Two views of Jiangnan in art

Wang Jie
Shanghai artists display their different interpretations of a region they both call their spiritual home in the "Making a search for Jiangnan" exhibition at Suzhou Art Museum.
Wang Jie

Jiangnan, regions south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, means different things to different people.

Illustrating this, the “Making a search for Jiangnan” exhibition, featuring nearly 100 works by Shanghai artists Lu Chuntao and Yue Zhenwen, is at Suzhou Art Museum through September 18.

It is one of a series of exhibitions at the museum with a Jiangnan theme.

Although different in age, background and painting style, both artists say Jiangnan has always been their spiritual home.

For them, Jiangnan is not a concrete or stereotypical scene. Rather than realistic depictions, theirs are abstract or sometimes impressionistic.

“Everyone has his own favorite Jiangnan in his mind,” said Zhang Lixing, curator of the exhibition. “Jiangnan pursued by the two artists actually refers to an elegant, profound and poetic culture that once nurtured them.”

Through hazy moonlight, starry skies, misty dawns and poignant twilight, Lu creates images brimming with a sense of mystery and illusion on rice paper. Lu unveils a different facet of the stereotypical ink-wash paintings with birds and flowers or mountains and rivers.

Yue’s landscapes purposely abandon the traditional depiction of natural scenery, but fuses more ink shades and colors to create scenes from his heart.

Exhibition info

Date: Through September 18, 10am-5pm

Address: 2075 Renmin Road

Two views of Jiangnan in art

"Dew" by Lu Chuntao

Two views of Jiangnan in art

"Sketches No. 4" by Lu Chuntao

Two views of Jiangnan in art

"Cloud over Mountains" by Yue Zhenwen

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