Wang Yuezhi art highlights 'tender affection'

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-04-18 07:22:40

Wang Yuezhi art highlights 'tender affection'

Jiang Dong / China Daily

He won respect not only for pioneering the modernization of Chinese art: He also activated fine-arts education in China. He taught at several art colleges, co-curated national art expositions and founded a private art school in Beijing.

Despite a small oeuvre, his all-important creation was painting with oil on silk, once a common medium of Chinese painting. He applied diluted oil paints but created meticulous lines of the gongbi style. The two signature examples of his inventive experiment are The Abandoned Man and Adherents in Taiwan, which are on show.

In the latter work, Wang positioned three standing Taiwan women in the same way as the "Three Saints of the West" in Buddhism. The middle woman holds a model globe in her uplifted right hand; her hanging left hand has an open eye in the center.

"He said the eye looks in the direction of Taiwan. His eternal regret was not returning to his birthplace before death," says Han Jinsong from the museum's collection department.

Wang was born a year before the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki in which the imperial Qing court ceded sovereignty of Taiwan to Japan. He grew up in an enslaved environment. Upon his resettlement on the mainland, he had been seeking a sense of belonging and recognition of his cultural identity as a Chinese.

"Adherents in Taiwan celebrates his deep love for China as his home country and his longing for Taiwan," Han says. "People can feel the same emotion in The Abandoned Man. He viewed himself and his fellows in Taiwan also as being abandoned by the Qing government. He painted the two works and told people never to forget the pains of homeland loss," Han says.

Wang Yuezhi art highlights 'tender affection'

Wang Yuezhi art highlights 'tender affection'

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