Hanging scroll: watercolor on paper
Dimensions: Image: 36 1/2 x 9 inches (92.7 x 22.9 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Baekeland
Object Number: 75.097.003
Through surface patterns of dotted and dabbed colors, Chen Chi-kwan captures the cool light of the full moon, and the shimmering harbor lights and their watery reflections on a foggy night. This painting was completed shortly after Chen settled in Taiwan.
Born in Beijing, Chen received a traditional education in the Chinese classics and calligraphy, but his family’s life was interrupted by the turmoil of the Japanese occupation and they moved many times. After serving during World War II, Chen left for the US to earn a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Illinois and then studied art at UCLA. He was hired by the Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius to work in his architectural firm and later briefly taught architecture at MIT until he was invited by I. M. Pei to join him in designing buildings for the campus of Tunghai University, Taiwan. Chen employed his architectural aesthetics in imaginative ways in his paintings and enjoyed a successful career both as architect and artist. (“Moon," curated by Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum August 25, 2018-January 13, 2019)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.