Festival on South Street｜1930｜188 x 94.5 cm｜Gouache on Silk｜Kuo Hsueh-hu｜1908-2012｜Taipei Fine Arts Museum Collection
Kuo Hsueh-Hu 1908 - 2012
Kuo Hsueh-Hu was born in Dadaocheng, a northwest district of Taipei. In 1927, at just 19 years of age, he qualified to enter the First Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition, gaining the reputation as one of the "Three Youths" of the exhibition along with Chen Jin and Lin Yu-Shan. Kuo focused on sketching. He paid particular attention to the trees and rocks of Taiwan and portrayed unique landscapes of his native land in rich gouache colors.
Festival on South Street 1930
Kuo Hsueh-Hu uses dramatic style in portraying the bustling scenes of Dadaocheng in his spectacular grand artwork “Festival on South Street." He captured the energy of life in vibrant colors and details. Assorted shop signs, colorful banners thronging with rickshaw porters, vendors, and pedestrians are painted with a detailed composition depicting the unique features of Taiwan's folk festivals.
South Street is the former name of the section of DihuaStreet that is south of today's Min Sheng West Road in Dadaocheng. Kuo portrays the prosperity of the street during festive times in front of the Xiahai City God Temple. The painting is filled with images of ordinary folks engaged in daily activities surrounded by a sea of colorful signboards stretching into distance. The signs range from businesses, local specialty gift shops, mainland Chinese herbal medicine pharmacies to shops selling imported goods. There is even an English sign, "Sony." Collectively, the elements on the painting present the energy and diversity of the commercial district in early Taiwan. Moreover, it faithfully portrays Taiwan society in a realistic and interesting composition.