Boats provide the common theme connecting the paintings exhibited here. The boat motif has no fixed meaning in Chinese art, but boats are a common figure in painting, especially landscape painting. They can be especially effective in conveying a sense of fragile humanity in the midst of natural forces.

The paintings shown here span many styles but are mostly contemporary. They range from traditional and innovative applications of the literati to contemporary rural folk arts. Included here are well known artists like Yang Yan-wen or Liu Mao-shan and artists who remain anonymous.