前的加工替代業,轉型為休閒服務業。社會經濟的好轉、民風的開放,整個台灣社會正醞釀著一股蓄勢待發的潛力。

不過身處這個時期的張萬傳,心中顯然已經有了一定的計劃,壓抑多年的熱情,尋得一隙的出口,就將整個爆發出來。

1975年,他辭去延平中學與國立藝專的最後兼職,領了退休金之後,一半交給多年相伴的妻子,作為安家費,一半則換成法郎,以67歲的年紀,毅然移居法國,一圓年少時期的藝術之夢。

隻身來到巴黎的張萬傳,在塞納河畔找了一間名為「老巴黎」旅館。這棟四層樓的出租公寓,可以眺望巴黎每天的晨昏景象,那曾是巴黎畫派的畫家們生活、描繪的景象,此時,活生生的映現眼前,他在心中一一印證、重新創作。從塞納河上的十二座橋樑,到巴黎聖母院、羅浮宮、裁判所、廿世紀初期藝術家聚集的蒙馬特,以及羅特列克的紅磨坊,都成了他筆下捕捉描繪的對象,這是他創作產量極豐的一個時期。

這曾經啟迪他少年藝術之夢的心靈故鄉、那卓然獨立的藝術家群,如散發人文尊嚴的城鎮氛圍,都帶給六七高齡的張萬傳諸多強烈的震撼與共鳴;就如筆下那崇高、宏偉的壯麗教堂。

居留巴黎的這一年(1975),張萬傳也有一些裸女的作品,人物的動作較為含蓄、沉靜,不同於以往的狂野。在巴黎的日子顯然是舒緩而自足的,連台北傳來的第五屆紀元美展的邀約,張萬傳也沒有回應,甚至從此拒絕了紀元的展出,成為真真正正的在野畫家,以孤獨而自由的步履,繼續他藝術的旅程。

巴黎的歲月,滿足了老畫家的年少之夢,但巴黎的生活開銷,也使他不得不決定轉往歐洲其他的地區。一位從台北來的藝專學生戴璧吟(1945-),剛到西班牙,張萬傳與他有過一些接觸,那是在楊三郎的畫室之中。張萬傳決定叨擾這位晚輩,而戴也熱烈地歡迎這位敬愛的長者。西班牙那種帶著強烈悲劇性格的民族風情,其實在某個層面上,更接近於張萬傳藝術的本質。

經歷一年的旅程,從西班牙轉往義大利,遊覽了羅馬、威尼斯等地,最後經泰國、香港,留下大量的速寫和畫作,在1977年初,回到了台灣。回到台灣的張萬傳,立即向昔日同事邱水銓租得忠孝東路的一間空屋,作為畫室,閉門積極創作;將一些歐遊的速寫,轉為油彩的創作。1977年的年底11月,就在台北新公園的省立博物館(今國立台灣博物館)舉行「旅歐作品展」,展出風景、靜物等七十幅。

當這位老當益壯的畫家,將他的作品,首次如此大規模的展現後,立即激起了台灣正在蓬勃發展的畫廊界巨大的迴響,許多邀約紛紛湧至。

1979年2月,71歲的張萬傳又有一趟出國的遠行,目的地是太平洋對岸的美國。不過這次的心情,顯然大為不同,因為旅行寫生只是一種順帶的工作,此行主要的目的,是前往德州達拉斯城,探望已經成家的長子,以及即將出生的孫子。

此行又轉往墨西哥,遊歷了許多城市,也創作了三大冊的淡彩作品與鉛筆速寫。這些都是日後持續創作油畫的素材。

事實上,老當益壯的張萬傳,在歐遊之後,畫展不斷,逐漸累積了畫壇上的聲名,追隨者日多,畫廊也邀約孔急。但凡事不為外界左右的張萬傳,對這一切的虛名、榮譽,總是淡然處之。一度他將這些邀展交專業的畫廊處理,自己則全力投入參觀重要美術展與持續創作的生活中。

