Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

China Diary, No. 52
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    Zhu Wei (Chinese, b. 1966)
    China Diary, No. 52
    , 2001
    ink and color on paper
    Gift of Red Rock Studio, Hong Kong, A Williams Alumnus
    M.2007.20.27
    Photo by Arthur Evans

    Zhu Wei (b. 1966, Beijing) preserves his cultural heritage with pride. He says, “I have always tried to use traditional Chinese elements because we have thousands of years of history. From the beginning, I have been trying to show how to modernize the past.” To this effect, he uses xuan paper and fine-brush techniques from traditional ink painting. He updates the convention of stamping work with one’s name to include large, red seals on his paintings with his website and gallery information. In the painting shown here, Zhu also modernizes a specific Chinese painting: Han Huang’s (723-787) famous Five Oxen, an exemplar of animal painting from the Tang dynasty. Zhu preserves the expressive eyes from the earlier model, but gives the oxen a greater sense of physical and cultural significance with the vast scale.

    Zhu inscribed “In the summer of 2001 in South Shunyi, Beijing” on the painting.