New Thinking artworks
After the reform and opening up of China that started in 1978 under leader Deng Xiaoping, Chinese art developed in new ways. Artists absorbed techniques from modern Western art while at the same time appreciating and being influenced by traditional Chinese art. They broke free from purely realistic styles and were encouraged to experiment in modernist art practices. The combination of the spiritual expression of traditional Chinese paintings and the expressive and abstract notion of Western art created a dynamic new form of Chinese art during this period.
All works are from the National Art Museum of China.
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Early Spring, 1988
Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 109cm.
Su Tianci (1922–2006), from Yangjiang, Guangdong province, was admitted to the National Academy of Fine Arts in 1943. After his graduation in 1946, he served successively at the Guanggong Technological Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou National Technological Academy of Fine Arts, the East China Branch of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Arts Department of Shandong University and the East China Technological Academy of Fine Arts. He was also professor of Nanjing University of the Arts.
Clouds over Qinghai, 1979
Oil on Canvas, 160cm x 140cm.
Zhu Naizheng was born in 1935 in Haiyan, Zhejiang province. He was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1953, where he majored in oil painting. After his graduation in 1958, he worked for the Qinghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles, where he successively served as vice-chairman of the Qinghai Artists Association and member of the Standing Committee of the Qinghai Provincial People's Congress. In 1980 he transferred as a teacher to the Central Academy of Fine Arts and was at one time vice-president of the academy. He is a professor and supervisor of doctoral candidates at the academy, and vice-chairman of the Chinese Oil Painting Society.
After his graduation from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Zhu spent 21 years living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an experience that gave him a unique perspective on the natural environment. He is inspired by the beauty of the wild desert, vast skies and character of Tibet. His exquisite and skilful oil paintings blend oriental and Western art into an expression of his strong relationship with nature.
Early Summer, 1990
Oil on Canvas, 190cm x 180cm.
Hong Ling, of the Bai ethnic group, is from Yunnan province. He was born in 1955 in Beijing, and learned Chinese painting as a boy. He is a graduate of the Capital Teachers University and has a postgraduate degree in oil painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, where he is now an associate professor in the Oil Painting Department. Since 1989, Hong has blended the aesthetics of traditional ink-and-wash Chinese landscape painting with the techniques of oil painting, creating a distinctive style.
Spring Snow, 1983
Ink and Wash, 69cm x 137cm.
Wu Guanzhong (1919–2010) was born in Yixing, Jiangsu province. He graduated from Hangzhou National Technological Academy of Fine Arts and taught at Chongqing National University. He went to France for further study in 1946, where he studied oil painting with Professor JM Souverbie of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He returned to China in 1950 and taught at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University. In 2010 he was honoured with the title, 'People's Artist'.
During the opening up and reform of New China, Wu was one of the first artists to advocate 'beauty of modality' and 'beauty of the abstract'. His approach raised questions about previous notions of content determining form and the primacy of the subject matter, effectively launching the Chinese modernist painting movement. In this painting, Wu uses large ink spots and rhythmic lines to create a semi-abstract expression of mountains covered by spring snow. In doing so he combines the Western painting language of formalism with the brushstrokes of traditional Chinese freehand painting.
Ink and Wash, 173cm x 144.5cm.
Song Yugui was born in Linyi, Shandong province, and then moved to north-east China. He was admitted to the Painting Department (preparatory) of Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 1960 and graduated from the Printmaking Department. Subsequently, he joined the army. In 1979, he was transferred to Liaoning Fine Arts Academy, where he works as a professional painter. He is director of Liaoning Art Gallery, chairman of Liaoning Artists Association, vice-chairman of the Liaoning Association of Culture and Arts and president of KMT Central Art Gallery. He is a 'national first-grade artist'.
Feng Dazhong was born in 1949 in Gai County, Liaoning province. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chinese Artists Association, vice-chairman of the Traditional Chinese Realistic Painting Association, vice-chairman of Liaoning Artists Association and is a 'national first-grade artist', working in Liaoning Fine Arts Academy.
Picture of a Spring in Autumn, 1996
Ink and Wash, 70cm x 137cm.
Zhu Daoping, born in 1949, is from Huangyan, Zhejiang province. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Nanjing University of the Arts. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chinese Artists Association and a 'national first-grade artist'. He is the president of the Nanjing Academy of Calligraphy and Paintings and the vice-chairman of Jiangsu Artists Association.