尤其自長子定居美國成家立業之後,終生支持他的夫人,也經常往來於台北、美國之間,患有先天心臟病的她,往往在美國一住就是半年,張萬傳獨居的生活,就完全獻身給了創作。張萬傳曾說:「學習、創作,是我生命中最熱烈追求的兩件事。」

1983年,他與學生廖武治同行赴日,參觀在東京國立近美術館舉行的「畢卡索展」,又遊覽了東京、京都、福岡等地寫生。他的另一學生吳王承回憶說:老師專程為他帶回來了一本厚厚的畢卡索畫集,然後直說:「被畢卡索騙了!」這句帶著戲謔的語言,其實也帶著一份「藝」氣相通的讚賞。畢卡索多變的風格,往往正是藝術家終生思索的課題解套。


幾年後(1990),他又為參觀「梵谷逝世百週年展」,專程前往荷蘭,順道遊覽了德、法、瑞士等國家的美術館,深受近代表現主義風格所感動。這趟旅程時,他已高齡82,也是他最後一趟長途之旅。

這一年(1990),台北市立美術館舉辦「台灣早期西洋美術回顧展」,開始展開對這些日治時期成長的前輩畫家進行較學術性的探討,台灣美術史研究風潮也逐漸展開。民間為張萬傳出版的第一本小型畫冊,也在此時問世,這是後續一連串巨型畫冊面世的先聲。

不過,這些榮耀,都已經來不及和長期牽手的老伴分享;夫人許寶月女士,已在前一年(1989)因病辭世。

張萬傳晚年的歲月,過得是既風光又孤獨。伴隨台灣美術市場興盛的熱潮,他的作品成為畫壇寵兒,各式的畫展不斷地在台北幾間重要的畫廊,陸續登場。但平常的日子裡,他除了畫畫,更是經常搭乘公車,與朋友聚會、聊天。在這段期間,他也將許多過去旅遊所作的速寫,畫成油畫作品,其中尤以歐洲的作品最多。

1990那年,他聽聞淡水白樓即將拆除,基於對古蹟保存的用心,他慨然捐出畫作,呼籲眾人共同為這棟歷史性建築,找尋一線保留的生機;然而事與願違,這棟白樓終究還是在道路拓寬的需求下,在1992年遭到拆除的命運。

在之前接受陳長華的訪問中,張萬傳即已表示:

「……周圍的環境,對我們有志於寫生的人來說,愈來愈困難了。不管在日本或在台灣,美好的風景逐漸為文明建築破壞,畫者的哀愁是這樣無可奈何。」

白樓的拆除,對老畫家來說,是一種生命的無奈。他在白樓拆除前的1991年,為這棟一生不斷描繪的建築,留下了最後的身影。不再有紅紫的典麗色彩,白與褐色為主調的色系,帶著一份悲苦的無奈。

1997年,張萬傳足歲88,台北市立美術館為他舉辦「張萬傳八八畫展」的回顧性展染。回顧展後的張萬傳,仍有一些魚與裸女的素描與速寫。是否就在這些題采的不斷繪作中,畫家獲得了生命活力的不斷加持?

2000年,高齡92歲的張萬傳,有輕微中風的現象,但神智仍然清晰。隔年年初,陳水扁總統親自蒞臨張家拜訪,以表示對這一代巨匠的最高尊榮。

2003年1月12日,張萬傳以95歲高齡,辭世於家中。

 


Unrestrained, Classical and Heroic

The Life and Art of Chang Wan-Chuan

HSIAO Chong-Ray

Professor, Department of History, National Cheng Kung University

 

In the history of Taiwanese art, Chang Wan-Chuan is a legendary figure. He had the tall and robust physique of an athlete, could at times be proud and uninhibited, but also was a refined and sensitive soul. From the young age of ten he knew he wanted to be a painter, and for the next eighty years of his professional life until he passed away at ninety-five, the paintbrush never left his hand, even at the dinner table he would trace designs with soy sauce. However, throughout his life, he rarely felt compelled to engage with the mainstream art establishment or academia.

