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Display of modern Chinese ink masters

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-14 07:29

Pu Ru's other scroll Lofty Landscape, which is about 11 meters long, shows off the artist's brushwork skills. Pu Ru demonstrated his technical flair by maintaining the high quality of brushwork across a variety of different painting styles over the entire scroll, explains Maudsley.

Pu Ru teamed up with friend and master painter Zhang Daqian to paint one of the handscrolls on display, known as "Pu in the north of China and Zhang in the south". In a mark of friendship, each artist painted a separate half of the work. This type of cooperation on a single scroll is common among ink painters.

Zhang's albums and scrolls are also on show. Three leaves of a 12-leaf album titled Mount Huangshan on display was painted by Zhang at the age of 34, in a style quite different to works in his later life, which explore a heavier use of color.

Altogether, the exhibition includes works by 19 artists, both from northern and southern China. They feature a broad range of styles, types of brushwork and a variety of subject matters.

Guo Tong, head of Chinese paintings and calligraphy at China Guardian Auctions, says the artists had to adopt the role of film director to successfully paint a scroll or album. Maintaining the order of each picture and the consistency of the content in each section was a major challenge to the ink painter.

"We try to show a variety of modern ink painters. This is just a small portion from the private collection," adds Maudsley.

The M K Lau Collection started acquiring Chinese ink paintings in 1977 and now owns one of Asia's finest private collections of 20th century ink-and-brush paintings.

It's the second time it has collaborated with China Guardian Auctions. Their first joint show was held in Hong Kong in 2015, and focused on ink paintings documenting historical events in New China.

In the current exhibition, it is the first time that the works have been seen in public after having been bought from auction houses or private collectors.

Guo says they want to use the exhibition to demonstrate how emerging collectors can set up and develop their collections.

If you go

10 am-6 pm, through Nov 22. Guardian Art Center, 1 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6518-9968.

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