Veteran printmaking artist donates his own private life collection
BEIJING, Jan.20 -- Wang Qi, a renowned printmaking artist,
surprised his students and friends on January 12 by donating a total of
816 prints from his private collection to the National Art Museum of China.
"These works have been with me for more than half a century. Now I
have found a good home for them," Wang said.
The donated prints have mostly been created by himself since the
early 1930s and also by other Chinese and foreign printmakers of the
20th century, some of which were purchased by Wang. He has also swapped
some foreign maker's prints with his own works when he staged
A grand exhibition of about 300 of the donated works is on show at
the museum and will run through this Sunday. Also on show are some of
his sketches, ink paintings and calligraphic works.
Wang's earliest woodblock print work on display, entitled
"Guerillas in Snowy Mountains," was created in 1939 to portray Chinese
people's fight against Japanese aggressors in Northeast China.
Wang, a retired professor with the Central Academy of Fine Arts and
senior advisor of the Chinese Artists' Association, has created numerous
realistic woodblock prints depicting social changes in modern China
since the 1930s.
Born in Yibin, Southwest China's Sichuan Province in 1918 into an
affluent family, Wang received basic training in traditional Chinese
painting. He was admitted to the Western art department of Shanghai Fine
Arts Junior College in 1934.
In 1938, Wang studied in the fine arts department of Lu Xun
Literature and Art Institute in Yan'an of Northwest China's Shaanxi
Province and embarked on a decades-long road of creating woodblock
prints to depict social changes in China.
His work "Guerillas in Snowy Mountains" appeared in Chongqing's
"Xinhua Daily" on February 28, 1939.
In 1942, the Chinese Woodblock Prints Research Association was
established in Chongqing, where Wang was elected as managing director in
charge of publishing the group's work in local newspapers and magazines.
Since 1952, Wang has taught in the Central Academy of Fine Arts in
Beijing until the early 1990s. And he compiled the first book on Western
art history for Chinese artists in the 1960s.
As editor-in-chief of Fine Arts magazine in the early 1980s, Wang
introduced the latest overseas information to Chinese artists who were
eager to know about the outside world at a time when China was
recovering from the chaotic "cultural revolution" (1966-76) and began
opening up and reforms.
Because of his outstanding work for Chinese art circles, Wang
received a Chinese Modern Prints Outstanding Achievement Award from the
Chinese Artists' Association in 1991. In 2003 he was awarded with the
China Golden Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fine Arts from the
Chinese Artists' Association and All China Federation of Arts and
"The donated works are of great importance for the studies of
modern Chinese art history, and the art of printmaking in China in
particular," said Fan Di'an, curator of the museum.
(Source: China Daily)
with kind regards,
Matthias Arnold (Art-Eastasia list)
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