[[abstract]]The Taiwan Art Exhibition, with a history of around 50 years, is the biggest official art exhibition in Taiwan. This “salon” is also the first to appear on the island. During the early days of Taiwan’s retrocession from Japanese rule, many artists became renowned through the popularity of the Taiwan Art Exhibition, and then further acted as key figures in the Taiwan art circle. Before long, however, the Taiwan Art Exhibition lost its decisive role it enjoyed in those golden days when various art contests sprung up like mushrooms. Therefore, it is rather meaningful to review the chronicle of the Taiwan Art Exhibition. This thesis focuses on the period starting from 1977, ten years before the martial law was lifted, to nowadays, and investigates if the style of the Taiwan Art Exhibition has been affected after the martial law was lifted. The social implication behind these changes is also discussed. This thesis is divided into five chapters. The first chapter presents the research purpose, scope, and methods, as well as its importance in this field. It also contains the literature review of related researches, illustrates the overall structure of this thesis, and states major questions which are to be investigated. In the second chapter, it displays a summarized account of the Taiwan Art Exhibition under the marital law period. In the third chapter, it is a comprehensive presentation to analyze internal factors of the exhibition style and its development over the years. In the fourth chapter, it discusses the causality between the unitary style of the Taiwan Art Exhibition and its judge system, which is ascribed to the logic of power structure. This style had significant influence on arts during the early days of retrocession and the martial law period, as well as on the painting style in Taiwan. Moreover, the public art taste and painting contests held by other groups were more or less affected by this style. Afterwards, with Western influences spreading to the East, the Taiwan Art Exhibition started to embrace various styles such as soil culture realism, semi-cubism, post-painting abstractionism, and photo-realism. While this slow transformation toward modernization has been no match for sharp critique from other painting groups. In the fifth chapter, the conclusion probes into those prizewinning western paintings before and after the martial law was lifted (1977-1997), analyzes characteristics of the time reflected from those works, and reviews how we developed Taiwanese styles of western paintings out of the Japanese influence. It also discusses if this transformation of painting styles has any relationship with our post-colonization qualities. Finally, it concludes with the importance and meanings of the time which the Taiwan Art Exhibition presents in the Taiwan art circle.
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