New Century artworks
Since 2000, against the backdrop of globalisation, Chinese art has embraced international trends. Chinese artists' knowledge of world culture has rapidly increased. They have used this new global outlook to combine traditional Chinese artistic practices with Western art styles to create new, energetic and experimental forms of art that reveal the vitality, colour and multiculturalism of China today.
All works are from the National Art Museum of China.
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A Square Table, 2001
Ink and Wash, 148cm x 168cm.
Wang Yanping, born in Beijing in 1956, received her bachelor's degree in Chinese painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, a master's degree in Chinese painting in 1989 and a doctorate in modelling plastics in 2008. In 2005 she was appointed professor at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Beijing University of Technology.
Wang became famous in the 1990s for ink-and-wash paintings that employ powerful brushstrokes and strong colours. She paints with sensitivity and imagination, and is often inspired by the romantic stories that appear on Chinese folding screens. In her latest works, she has replaced her unstructured style with straight lines and edges. Echoing the structure of the folding screen, the old-fashioned square table for eight people and the teapot have been divided into intersected spaces.
Fingerprints, January—February 2004, 2004
Ink and Wash, 210cm x 260cm.
Zhang Yu, born in 1959 in Tianjin, graduated from Tianjin Arts and Crafts College in 1988. He was senior editor of Tianjin Yangliuqing Fine Arts Press for some time. In 2002, he took the position of associate professor at the Tianjin Transportation Vocational College and, in 2004, he was a visiting fellow in the New Media Department of Beijing Film Academy. He is a professional artist and lives in Beijing.
New English Calligraphy, 2006
Chinese Ink on Chinese Art Paper, 286cm x 66cm x 2.
'Faithful to your art, you know no age, Letting wealth and fame drift by like clouds'
Xu Bing was born in 1955 in Chongqing and grew up in Beijing. He graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1981 and started teaching there. In 1987 Xu received his master's degree from the academy and in 1990 he moved to the United States. He returned to China in 2007 to work in the Central Academy of Fine Arts as deputy dean, professor, and supervisor of doctoral candidates.
Many of Xu's works express his ideas about the relationships between Chinese characters and culture. This painting was inspired by a couplet he wrote, using the 'New English calligraphy' he created in the United States. It uses lines from a poem by Du Fu, a famous Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty.
The new calligraphy created by Xu is a cross-cultural blend he developed in order to teach Americans to learn Chinese calligraphy. He presents the Western alphabet in the style of traditional Chinese calligraphy, pointing to the potential for the integration of different cultures in the age of globalisation.
Hibiscus in Morning Mist, 2007 (detail)
Ink and Wash 180cm x 564cm.
Chen Jialing was born in Yongkang, Zhejiang province, in 1937. In 1958 he enrolled in the Department of Chinese Painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in portraiture. After graduating, he became a teacher at the Shanghai Fine Arts School. He is now teaching at the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University.
Mixed Media, 360cm x 180cm.
Qiu Deshu was born in 1948 in Shanghai. In 1985 he became a visiting scholar at Tufts University in Boston, United States. On his return to China, he became a professional painter.
Dong Qichang Project-27, 2009
Mixed Media, 300cm x 272cm.
Shang Yang, born in Hubei in 1942, studied from 1957 to 1965 at the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and its attached middle school and received a master's degree there in 1981. He is now a professor in the Fine Arts Department of the Capital Teachers University, vice-chairman of the Chinese Oil Painting Society and deputy director of the Oil Painting Art Council of the Chinese Artists Association.
Shang's work exhibits a reorganised reality. He blends traditional drawing skills with digital images to produce artworks that switch between emotion and symbol, action and idea. By breaking down the divisions between traditional and modern images and symbols, he makes a poetic connection between objective and subjective states. This painting belongs to Shang's most important collection of works, the 'Dong Qichang Project', named after an important figure in the transformational period of Chinese painting history in the 16th century. Unlike many contemporary Chinese artists, who draw on Western ways of expression, Shang's work is based on local and traditional Chinese sources.