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Have a Betel Nut!

Tags: art | Kao Ye-Jung | painting

Kao Ye-Jung (1939–), 1986
Oil painting, 115 x 78 cm


Kao Ye-Jung, born in Jiangsu of China, graduated in 1959 from Pingtung Teacher’s College (nowadays Pingtung University of Education). Before his retirement, he was a professor of fine arts at Pingtung Teacher's College for more than 40 years. As a student of Lin Chun-Sheng and Chen Chi-Lu, anthropologists and academicians in the Academia Sinica, Kao's research focused on the culture and art of Taiwanese aborigines. Have a Betel Nut is a 1986 work of the subject matter. Kao skillfully captured the passionate smile in a realistic manner, utilizing pure colors swiftly and accurately. The realistic figure in the forefront is placed against blocks of sienna and azure green, rendering a meticulous yet relaxing, primitive yet refined feel to the picture. The viewers feel like being greeted by a Paiwanian friend, “Have a betel nut!” Kao is one of the few painters in Taiwan whose work concentrates on Taiwanese aborigines. He is a devoted researcher of Paiwan and Rukai tribes, and is the discoverer of Wanshan rock carving, a level-3 monument. This painting can be said to be the most representative of Kao’s works on aborigines.

Department of Graphic Communications and Digital Publishing, Shih Hsin University Digital archiving project of the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

Original Chinese text is composed by Professor Cheng-Ming Su, Department of Visual Arts, Taipei Municipal University of Education