October 02, 2014
January 25, 2015
Honolulu Museum of Art
At the critical juncture between traditional and modern Chinese art in the beginning of the 20th century, Qi Baishi (1864–1957) emerged as the leading representative of Chinese painting. With no formal education, Qi rose from humble origins to a position of prominence that included appointments to the National People’s Congress and the National Artists’ Association.
In an age when Chinese painters were turning to the outside world to study Western models, Qi advocated traditional ink painting. At the same time, his spontaneous technique brought a refreshing new perspective to the genre, forming the foundation for the development of new national styles by younger artists later in the century. Qi’s paintings of “small life” subjects such as lychees and shrimp are immediately accessible, yet surprisingly subtle, his light touch infusing his works with energy.
This exhibition focusing on Qi Baishi and related artists includes paintings—many of which have never before been displayed to the public—from the collections of the Honolulu Museum of Art and Dr. Gene and Mrs. Cecilia Doo.