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January 22, 2020

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Celebrating work of renowned Chinese artist

“Liu Haisu’s Art Expeditions in Europe — A Commemorative Exhibition in Celebration of Liu Haisu’s Ninetieth Anniversary of His First Trip to Europe” is now on display.

The exhibit currently on show at Liu Haisu Art Museum, through the end of March, is divided into several categories based on the timeline before, during and after the master’s trip to Europe.

Liu (1896-1994) was a Chinese painter well-known for helping to modernize the nation’s art education. His reputation as a progressive and controversial figure was established early on, especially through his use of nude models in coeducational setting.

Born in 1896 in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, Liu, as a youth, studied under Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), another heavyweight name in China’s modern art history. He later traveled to Japan and Europe, studying Western oil painting techniques.

The exhibition introduces background information through historical materials and artworks that he created during his two trips to Europe.

From 1929 to 1931, Liu was sent to Europe for an inspection tour by the Chinese government.

In these two years, he copied renowned artworks, drew life sketches and implemented nearly 300 paintings. His painting, titled “Snow in Luxembourg,” was collected by the French National Art Museum.

From 1933 to 1935, Liu went to Europe for a second time, sponsored by the Chinese government. This time, he took up a role in organizing a “Chinese Modern Art Exhibition” that was co-hosted by the Chinese and German governments.

As a result, the success of the exhibition thrust the “art ambassador” into the public limelight. Liu gave a series of speeches in different art academies and institutions in Europe.

The artist died at the age of 98 in 1994 in Shanghai. In 1995, the Liu Haisu Art Museum was opened in Shanghai, dedicated to the life and work of the artist.


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