A study on the expressiveness of Taiwan’s folk story paintings
There are many forms of oral literary, such as folk stories. Long time ago, most people were illiterate and had no access to information. Thus, people relied on folk stories for many purposes, such as entertainment, religious belief, traditions, education, etc. At that time, folk stories played an important role in terms of cultural inheritance and artists drew their inspirations from folk stories ceaselessly. Unsurprisingly, folk stories are found in the literature, poems, paintings, and dramas produced all over the world.
Before painters started to portray folk stories through narrative paintings, they had to familiarize themselves with as many details of the stories as possible. Most folk stories had been re-written and re-created over the past centuries. As a result, narrative paintings are unlikely to be truthful to the original stories. Therefore, painters had to identify the key parts of stories as well as the key factors associated with the stories, allowing viewers to comprehend the stories through the motionless pictures.
First of all, this study analyzed the paintings produced in different eras, and reviewed the symbolisms revealed by various logos based on an iconological standpoint. Secondly, this study examined how the painters expressed their concepts by combining various figures’ gestures, motions, and profiles through different symbols, thus conveying their allegoric concepts through the paintings and manifesting their unique styles.
Moreover, this study attempted to present the contents of Taiwan’s folk stories using symbolic skills. For this purpose, this study chose ten folk stories that were featured by nationality, locality, and creators’ emotions together with oil paintings produced by the author using indirect painting skills to portray folk stories with emphasis on the stagnation of beauty, the eternity of beauty, and the ambiguity of gestures. The motionless movements and the huge, clear background guide viewers to a world of unlimited imaginations and thus present a sense of eternal art to the audience.