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Chinese master's rare art to be housed at Tsinghua University

By Lin Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-09 09:06
A painting titled Lotus Pond is among the works by master painter Wu Guanzhong donated to Tsinghua University Art Museum. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Master painter Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) is known for integrating the techniques of Western art with the aesthetic and philosophy of Chinese culture.

The artist, who was trained at the Hangzhou Fine Art School, now the China Academy of Art, and later at the prestigious Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, created a distinguished, dynamic and poetic style that helped shape the art landscape of 20th-century China.

Wu is also remembered for his generosity. He made several donations of his work to public museums at home and abroad.

A year before his death, Wu donated almost all of his remaining paintings to the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the China Art Museum in Shanghai and the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou.

His eldest son, Wu Keyu, recalls that, when mentioning the dozens of paintings left after the donations, his father asked him to keep them to "serve a very important, useful purpose in the future".

On July 1, Wu Keyu donated this body of work - 65 oil and Chinese-ink paintings and one sketch book - to Tsinghua University, where Wu Guanzhong taught for years. They have been added to the collection of the Tsinghua University Art Museum and will be featured at a grand art exhibition marking his centennial commemoration at the museum in November.

At the donation ceremony, Tsinghua also announced the establishment of the Wu Guanzhong Art Research Fund dedicated to studies of Wu's art and thought.

Wu Guanzhong taught in Tsinghua's architecture department for a few years in the early 1950s. He was later transferred to lecture at the Central Academy of Arts and Design, now the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University, where he worked for a decade until he retired in the late 1980s.

"No matter how many honors my father received in his lifetime, his last and formal title was a professor of Tsinghua University," Wu Keyu said at the ceremony.

"I believe I've fulfilled father's wish, donating this body of work that he entrusted to me to Tsinghua University, for a most-important purpose, as he said to me."

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