Ran In-Ting (1903 – 1979), the best known artist of Taiwan, was born in Yi Lau County in 1903. His interest in drawing and painting manifested itself at an early age and his parents provided appropriate training. By the time he was eighteen he had progressed sufficiently to be appointed a substitute art teacher in a public school.
In 1923 Ran In-Ting went to Japan to study painting and watercolor technique. It was there that he came under the influence of Shek Chuanqin Ichiro. Ran was deeply influenced by his teacher and the two of them, teacher and student, formed a deep bond of friendship which was to continue throughout their lives.
Returning to Taiwan Ran In-Ting and six colleagues formed the Seven Star Society and held their first exhibition at the Taipei Museum. Later these artists sent works to Japan where they succeeded in placing a number of paintings for exhibition at the Royal Art Institute. Ran followed this success by being accepted into the Fourteenth Japanese Watercolor Exhibition in 1927.
Ran In-Ting developed a style that appears simple and straightforward, but this is only achieved because of his deep understanding of the subject. He pursued a western style of flowing colors into which he blended a Chinese brushstroke technique. His subject matter was mostly the everyday lives of Taiwanese village people which he vividly depicted. These beautiful scenes of Taiwan became known throughout the world.
Ran In-Ting’s fame spread far beyond the shores of Taiwan. He was invited to exhibit in the capitols of Europe where his paintings drew high praise. He was invited by the U.S. State Department to exhibit his works and to give a number of speeches in major U.S. cities. Also, Ran was elected to membership in a number of prestigious societies, including the Royal Watercolour Society in England, a French Watercolor Society and the European Art Critical Commentary Society declared him to be one of the ten greatest watercolor painters in the world. In 1962 Ran In-Ting was included in a list of the greatest artists in modern times in the International Geneva Yearbook.
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