Across Time and Space

Re-visiting Twentieth-Century Chinese Oil Paintings


Edited by Shuo Hua

ISBN : 978-988-74708-2-3

Chinese Art History Distributed for HKU Museum and Art Gallery 香港大學美術博物館

August 2024

184 pages, 8.26″ x 10.6″, color illustrations throughout

  • HK$210.00

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In the early twentieth century, oil painting as a non-indigenous medium began to be taught in Chinese art academies. Since that time, it has become an important and increasingly popular portal, inviting artists to explore cross-cultural dynamics and experiment with individual creative expression.

This selection of twentieth-century Chinese oil paintings from the UMAG collection sheds light on the art historical and cultural significance of the medium. Highlighting the versatile aspects of Chinese oil paintings across a diverse spectrum of themes, styles, techniques, time periods, and regional and local characteristics, this publication presents the depth and virtuosity of Chinese oil paintings, extending from intimate interior views to panoramic coastal landscapes. The collective and individual memories within urban scenes activate dialogues of painting practices across time, space, and cross-cultural and cross-media encounters.

The selected works display and represent the various artistic styles and visual trends as well as the artists’ evolving perceptions and sensitivities about the changing face of twentieth-century China. The works on display have rarely been shown in public and include paintings by iconic masters and influential art educators including Liu Haisu (1896–1994) and Wu Guanzhong (1919–2010).

The collection of Chinese oil paintings constitutes the foundation of UMAG’s educational work today. Since initiating its publicly accessible collection in the 1950s, UMAG has been closely connected to the development of twentieth-century Chinese painters and their work. It has also actively documented and studied the evolution of their artistic talents and the Hong Kong art scene.

Dr. Shuo Hua is an assistant curator at the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG), the University of Hong Kong. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on East Asian paintings and art market studies in a transcultural context.