Paris • Chinese Painting: Legacy of the 20th Century Chinese Masters fb_icon
Paris has long been a European art and cultural hub where the liberal atmosphere enabled different streams of thought to burgeon and thrive, and since the 20th century this city has seen generations of Chinese artists hone their painting skills. Following the trend to learn from the West new ways of transforming traditional conventions, these artists left their motherland in search of inspiration. Visiting museums and learning under the guidance of masters, they acquired Western painting skills and perceptions, pioneering a revolution in Chinese painting art circles.
Artists like Liu Haisu, Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian and Pan Yuliang left early for France. These young Chinese artists had a mission. After returning to China, they contributed immensely to the introduction of artistic trends from overseas, the development of oil painting and bouleversement of Chinese painting. They also founded fine arts schools in the country, cultivating in a new generation of painters the aspiration to further their studies in France. Among these students, Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-chun and Wu Guanzhong became well-known figures in the international art scene, anchoring the notion of ‘creating the art of an era'.
This exhibition showcases almost a hundred works, including oil paintings, Chinese ink paintings, sketches, lithographs, sculptures and more, demonstrating the impact and revelation of European art on 20th century Chinese painting. Exhibits have been composed from the collections of the Musée Cernuschi in Paris, the Hong Kong Museum of Art and several major institutions in France.
The Musée Cernuschi holds one of the finest Chinese art collections in France, and its Chinese painting collection comprises the works of various Chinese painters who travelled to France during the 20th century, illustrating their different practices and inclinations on the blending of Chinese and Western painting skills.