Chang Wan-Chuan’s creative life was just like life itself. From his vigorous and bold brush strokes came exquisitely beautiful colors, and from the rich and deep textures within his paintings, issued melancholy angst. We could say that he was the artist who could truly master the essence and allure of oil painting among the first generation of Taiwanese artists working in western styles. If he wasn’t the only artist who was able to completely unite emotion with a paintbrush, then he was one of very few.

 

Born in Danshuei

Chang Wan-Chuan was born in Danshuei, Taipei County during the Japanese colonial period. His father Chang Yong-Ching (1877~1945) was a late-Qing Dynasty intellectual, spoke English and was employed at a customs house. In 1909 Chang Yong-Ching, at thirty-three years old, had his first son. At the time, thirty-three was considered late for a first son, and so he named the child Wan-Chuan (in the Minnan dialect, this name can mean “to produce progeny late,” and also “to pass down to the ages”). In 1909, Chang Yong-Ching was transferred to the Danshuei customs office, and so Chang Wan-Chuan created his childhood memories in this hilly location by the sea. The landscape around Danshuei later became subject matter that he never tired of portraying in his paintings.

In 1916, Chang Wan-Chuan moved with his family to Taiping Ding in Dadaocheng, Taipei City (today’s Yanping North Road) at the age of eight. He remained here until he was fifteen years old and graduated from Shilin Public School in 1923. During this period it seems he may have gone with his father to his grandfather’s house on Grass Mountain (today’s Yangming Mountain) and even attended school there for a period of time.


In 1924, Chang completed a one year high school program at Shilin Public School. Art at this time in Taiwan was in the midsts of a crucial period of its historical development. Despite the Japanese and their ingenious strategy of alternating high-handed and conciliatory rule during the colonial period, anti-Japanese sentiment existed among the Taiwanese people all along. After the Ta-pa-ni Incident in 1915, the people of Taiwan became aware that taking a direct military stand against the powerful Japanese colonial regime was futile, and therefore culturally based resistance movements gradually replaced military ones. In 1921, the Taiwanese Cultural Association was established, which fomented even more anti-Japanese sentiment among Taiwanese youth. The frequent protests at Taipei Municipal University of Education, one of Taiwan’s most highly respected centers of education at the time, had attracted the attention of administrative authorities as well as the general public. The principal of the school, Ota Hideho, facing societal pressure, took full responsibility and resigned from his post. He was succeeded by Principal Shihota, who made great efforts to deal with the situation by inviting his classmate Kinichiro Ishikawa (1871~1945) to teach and promote art activities, and thereby divert the students’ attention away from the unrest on campus.

Kinichiro Ishikawa’s art advocacy in Taiwan was not entirely limited to the University of Education campus. He also promoted the study of western art and formed the extra-curricular groups, such as the Student Still Life Association, Taiwan Watercolor Society and even a summer art salon, which where not restricted only to youth attending the University. At the end of 1927, with the financial support of Ni Chiang-Huai, the Taiwan Watercolor Society held its first exhibition and Chang Wan-Chuan’s name was already on the list of exhibiting artists. In mid 1929, Ni Chiang-Huai hired Kinichiro Ishikawa to found the Taiwanese Art Institute (later named the Modern Art Institute of Taiwan), where Chang Wan-Chuan studied and formed life-long friendships with students of the Taipei Municipal University of Education Chen Te-Wang (1910~1984) and Hung Rui-Lin (1912~1996).

