Yen Cheng-Fa -Shuijiaoshe Hand-Painted Movie Poster Exhibition
The presence of “Shueijiaoshe” in history crosses through the eras of Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty, and the post-war period. During WWII, it was used as a military base for Japanese Naval Air Force. After the war, as the pilots of “Thunder Tiger Team” and their dependents moved in, “Shueijiaoshe” was then renovated and enlarged to be a military housing community of Air Force. The site, which was the home for over 50 generals, has been thus titled the “hometown for Thunder Tiger Team”.
This special exhibition presents the works of Yan Jhen-Fa , “the last film poster painter of Taiwan” described by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Yan was invited to create site-specific artwork featuring the movies, Heroes of the Eastern Skies and Eight Hundred Heroes, in the outdoor areas of Shueijiaoshe. Some other hand-painted billboards and film posters of Yan are also displayed in the exhibition.
By the time when TV wasn’t commonly possessed, outdoor cinema was the most popular entertainment in society as well as the major recreational activity in the military community. The traditional hand-painted film billboards, which usually employed lead roles or signature scenes in the movies as key elements in the layout of painting, were essential to promote movies in the early days to capture an audience’s attention.
During the era when digital printing wasn’t so popular, the skills of painters determined how the hand-painted film billboards expressed. Through brushstrokes, the painters bring the film characters to life in the posters as the best advertising approach. However, with technological development, as computerized and digital printing has already replaced hand-painted film billboards, the profession is hence on the verge of extinction.
In the special exhibition, the viewers are able to see closely the precious artworks of Yan. The old memories harmonize with the regenerated Shueijiaoshe site, which collectively reproduce the nostalgic atmosphere of the military housing community.