Scenery of the North Taiwan


“Scenery of The Northern Taiwan”, a piece of artwork commissioned by the Taipei Business Bank (former entity of Bank SinoPac) in 1978, to celebrate the final construction of the Bank Headquarters Building. Commissioning three talented youth artists, Lan Yang Zhou Cheng, North Gate Tu Tsan-Lin, and West Port Lee Yih-Hong, to jointly complete a 1146cm long, 148cm tall painting, realistically depicting the economic conditions of the 1970s, and humanities of the times. This was a unique, modern, large-scale Chinese brush ink painting.

Before the production of “Scenery of The Northern Taiwan”, the three artists visited site locations, jointly climbing mountains, taking boat rides around the northern shores, recording the beauty of the mountains and the rivers, and the scenery of culture and society. The artwork starts from the tall buildings of the Taipei Basin, surrounded by the majestic mountains of Guanyin, Shamao, Chihsing, Datun, threaded by the Danshui river towards the ocean. The main landmarks of the time, the Presidential Palace in the Boai Special District, and the Shihlin Grand Hotel frames the artwork at each side.

The economic activity prompted rural populations to move up north for employment opportunities, with Banciao and Sanchong districts already seeing immigrant populations, and a plethora of low rise buildings, unlike the dense streets of today. At that time, the hopes and dreams of the youth, encompassed each of these northern bound workers, with a spirit of working hard and diligently, contributed to the economic miracle and glory that we see in Taiwan today.

Rounding the north coast, the Yangjin Highway lights up the scenic route, through Jinshan, Yehliu, and ending in Keelung. The vibrancy of the cityscape is evident. Built against the mountain, the large Guanyin Buddha Statue in Zhongzheng Park majestically stands on top of the mountain, and the decommissioned Jiufen Gold Mines rests halfway up the mountain. Boats continues to cross busily across the Keelung Harbor, with their tall smokestacks, reflecting the need for seaborne exports to earn foreign reserves during that period in Taiwan’s development.

From the south of Keelung, we enter the Lanyang Plain, a critical transportation crossroad between Taipei and Eastern Taiwan. The hairpin turns of the North-Yi Highway, and the steep cliffs of the Suhua Highway can clearly be seen. The 1970’s of Taiwan faced the first and second oil crisis, and the Premier of the Executive Yuan at the time, Chiang Ching-Kuo, launched the “Ten Major Construction Projects”, helping Taiwan through the crisis and contributing an important page in Taiwan’s economic development history. The artwork also depicted the initial construction of one of these projects, the Su-ao port.

Through the fast-paced economic growth of Taiwan, SinoPac Holdings has always played a role in supporting small and medium businesses. During that time, the bank’s branch locations were spread across the greater Taipei area, with branch signage at every major thoroughfare. Through “The Scenery of Northern Taiwan”, the artists realistically depicted greater Taipei and Northern Taiwan, witnessing the Taiwan economic miracle.