Although it goes without saying that Chang was initiated into the art world by Kinichiro Ishikawa while at the Taiwanese Art Institute, the influence of his senior classmate Chen Chih-Chi (1906~1931), who dropped out of Taipei Municipal University of Education, was deeper and longer lasting. Looking back on Chang’s work, we can say that there is a trace of Kinichiro Ishikawa’s light and sketchy watercolors in his work, but it is the intensity of the forthright Chen Chih-Chi’s brush strokes that shook young Chang right down to his very soul, and this kind of brushwork became the main component in Chang’s later oil paintings. In 1928, Chen’s work Taiwan Landscape and Liao Chi-Chun’s work Courtyard with Banana Tree were both accepted into the Imperial Art Exhibition, which greatly encouraged these young artists to continue in their studies. At the time, studying abroad in Japan was the fastest and easiest way to study western art, but prior to 1929 only about twenty Taiwanese students were able to pursue this avenue.


 

Travel and Study in Tokyo

In August of 1930, Chang Wan-Chuan helped Chen Chig-Chi, whose house was flooded by a typhoon, deliver his work accepted into the eleventh Imperial Exhibition to a ship in Keelung that was headed for Japan. Chen Chih-Chi, along with Hung Rui-Lin who was on the same boat, went to Japan first. A little later, in the fall or winter of the same year, Chang Wan-Chuan first went to Kyoto, and then joined Hung Rui-Lin, and Chen Te-Wang in Tokyo.

Upon arriving in Tokyo, Chang had the opportunity to meet Toho Shiotsuki (1886~1954) who had also taught in Taiwan. Toho Shiotsuki’s painting style was completely different from Kinichiro Ishikawa’s; Toho was liberal minded and open to many different artists viewpoints and ideologies and he had an enormous influence on Chang’s thinking. It was especially Toho Shiotsuki’s unrestrained brushwork, use of oil paints and Fauvist tendencies that gradually took over the athletic minded Chang and infused him with a more optimistic and carefree attitude. Through Chen Chih-Chi’s introduction, Chang Wan-Chuan, Hung Rui-Lin and Chen Te-Wang met senior Japanese artist Yoshimura Yoshimatu (1887~1965) and studied under his care and guidance at his private school in northern Tokyo. Yoshimura Yoshimatu also encouraged them to enroll at the newly established Teikoku Art School.

The Teikoku Art School was established in 1929. It was located near the Kichijoji in Musashino City in western Tokyo, and therefore was later renamed Musashino Art University. In the early days, the intention behind establishing the school was to cultivate independent artists to compete with students from the government sponsored Tokyo School of Fine Arts. The two schools differed in their approaches; Tokyo School of Fine Arts focused on practical training and techniques, while Teikoku Art School stressed the incorporation of politics, society and human life into art, and inculcated a concept of humanities as well as an experimental, avant-garde spirit in the students. In the spring of 1931, Chang Wan-Chuan, Hung Rui-Lin and Chen Te-Wang all passed the entrance exam and entered the Teikoku Art School. Relatively speaking, Chang Wan-Chuan’s art concerns seemed to be separated from those of the school’s, and although he had a forthright personality and was sensitive to his surroundings, he was more concerned with expressing himself with the specific qualities of materials, derivations from color and form and his own emotions.

At the end of 1930, when Chang Wan-Chuan and the others were in the early part of their stay in Tokyo, they had the fortunate opportunity to be exposed to the works of young and mid-career Japanese painters who had studied in Paris like Saeki Yuzo. After this, they formed the group the 1930 Association to promote a new style of avant-garde art. They brought forth a style based on Fauvism and individualism, which attracted a large number of young artists. The romanticism of a Parisian painter’s lifestyle was their ideal, and Parisian artists such as Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and even Japanese born Fujita Tsuguji were their heroes. All of these artists were intensely individualistic, separated themselves from the rest of the world and shunned convention. In the deepest levels of Chang Wan-Chuan’s thinking and soul he was already an anti-academic outsider when he first came to Tokyo.

