Author: Jiang Zhaohe
The age of creation: 1943
Material quality ：ink and brush
"Refugees" is a milestone in Chinese modern painting history. It is a great success to present real life and the painting is a master piece of Jiang Zhaohe. The work experienced many setbacks and was full of legendary stories. Jiang Zhaohe started the creation of "Refugees" at the Japanese occupied areas in Beiping in 1941. He had to hide the painting though it was just partly done in order to avoid trouble. The painting was renamed as "Portraits of the Mass" and was exhibited in a temple. However, the exhibition was soon found and banned by the Japanese military police on October 29, 1943. It was confiscated when exhibited in Shanghai in 1944. The first part of it, moldy and broken, was found in Shanghai in 1953, but the second half has never been found. Xiao Qiong, Jiang Zhaohe's wife, donated the painting to the country in 1998. The vividly describes a hundred refugees trying to escape from the bombing by the enemy. Thus it explores the root of the war and shows the crimes commited by the Japanese incaders. The painting is full of tragic consciousness and humanitarian spirit and epical strength. The value of the painting lies not only on its spiritual power but also on the breakthrough in art. The painter combines Chinese line drawing with weastern light and shade shaping skill and achieves the peak of Chinese portrait painting. The painter establishes him a famous modern portrait painter after Xu Beihong.
Jiang Zhaohe(1904-1986), born in Luzhou, Sichuan Province, encouraged by his parents, studied poetry, literature and art when he was young. He went to Shanghai at 16 and lived on charcoal portrait and commercial paintings. He taught pattern art at Nanjing Central University in 1928 and then became a professor of Shanghai Artistic Training School. He went to teach at State Art Training School in Beiping and shifted his interest from weastern painting to portrait wash painting, which is the peak of his artistic life. He became a professor of Central Academy of fine Art in 1950 and established the basic teaching system of portrait wash painting. His other masterpieces are Portrait of A Q and A Basket of Spring is Popular All Over the World.