“NAMOC Donation and Collection Exhibition Series: Born for Painting--Art Exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of the Birth of Zong Qixiang” Raised the Curtain in NAMOC
On November 30, 2017, in coincidence with the 100th Birthday of Zong Qixiang, “NAMOC Donation and Collection Exhibition Series: Born for Painting--Art Exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of the Birth of Zong Qixiang” raised the curtain in NAMOC. As a part of NAMOC Donation and Collection Exhibition Series, this exhibition is also one of the projects awarded for national artwork collection and donation in 2017.
Zong Qixiang (1917-1999) was a famous artist and fine arts educator in China. He served as Director of Watercolor Painting Teaching and Research Office and Director of Landscape Painting Section of Department of Traditional Chinese Painting, Central Academy of Fine Arts. With comprehensive attainments, he was well-versed in various techniques. His excellent Chinese paintings, oil paintings, watercolor paintings and sketches go down in history of modern Chinese art. He was proficient in night scene paintings and landscape paintings in color ink. He is worshipped as one of Four Banner Bearers of Chinese Painting Reform in the New China, in conjunction with Li Keran, Li Hu and Jiang Zhaohe. Zong Qixiang was under the tutelage of Mr. Xu Beihong for a long time. He was deeply influenced by Master Xu’s thoughts on introduction of foreign art into domestic art and integration of Chinese and Western arts. He took root in the blend and complementation of Chinese and Western arts. Mr. Xu Beihong ever spoke highly of him: “Mr. Zong’s painting brush implies numerous objects and scenes and breaks through the expression methods of the ancients, which is a significant pioneering innovation of Chinese painting.”
Throughout his lifetime, Zong Qixiang toured all over the country and painted under the enlightenments from the Nature dozens of times. He improved skills in the Nature, and enhanced artistic quality. Superb craftsmanship of the Creator gave endless impetus to his constant efforts. On the basis of long-time real scene sketching and accumulation, Zong Qixiang gained insights into majestic and changeful outside world and converted into god-sent understandings. He wielded ink color vividly, made the subjective and objective feelings and circumstances combined with each other, and depicted the true, the good and the beautiful things every inch.
This exhibition takes the time as general axis and consist of three parts respectively entitled “Imitating Chinese and Western Arts and Learning under Great Ambition”, “Embarking on Long Journey and Keeping on Pursuit” and “Depicting Beauty of Picturesque Landscape and Spreading Fragrance of South Region” according to development, maturity and natural evolution of artistic practice and art creation. It rolls out a comprehensive three-dimensional scroll for Zong Qixiang’s art career of following suit the ancient masters and western masters and pursuing new possibilities, explorations and breakthroughs of painting under the enlightenments form the Nature and never sticking to conventional practices and happy and contented attitude of wandering and secluding in the mountainous regions. This exhibition pays tribute to the painter's never-ending artistic passion and extraordinary art life with ups and downs.
More importantly, his widow Mrs. Wu Pingmei and children continue to donate 71 works by Zong Qixiang to NAMOC, following the previous donation of 36 Chinese paintings and watercolor paintings to China in 2005. The generosity and selflessness of these family members achieve abundant contents, extensive themes and comprehensive skills of such artworks collected by NAMOC, run through all important stages of Zong Qixiang’s artistic creation, and deserve to be rare artistic treasures for China and the Chinese people. These masterpieces will give full play to social effects and aesthetic functions in the future vaster space and time. This exhibition is honored to be closing ceremony for the commemoration of the 100th Birthday of Zong Qixiang, which is characterized by classical and full-fledged artworks and distinct and complete collection chronicle. This exhibition demonstrates this masters’ passionate artistic life story and unfading artistic vitality.