Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder

Cross-Island Highway Based on Sketches

Accession Number

Cross-Island Highway Based on Sketches

Chang Ku-nien

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

70 1/16 in. x 37 5/8 in. ( 178 cm x 95.6 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Cheng-Yang and Mrs. Shirley Chang

Label copy
This painting, executed and inscribed on Veterans’ Day, commemorates the more than 10,000 veterans who courageously constructed the Central Cross-Island Highway. The artist’s view of the narrow winding roadway cutting through a magnificent rocky mountain and adjacent to a precipitous gorge suggests the enormous challenges the veterans encountered in constructing the route, during which 212 workers lost their lives and over 780 were wounded.
In his inscription, Chang notes that the methods of Song (960–1279) masters were adopted to paint the monumental scene. A small detail in the lower right corner of the painting depicts two tiny figures standing beside the road; the one making sketches of the scene is presumably an image of the Chang at work, implying that the painting was based on his on-site sketches. It was Chang’s belief that painting from life was an essential part of the Chinese landscape painting tradition dating back to the Song dynasty.
(Tradition Transformed: Chang Ku-nien, Master Painter of the 20th Century, Winter 2010)

Subject matter
Painted and inscribed on the occasion of Veterans’ Day, this scenic landscape painting serves an additional function of commemorating veterans for their courageous work participating in the construction of Central Cross-Island Highway. More than 10,000 veterans were recruited to construct the highway. The project was completed at the human cost of 212 lives and more than 780 wounded.
The artist follows in the footsteps of Song masters’ naturalistic approach and their representations of monumental landscapes.

Physical Description
Painted and inscribed on the occasion of Veterans’ Day. The artist depicts a view of the narrow, winding roadway cutting through a magnificent rocky mountain.
In his inscription, Chang claims to use methods of Song masters that were adopted in painting the scene. A small detail on the lower right of the painting represents a couple of tiny figures standing aside the road. One figure is depicted as making life-sketches of the scene.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

calligraphy (process)
hanging scrolls

2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved