Tradition as a Dialectical Action: Non-Traditional Narratives in Taiwanese Architecture from Post-War to Contemporary Times


Transplantation and Transformation of Modernity: On Chen Chi-Kwan's Thin Shell Architecture and Imagery Landscape Painting




1. 中國傳統意象的抽象詮釋:陳先生運用傘狀薄殼的抽象形體姿態,展現出水平延展的懸浮空間、反曲向陽的屋頂型態和迴廊的空間特質;相似於抽象質感山水,運用墨拓、滴色、上礬用蠟等實驗性技巧,表達出中國的空間意境。

2. 中國空間組構的探索:陳先生將薄殼建築單元組構出中國合院空間變化,亦在山水畫中自由地組構動態的虛實空間,而創造出步移景易、流動變化的體驗。

3. 景觀化、虛空化的趨向:陳先生於80年代的作品,將傘狀薄殼結構置放於留白的中庭,傾向把此種特殊結構景觀化與虛空化,與他晚期山水畫中反客為主的「留白」,共享相通的價值觀,強調出減法與無為的哲學觀。




This paper starts from the situation in Taiwan in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Modernist architects were eager to transplant the thin-shell structures popular in the West to reconstruct the Chineseness; and in the art circles, Western abstract paintings also brought a fresh Atmosphere, conceptually revolutionized ink painting in Taiwan. Mr. Chen Chi-Kwan happens to be a concurrent person of these two arts, and the times influenced his architecture and painting coexistingly.

This paper reviews Mr. Chen Chi-Kwan's creation of thin-shell buildings, trying to superimpose it with his imagery landscape paintings, and corresponds the "structural technology-space prototype" in architecture to the "painting technique-theme motif " in painting; The thin-shell structure and experimental painting techniques, under Mr. Chen's clever "mind eye", have transformed into a creative concept worthy of continuation in future generations:

1. Abstract interpretation of traditional Chinese imagery: Mr. Chen uses the abstract shape of an umbrella-shaped thin shell to show the horizontally extended suspended space, the roof type with anti-curve sun and the spatial characteristics of the corridor; similar to the abstract texture of landscape, the use of ink Experimental techniques such as rubbing, dripping color, alum and wax are used to express the artistic conception of space in China.

2. Exploration of Chinese space composition: Mr. Chen composed the thin-shell building units to form the spatial changes of Chinese courtyards, and also freely composed dynamic negative and positive spaces in landscape paintings, creating an experience of changing scenery with steps and changes in flow.

3. The trend of landscape and emptiness: In Mr. Chen's works in the 1980s, he placed the umbrella-shaped thin shell structure in the blank atrium, tending to landscape and virtualize this special structure, similar to the "blank space" in his late landscape paintings, emphasizing subtraction and inaction philosophy.


Chen Chi-Kwan, Thin Shell Architecture, Landscape Painting, Modernity