When Chang Wan-Chuan was living and studying in Tokyo, besides fumbling about and practicing in his studio, he took on the equally important job of visiting art exhibitions. Since Tokyo was Asia’s most advanced and liberal international metropolis at the time, it was easy to pick up a lot of western cultural information. Chang saw the oil paintings of Seiji Chokai, who lived in Europe, at the eleventh Shunyohkai Exhibition in 1933. He also once again discovered that heroic and unrestrained styles fascinated him while looking at the work of Chen Chih-Chi and Toho Shiotsuki.

 

Organizing Mouve

In 1935, Taiwan’s largest public art organization, Taiyang Art Association, was established and held its first exhibition in autumn of the same year. This organization was founded and promoted by members awarded in the Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition, yet didn’t necessarily intend to compete with this institution. Nonetheless, as an art movement, Taiyang Art Association certainly deserves credit for distancing itself from the restrictions of Japanese judgments and founding its won operational mechanism. Chang Wan-Chuan, Jung Rui-Lin and ChenTe-Wang were invited to become members of the organization and also exhibit their works in 1936, which was Taiyang’s second year of operation.

In 1937, Chang Wan-Chuan traveled again to the southeast coast of China, passing through Guangdong and then back to Xiamen in Fujian Province to live for a longer period of tune. Gulangyu, which is situated in Xiamen harbor, became the subject of many of his paintings. The first Taiwan Government Fine Art Exhibition was held in October of the next year, and Chang’s painting Scenery at Gulangyu was the only work by a Taiwanese painter to be selected for a special award.

In 1938, Chang Wan-Chuan, Chen Te-Wang, Xu Sheng-Ji, and Hung Rui-Lin along with Chen Chun-De and Penghu sculptor Huang Ching-Cheng who also studied in Japan, started the Mouve Artist Society in Taipei. Starting on March 19th of the same year, the Taiwan Education Association of Taipei held its inaugural three-day exhibition. Chang Wan-Chuan, Chen Te-Wang and Hung Rui-Lin announced their withdrawal from the Taiyang Art Association in May, and created the Mouve Artist Society. This organization differed from Taiyang in some important ways, but still supported alternative artists outside of the official academy. In the beginning of 1939, Chang Wan-Chuan returned to Taiwan to work at Ni Chiang-Huai’s quarry in Ruifang, and worked alongside Hung Rui-Lin.

 

Wandering During the War Years

In late 1939, Chang Wan-Chuan left the quarry at Ruifang and decided to become a professional painter. While this was an important stage in his maturation as an artist, it was also a difficult and unsettled time in his life. At this time, Japan was enmeshed in its invasion of China which held back the growth of the entire Japanese economy as they focused their resources on the war. Fortunately, although Taiwan was in the shadow of this war, the Taiwan Government Fine Art Exhibition was still being held. In May of 1940 Chang had a three-person show entitled Mouve: Three Person Exhibition with Huang Ching-Cheng and Xie Guo-Yong at the Old Tainan Prefecture Hall. In 1941, the second year of the Mouve: Three Person Exhibition, the Japanese explicitly banned the use of all western words on public notices due to escalating tensions with England and the United States, and so Mouve was forced to change its name and reorganize. Mouve became the Taiwan Creative Art Form Association and emphasized formalism, which also reflected the approach of the organization’s members.


In late 1941, Japan bombed the US strategic military location, Pearl Harbor, which formally began the war in the Pacific and put even greater stress on the domestic supplies in Japan and its territories. The Japanese Government put restrictions on art materials into effect, making canvas difficult to obtain, and therefore Chang started using strawboard in place of canvas for his paintings.

Chang Wan-Chuan stayed in Tainan for an even longer period due to the war, and started painting freshly caught fish form nearby Anping Harbor, which began a lifelong and significant exploration of fish as subject matter. Chang held his first exhibition of sketches at Nostalgia Teahouse in Tainan. Throughout this early period of development in 1940, Danshuei was still the center of Chang’s creative life, and its scenery gradually replaced Gulangyu as the most representative and most commonly seen subject in his work. In 1943, Chang’s work Southern Landscape was accepted into the sixth and last Taiwan Government Fine Art Exhibition, and thereafter he enlisted in the army in 1944. Due to his professional experience as an artist, he was assigned to the chart making division of the military.

