Paris.Chinese Painting: Legacy of the 20th C. Chinese Masters

  • Hong Kong Museum of Art
  • 2014 Edition
  • Hard Cover - 253 Pages
  • ISBN 978-962-215-241-0
  • HK$300.00

The winds of freedom blowing through the bohemian district of Montparnasse encouraged the Chinese artists who had taken residence in France to express themselves with great passion, and reveal their admirable drawing skills in the pursuit of modernity and rapport with Western art. Before closing its doors for renovation work until 2017, the Hong Kong Museum of Art will collaborate with the prestigious Musée Cernuschi – which specializes in Asian Art – for this fascinating exhibition. Around 100 pieces from their extraordinary collection of 20th-century Chinese paintings will be on show alongside others from major French institutions that include the Musée Guimet, Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris, and the Centre Georges Pompidou. Collectively these paintings illustrate the impact that the exotic French experience had on generations of Chinese artists, and their influence on the development and reformation of Chinese painting in the last century as expressed by artists such as Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Pan Yuliang, Sanyu, Pang Xunqin, Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-chun and Wu Guanzhong.

During the interwar period Paris was the seat of great intellectual and artistic activity. The city attracted painters, sculptors and writers from all over the world, among them, many young Chinese. For them, the modernisation of their own country implied a necessary Westernisation. Hungry for new knowledge and reforms, they experienced Parisian life, freeing themselves from their millenary traditions and way of living. In taking inspiration from the French repertoire and becoming more familiar with Western techniques and concepts, such as studying the nude, composing realistic portraits, intimate scenes or simple street sketches, they initiated a true revival in Chinese art. After WWII, a younger generation of Chinese artists explored a new kind of interaction with the Paris art scene and developing Chinese abstract landscapes.