Birthday exhibition tribute to one of China's most celebrated painters

A cavalcade of visitors have flocked to the Zhejiang Art Museum since they decided to celebrate the birthday of one of China's most renowned painters.

Pan Tianshou's largest painting

A cavalcade of visitors have flocked to the Zhejiang Art Museum since they decided to celebrate the birthday of one of China’s most renowned painters.

Around 120 of Pan Tianshou’s paintings, to mark the skilled artisan’s 120th birthday, are on show at the memorial exhibition until January 14.

Pan (1897–1971) built the educational foundations of traditional Chinese painting. His paintings of flowers, birds, mountains and water blended styles from the ancient ink-wash paintings and modern art perfectly. By integrating poems, calligraphy and pictures, Pan established his own individual style.

This is the largest exhibition ever hosted to showcase Pan’s paintings. Exhibits have come from museums and galleries in Hangzhou and his hometown in Ninghai County. The exhibit space is divided into six sections according to the different styles and painting techniques.

Pan was born in a small hamlet in Ninghai County. Though the artist moved to big cities when he got older, Pan was always nostalgic for his village and often used rural life as themes in his work.

Pan Tianshou's painting of a water buffalo

Pan Tianshou's painting of a water buffalo

Highlights of the exhibition include two paintings of a water buffalo. He used different shades of ink to highlight how hair and mud mix in a buffalo’s body. His simple and plain strokes reflect the animal’s clumsy expression in the paintings. There are more than 10 years between the creations of these two works, but the techniques and style remained the same. It is believed to embody Pan’s unchanging love for his hometown and childhood.

Pan’s largest painting at the exhibition measures 6.85 meters in length and 2.65 meters in width. It is the first time it has been displayed in Zhejiang Province. The painting was created to commemorate the 15th anniversary since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1964. The thriving pine tree and four eagles symbolized painter’s hope for the nation’s future.

The exhibition will leave the museum after its run and will tour around the country in 2018. Curators of the display hope Pan’s spirit and ideas will inspire young artists to create some excellent works themselves.

Address: 138 Nanshan Rd

Date: Through January 14, closed on Mondays

Admission: Free

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