In 1946, the principal of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, Chang Yao-Tang, invited Chang Wan-Chuan to teach at the school. Due to a vacancy, Chang temporarily worked in Dean’s office and also filled the position of coach in the physical education department. In February of 1947, not long after Chang started working at Jianguo, the 228 Incident unsettled the entire island of Taiwan, dragging many schools in Taipei into the turmoil, and Jianguo High School was no exception. After this incident, Chang Wan-Chuan rushed about to ensure his students’ safety. However, since he had lived in Japan and work with the dean, there was a possibility that he would meet with misfortune. Furthermore, due to Chang’s intensity and sense of justice, he could have gotten involved in this life-altering turn of events, and then perhaps investigated or even arrested at anytime. It wasn’t long before all of Taiwan was involved in a large-scale, clean-up operation where many people suffered. At this time Chang Wan-Chuan had already returned to his hometown Grass Mountain by way of Industrial Boulevard toward Jinshan (formerly Jinbaoli) in Taipei County to stay for a while with the family of his eldest younger brother, Chang Wan-Ju, who was a doctor. This was a depressing if not terrifying time for everyone, yet for Chang Wan-Chuan, taking refuge in Jinshan seemed like an experience that wasn’t completely without its benefits; he met Hsu Bao-Yue, a young lady 14 years his junior.

 

Teaching Career

In 1948, Chang Wan-Chuan was hired to teach both art and physical education at Datong High School, which was initially, built as a private school during the Japanese colonial period. After World War ll, the Taipei City Government took over the school and it was moved to Xinsheng South Road, where Longan Elementary School now stands. Later on, the school again moved to the current location of Chin Hwa Junior High School because the classrooms at the second location weren’t practical. The school remained at this location until 1959, when it was moved to the location of the current Datong High School. With his job and home settled and at the age of 41, Chang Wan-Chuan decided to marry Hsu Bao-Yue. The Taiyang Art Association was revived after the war and in 1952 invited Chang Wan-Chuan, Hung Rui-Lin and Chen Te-Wang to rejoin the group. However, this didn’t last for very long, since they left the association again in 1955, making them members who twice joined and also twice resigned.

In mid 1954, Chang Wan-Chuan invited Hung Rui-Lin, Chen Te-Wang, Liao Te-Cheng (b.1920), Chin Jun-Tso (1922~1983) and Chang Yi-Hsiung (b.1941) to organize the Era Fine Art Association. On July 3rd of the same year, they held their first exhibition in the third floor gallery of the Rose Marie Tea Room on Boai Road in Taipei.

The following was clearly written on the invitation card for this exhibition’s opening:

When colleagues remember their days of studying art, they are grateful for their doubts and troubles. This modest exhibition tries to clear up those doubts and put to rest those troubles, and although our offering is small, it is our hope that we may somehow overcome the past.

These words were a sign of their spirit of exploration and study, which is an extension of the ideas behind Mouve.

The 1960s were a time when excitement for modern painting gradually surged. The ideas of the younger generation Taiwanese who were born on the Mainland, like members of the Fifth Moon Group, the Ton-Fan Group and the Modern Graphics Association, hastened interest in modern western painting, especially the fad for abstract painting. These art trends had an intense impact on older generation Taiwan-born artists, especially those involved with the Taiwan Government Fine Art Exhibition and the Taiyang Art Exhibition.

