Out of master's tall shadow

By Zhang Kun ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-24 08:39:48

Out of master's tall shadow

Zhao Junzhong.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A decade has passed since he left Chen Yifei's studio following the sudden death of the modern master, but Zhao Junzhong may still be struggling to find his own artistic path.

Zhao worked with Chen for almost nine years, painting with him until the artist died of gastrorrhagia in 2005, at the age of 59.

But Zhao, now 42, is confident enough to stage his solo exhibition, The State, at Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculptures Institute Art Museum. It showcases about 60 pieces of work he had created in the past three years.

"As you can see, these paintings are different in subjects and expression," Zhao says.

"I am still developing and exploring in different directions."

Zhao learned almost all of his techniques in oil painting from Chen.

As one of modern China's significant artists, Chen built his reputation first in the 1960s, with a series of large paintings of revolutionary themes and historical subjects.

He was also one of the first living Chinese artists to achieve success in the international market from the 1980s.

His paintings feature disciplined realistic techniques, poetic atmosphere and references to traditional Chinese aesthetics.

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