本文以廈門為跳板，從跨越現代國界的視點來探討移動的藝術家在現代藝術領域所扮演的角色。福建住民透過廈門和台灣互動，藉著南渡的僑民和東南亞相連，在美術的領域也是如此。瞭解這些互動交流的關係是闡明多彩的亞洲現代美術的重要課題。本稿聚焦出生於廈門，並於逝世後被尊稱為「南洋美術之父」的林學大，來探討華人的移動和東海、南海沿岸美術發展之關係。1950 年代英屬新加坡／馬來亞爭取自治和獨立之劇變時期正好也是共產和非共產國家之間被鐵幕隔斷，出身中國的僑民被迫斷絕與故國關係的時期。林學大的《天福宮》（1952 年）和《福利巴士事件》（1955 年）清晰地刻劃了華人們在這段期間的心路歷程。比較這兩幅作品和林學大自筆的著作可以清楚瞭解他的藝術主張：如實表達當地生活、落實南洋、關懷本地、放眼世界。也就是說，兼具在地性和超越地域的普遍性和現代性。
Late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century witnessed the transformation of shuhua tradition of the East into the modern concept of meishu under Western influences. It was an era plagued by wars and socio-political turmoil that triggered a major tide of migration. Among those on the move were artists who had studied art in China or abroad. The new world inspired new directions in their artistic careers, while they themselves also became catalysts of cultural fusion, and pioneers in shaping modern art in the lands where they resided temporarily, or permanently settled. All were immediately confronted with a challenge to define themselves in the context of new versus old, East versus West. Many strove to assert the uniqueness of the specific places they resided while at the same time stressing the common grounds of mankind and links with their homeland in order not to find themselves marginalized in the newfound land.
This paper begins in Xiamen, and examines the impact of the network of Chinese diaspora on modern Asian art from a perspective beyond the political boundaries drawn after the Second World War. The career of Lim Hak Tai—the respected artist and art educator acknowledged as the Father of Nanyang Art after he passed away—sheds light on the significant relationship between the Xiamen network and the art of the littoral states of Asia. In the 1950s, British colonies in South East Asia witnessed a forced severing of ties between ethnic Chinese and their homeland in China due to the establishment of the communist regime in China and the anti communist policies adopted by the colonial government. The period also witnessed active civil rights movements among the colonized ethnic Chinese who had shifted their orientation from China toward South East Asia. The transformation of their mentality was delineated in the two major works of Lim Hak Tai: Telok Ayer Temple (1952) and Hok Lee Bus Incident (Riot, 1955). Comparing these two paintings clarifies what Lim Hak Tai attempted to achieve via art: depicting the local life as it was, taking root in new lands, and attending to local needs with a global perspective. In other words, to maintain both local uniqueness and universality/modernity that reached beyond local limit, as manifested in both the writings and the
artwork of Lim Hak Tai.