In 1963, Chang Wan-Chuan moved from Jinxi Street to Minsheng East Road. The following year, the newly established National Taiwan Academy of Arts (now called the National Taiwan University of the Arts) asked Chang to take up a teaching post in their night-school division. Although this was the first time he taught college students, his teaching methods and personality were well liked by the students. The famous painter Chu Ge remembers being taught by Chang as follows:


From my days of studying at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts, I remember that Chang Wan-Chuan loved painting fish the most. Sometimes he would paint alongside the students when there were models present, so that the beginning students would know that it was better to capture the spirit of the model in a rough sketch rather than meticulously describe its exact appearance. These demonstrations would make students more observant of space, and make them realize that they had to make choices when transferring the space they saw before their eyes into a painting. They couldn’t just accept what they saw without question, but rather the visual effects in a painting rely completely upon the artist’s individual experience and mastery. Chang told the students that he focused all of his energy on blending form with color.

While I was at the school, I liked Chang’s irreverent qualities. He never dealt with the ruling political party […] but of course he lost a lot of opportunities because of this. He was happy to be an ordinary person and never sought fame or pursued fashionable ideas to ingratiate himself with society, rather he only pursued his own style. When he was with the students he seemed aloof from politics and material pursuits. He only knew painting; he ate, drank and dreamt painting, and this was his satisfaction and irreplaceable treasure.

After I left the school, I had little opportunity to see Chang, but his care for the students and his manner of becoming one of them were hard to forget.

 

Return to the Limelight

When Hung Rui-Lin and Chang Wan-Chuan retired, longtime supporter of the Era Fine Art Association and collector Lu Yun-Lin (1922-1994) urged the association to hold an exhibition. In 1973, the group first held the exhibition Era Fine Art Exhibition—Small Works at Lu’s Shilin residence on Daxi Road, and then in September of the following year, they held the fourth regular Era Fine Art Exhibition at the GOYA Gallery in Taipei.

In 1975 Chang Wan-Chuan finally took leave of his posts at Yanping Middle School and the National University of the Arts. At the age of 67 he was determined to fulfill a dream from his youth and go live in France. Alone in Paris, he found a four-storey hotel called Old Paris along the banks of the Seine where he lived and enjoyed the twilight view of the city every morning and evening. This was once the life of Parisian painters, to portray a scene by capturing a moment from real life, and so Chang committed scenes to his memory and then brought them to life again, one after another, in his paintings. The bridges over the Seine, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Palais de Justice, Montmartre where early twentieth-century artists assembled as well as Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge were all subjects of his paintings during this most prolific period of his career.

Chang’s time in Paris satisfied his dreams that he had as a young painter, but the expense of Paris made in necessary for him to move to other parts of Europe. He painted and traveled for a year in Spain, Italy, Rome and Venice, and finally passed through Thailand and Hong Kong leaving a lot of work. In early 1977 he returned to Taiwan and immediately rented an artist’s studio on Zhongxiao East Road from his old associate Chiu Shui-Chuan and began to paint energetically. He took some sketches he made while traveling in Europe and made them into paintings. In November of 1977, he held his European Travel Exhivition at the nesly established museum in New Park in Taipei (today’s National Taiwan Museum), exhibiting seventy still-life and landscape paintings.


Chang was still vigorous in this later period of his life, and after his travels in Europe, he continued to exhibit, gradually amassing quite a reputation as an artist. He transferred all of the professional arrangements for his exhibitions to a gallery and focused his attention on attending important art exhibitions and continuing his life as a painter. Chang once said, “Study and creativity are the two most important things in my life.”

In 1990, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum held the exhibition Retrospective of Western Art – the Early Period in Taiwan, in order to initiate investigation into the senior generation of artists active during Taiwan’s Japanese period, which bolstered interest in Taiwanese art history since then. In 1997, when 88 years old, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum held the Chang retrospective Chang Wan-Chuan – A Retrospective. Afterwards, Chang continued making drawings and sketches of fish and female figures, and perhaps Chang continued to draw vitality from these subjects. On January 12, 2003, Chang Wan-Chuan passed away at home at the age of 95.