If you go

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

9 am-5 pm, through Sun­day. 1 Wusi Da­jie, Dongcheng district, Bei­jing. 010-6400-1476.

School, now the Tokyo Univer­sity of the Arts. And, with sup­port from Sun Yat-sen, a renowned states­man who led the rev­o­lu­tion that ended im­pe­rial rule in China, he was de­voted to the dis­sem­i­na­tion of rev­o­lu­tion­ary ideas and art ed­u­ca­tion.

The Tokyo school pro­duced sev­eral modern Chi­nese artists, such as Li Xiong­cai (19102001), a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion painter from the Ling­nan school, whose works are also on show.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures Li’s Pa­trol in For­est, which demon­strates his skill in de­pict­ing nat­u­ral scenery.

Chen Lyusheng, the for­mer deputy head of the Na­tional Mu­seum of China, says Guang­dong’s artists played a unique role in modern Chi­nese art, not only be­cause they were open to for­eign in­flu­ences, such as oil paint­ing, but be­cause they cared about liveli­hoods.

“They ex­plored styles that suited the times and the needs of the peo­ple.

“And as they trav­eled to other parts of the coun­try, they in­flu­enced artists there. As a re­sult they be­came mod­els for Chi­nese modern art.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion also cel­e­brates at­tempts to re­new the face of Chi­nese art by fea­tur­ing works of painters like Guan Shanyue (1912-2000).

A re­pro­duc­tion of his Jiang­shan Ruci Duo­jiao (How Beau­ti­ful the Coun­try Looks), is on show. Guan ex­e­cuted the 9-me­ter-long work with Fu Baoshi in 1959 on a State com­mis­sion.

The ink-brush paint­ing, which de­picts a mag­nif­i­cent sun­rise, was in­spired by a poem by the late Chair­man Mao Ze­dong.

Since its com­ple­tion, it has adorned the en­trance hall of the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

Con­tem­po­rary artists such as Liang Quan, 69, are also rep­re­sented at the show.

Liang, who has ex­hib­ited at home and abroad, ex­plores the idea of “empti­ness” in Zen Bud­dhism.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also pays trib­ute to fe­male artists from the first half of the 20th cen­tury.

One of them is He Xiangn­ing (1878-1972), who is known to­day more as a so­cial ac­tivist and as the wife of se­nior states­man Liao Zhongkai. Her paint­ings de­pict lions.

Li Jingkun, the head of the Guangzhou Acad­emy of Fine Arts, says: “Good art­works are records of his­tory, and by see­ing them, one can trace the evo­lu­tion of thought.

“View­ers can see how artists felt obliged to par­tic­i­pate in so­cial trans­for­ma­tions.”

Xue Yong­nian, the­o­rist, China Artists As­so­ci­a­tion

Con­tact the writer at linqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PHO­TOS BY JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY

The on­go­ing Destined­toRe­form ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Art Mu­seum of China in Bei­jing fea­tures more than 550 paint­ings and sculp­tures by artists from Guang­dong prov­ince since the early 20th cen­tury.

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