Contemporary Chinese Paintings

Foreword by K. Y. Ng

Those familiar with the history of Chinese painting would probably agree that during the last hundred years it has been undergoing a more spec-tacular change than the past three hundred years. The last decade alone has witnessed the "blooming of a hundred flowers" with the extraordinary outburst of talent in the field of Chinese painting not only in China, but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas. Traditional painting, western painting, folk art, opera, even cartoon and graphic design have all served as inspiration for contemporary artists, thus resulting in a greatly enriched Chinese painting repertoire and propelling it forward in new directions.

Traditionally, Chinese painting was a composite art in which poetry, cal-ligraphy and seals played vital roles in complementing the painting. This is not necessarily true of modern Chinese painting. Among contemporary painters, only a few are also accomplished calligraphers, and rarely do they excel in poetry and seal carving as well. It is on painting and painting alone, that the artist now focuses his attention and by painting alone that he is judged. How to bring richness and freshness to this singular art is the challenge that faces every contemporary painter.

This exhibition of contemporary Chinese paintings organized by our company is entitled "Metamorphosis", and its meaning is twofold. It alludes to the profound changes that have taken and are taking place in Chinese painting in this century as a result of cultural exchange between the East and the West, and of world economic, social, scientific and artistic developments. It also refers to changes at our company where, after the experience gained over many years as dealers in ceramics, bronzes, jades and other Chinese antiques, we decided ten years ago that the time was right to expand our scope to include the young, fresh and exciting field of contemporary Chinese painting.

For this exhibition we have selected works by one hundred living artists working in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas. The mainland artists work in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, as well as in cities in Zhejiang,

work in Beijing , Tianjin , Shanghai , Nanjing , as well as in cities in Zhejiang , Sichuan and Guangdong , a large number of them being graduates of art academies. Some of the artists have already gained recognition, while others are at the sprouting stage of their careers. Throughout our selection, quality was the criterion that has guided us. We hope that this exhibition will help illustrate various aspects of contemporary Chinese painting, and stimulate viewers to further explore this interesting and rewarding field on their own.

To the many friends who have given their support and assistance in the preparation of this exhibition we would like to express our gratitude. In particular we would like to thank our museum friends and the many artists who have given helpful suggestions, to Miss Yim Tam for proofreading the English text, to Simon Leung for the photography, and to Laurence Lee for editing and supervising the production of this catalogue, in addition to planning the many details of the exhibition.


K. Y. Ng

Foreword by K. Y. Ng
Online Catalogue