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Friday, 19 November 2010

Wu Guanzhong- retrospective

First of all I have to apologise for the extremely cropped scans, it is difficult trying to get good scans whilst protecting the spine of your book! When I was in China I saw a retrospective of the this giant of Chinese Modern Art, Wu Guanzhong. These examples may look like fairly typical of Chinese painting but placing them within the context of the rest of the museum it becomes evident that Guanzhong's delicate diversions from the traditional model make him stunningly modern.
'Exploring in the world of art is just like hunting tigers and panthers in deep mountains or shooting eagles. If they do not catch their preys, both artists and hunters will be greatly depressed and have nothing to fall back on. An artist may use up all of his energy for persistent hunting in the field of art. But his spirit is reviving.' Wu Guanzhong.
Only the Chinese can get away with being quite so imagistically poetic.
After I saw his exhibition I couldn't look at China without seeing it through the lyrical brush strokes of Guanzhong. His paintings have come to represent for me what I love about that country.

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