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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.