Artist takes flight in anniversary tribute to master
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the death of master Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), artist Du Xiaoquan held a flower-and-bird paintings exhibition at Shanghai Wu Changshuo Memorial Hall last week.
Du has researched and studied the life of Wu and his art for years. He is an ardent follower of the master’s work and wishes to inherit his spirit in concept and technique.
Du's recent exhibition at the memorial hall, featuring around 70 of his latest paintings, reflected his understanding and interpretation of the traditional art form.
Born in 1972 in Linyi, Shandong Province, Du is a graduate from the calligraphy and seal-cutting department at Nanjing University of the Arts, and later studied at the philosophy department at Renmin University of China in Beijing.
Master Wu was a prominent painter, calligrapher and seal-cutting artist from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) He was born into a scholars family in Zhejiang Province and served as an official in Liaoning Province toward the end of the Qing era.
He later settled in Suzhou where he devoted himself to poetry and calligraphy, and developed a strong interest in early scripts. Wu led the Xiling Society of Seal Arts, an organization of seal-carvers based in Hangzhou. Only later did Wu consider himself a painter associated with “Shanghai school.”
Wu was noted for helping rejuvenate the art of painting flowers and birds, which captured the imagination of Du as a young artist.
In his exhibition Du paid tribute to the master through his depiction of flowers and birds on rice paper. He also explored calligraphy, seal-cutting and poetry created by Wu for a deeper understanding of the master.