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October 12, 2019

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Bund No.1 joins art fraternity to promote Chinese master

Bund No.1 is joining its art loving historical building brothers and sisters by promoting “Qi Baishi: Master of the 20th Century,” which is being showcased at the Jiushi International Art Center.

The exhibition features 50 masterpieces created by Qi Baishi (1864-1957), varying from flower and bird paintings, landscapes to figure paintings and his most renowned shrimp paintings. Some of the artist’s paintings have never been unveiled to the public before.

Qi is widely considered as one of the greatest Chinese painters of the 20th century. His paintings epitomize Chinese tradition using innovative form and style.

Although Qi’s art was inspired by nature, which often depicted animals, insects and flowers, he painted in a unique style.

“The excellence of a painting lies in its being alike, yet unlike,” Qi once said. “Too much likeness flatters vulgar taste, while too much unlikeness deceives the world.”

For example, the iconic ink-wash shrimps painted by Qi are so popular that they are now synonymous with the painter himself.

Whenever viewers see an ink-wash painting of shrimps, they are mostly likely to utter the name Qi Baishi.

Shrimps have been a favorite topic of Qi’s painting for decades. He first became interested in shrimps as a boy playing around a pond near his home.

Later, when he began to paint shrimps, he raised a few of the sea creatures in big bowls at home so he could get a better observation of the species.

For years he repeatedly copied the shrimp paintings of earlier masters and later began to experiment with his own techniques and styles.

Qi painted shrimps in the so-called xieyi, or impressionistic style with swift, definite and spontaneous brush strokes. He used wire-like strokes to draw the claws, applied fine flowing lines for antennas and quick brush work for its walking legs and swimmerets.

Qi particularly created the shrimp’s segmental abdomen and tail with simple brush rubbings featuring beautiful and subtle gradation in the darkness of ink.

His shrimps are so vivid that they seem to “swim on the rice-paper” which earned him the “king of shrimps” title.

Apart from the exhibition space, the place embodies a gift shop and bookstore, and will hold a series of art events for the public in future.

Date: Through January 12, 10am-5:30pm

Tickets: 100 yuan

Address: No.1 Zhongshan Rd E1


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