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Exhibit puts spotlight on Shanghai-style art

SOME complain that this city doesn't have an art museum showcasing Shanghai-style masterpieces.

While that is true, the Xuhui Art Museum is taking a step in the right direction with the exhibition "Treasures in Shanghai."

"It is widely recognized that 'Shanghai-style' paintings have a critical role in China's modern art history," says Zhang Lixing, curator of the exhibit. "But it is unbelievable that we haven't had a special exhibition of Shanghai-style paintings in the past years in the city."

"Shanghai-style" refers to traditional ink-wash paintings created here although they absorb other styles of the past century.

A cluster of big names like Fu Baoshi, Chen Shifa, Liu Danzhai and Wu Qingxia are listed at the exhibit.

For example, "Madame Xiang" created by Fu (1904-1965) is one of the exhibition's highlights. Credited with revolutionizing Chinese ink painting, Fu is considered one of the most important Chinese artists of the last century.

As an apprentice in a painting shop to an art history student in Japan and later a diligent artist who traveled around China to capture the country's landscapes, Fu formed his own style. His works are known for elegant and floating brushstrokes with a strong humanistic touch.

"Madame Xiang" features an ancient Chinese lady gazing over her shoulder, as if she is waiting or expecting something. The artist vividly renders an Oriental beauty in a serene yet attractive posture through simple and free brushwork.

Zhang has high hopes for the exhibit.

"I want the public to become aware of the treasures of our city and hopefully this will lead to the creation of an art museum specializing in the collection and display of Shanghai pieces," Zhang says.

Date: through June 27, 9am-5pm

Venue: Xuhui Art Museum, 1413 Huaihai Rd M.


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