Renowned Taiwanese painter Wang Pan-yuan passes away in Yilan County

Wang Pan-yuan, known for his paintings and their aura of melancholy was a centenarian

Artist Wang Pan-yuan (1909?-2017)

Artist Wang Pan-yuan (1909?-2017) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Renowned artist and cultural treasure, Wang Pan-yuan (王攀元), passed away peacefully on the morning of Dec. 22 at the age of 107 (some reports say 109).

Wang was a celebrated and skillful artist. His simple yet vibrant paintings were recognizable for their limited use of recognizable forms set against broad swaths of deep color.

"The Moonlight" 1992

For Wang, who came to Taiwan as a soldier in 1949, painting was a way for him to express and cope with his nostalgia and homesickness for the home he had left in Jiangsu.

Wang Pan-yuan was born sometime between 1909 and 1912. He became an avid artist in his youth, going on to study at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, specializing in Western painting techniques.

After conscription, war, and then settling in Taiwan, Wang lived a hard life for many years wandering around and working small jobs, before securing a job at a local school as an art teacher.

Over time, he made Yilan, Taiwan his new home, where he continued painting well into his old age, developing a very unique and personalized style that was acclaimed by members of the art world and the public alike.

Wang was a recipient of the National Arts Award of Taiwan in 2001.

From the cover of Wang's biography "荒原追日"

His last public appearance was in May 2015, when he appeared at the grand opening of the Yilan Museum of Art. At the time he was already 105 years old and being assisted using a wheelchair.

Commentators said that he painted from the heart, and that the art community of Taiwan has lost one of its truly excellent talents, according to a report from Liberty Times.

His paintings are said to reflect a sense of loss and longing amid an ever changing life. Autumn colors are common in his works, reflecting memories of a brighter season, and an ever present sense of melancholy and resignation.

"Expected you were coming back" 1995

See this online gallery for more examples of his artwork.