Art historian's ink works focus on mountains and rivers

Updated: 2016-08-02 08:11

By Deng Zhangyu(China Daily)

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Art historian's ink works focus on mountains and rivers

Shao Dazhen's landscape ink paintings are now on display in Beijing.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"I can only dedicate a small amount of time to painting in the course of a day as I need to read and write. That's why my ink paintings are small in size," the artist explains.

Yin Shuangxi, an art critic and historian, says: "Shao's paintings are authentic literati paintings. They are simple, natural and reflect his spiritual world."

"Literati painting" is a special term used to describe ink paintings by scholarly Chinese painters and official painters that lived after the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The works of many famous painters in ancient China like Dong Qichang and Mi Fu fall into this category.

Having spent years on research of Western and Chinese art, Shao says his paintings are also influenced by Western art. Water and ink for him are a "kind of pen", but the more important thing is how to use that pen to express his emotions and ideas.

Zhu Qingsheng, an art critic, says Shao has seen lots of masters' works and has made friends with many artists, and such interactions have given him a deep and unique understanding of art.

This is also visible in the details of his paintings.

Shao went to the former Soviet Union to learn art history in 1955. After returning to China in 1960, he taught art history at the Central Academy of Fine arts in Beijing. He has published many books on modern art, some of which are must-read for art students.