Xu Jiang's largest show of sunflower works in Shanghai

Updated: 2015-12-04 08:16

By Deng Zhangyu(China Daily)

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Xu Jiang's largest show of sunflower works in Shanghai

Xu Jiang is showing his paintings and sculptures of sunflowers in Shanghai. The artist says that, after focusing on the plant for 12 years, this will be his last exclusive show on sunflowers. Photos provided to China Daily

Xu Jiang's canvas has had sun-flowers for more than a decade.

With their curled leaves, the artist's flowers mostly stand firm even in poor weather conditions.

The largest retrospective show of his works, Oriental Sunflowers II, opened to the public in Shanghai on Thursday, with about 160 paintings and large-scale sculptures.

It is his last exclusive exhibition on sunflowers, the 60-year-old artist says. He has held nearly one show a year on the theme both in China and abroad in the past few years.

"It's hard for one to devote 12 years painting a single subject. I want to start a new phase," says Xu, who is also the president of the China Academy of Art, a government college that has produced some of the country's finest artists.

Xu seldom paints lonely sunflowers. His paintings have always been filled with fields of them.

"In my works, sunflowers can be seen as people, especially Chinese people. They have a lot in common-they are strong, fervent and self-sacrificing," Xu says.

Among images of sunflowers he most remembers and has tried to capture in his artworks are: wilted sunflowers against a setting sun in Turkey's Marmara region; snow-sprinkled sunflowers in China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region; bunches of the flower in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region; and a few standing tall in the aftermath of a typhoon in East China's Zhejiang province.

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