Chongqing- On the occasion of the 127th anniversary of Xu Beihong’s birth, the special exhibition “Xu Beihong: A cultural Envoy Between China and Singapore” was unveiled at Peon Art Museum Chongqing and closed on September 18. This special exhibition selected 23 original works, including “Running Horse” and “Put Down Your Whip,” which vividly reproduced the history of Xu Beihong in Chongqing and Nanyang.
Confucianism laid the foundation for Xu Beihong’s creations. According to the curator Xu Ji, the exhibition is themed “Benevolence spreads wide,” “which praises Xu Beihong’s promotion and dissemination of traditional culture. Tao Shixiang, mayor of Jiangbei District in Chongqing, said that Xu Beihong’s journey to Nanyang is a microcosm of his artistic life.
“Master Xu Beihong devoted his life to the innovation of theory and practice. The footprints he left are a crucial element of Chongqing’s urban culture,” said Yang Jing, Xu Beihong’s granddaughter-in-law and the producer of this exhibition.
In the mid-summer of 1938, Xu Beihong arrived at Xingzhou and began his tour of charity sales. He studied ink and painted daily in Jiangxia Hall, where his highly representative works like “Running Horse” and “Put Your Whip Down” were born. The artworks created by Xu in Xingzhou recorded the passionate years of a national artist who traveled alone to Nanyang, marking his most brilliant artistic peak.
From 1939 to 1941, Xu Beihong held several exhibitions to raise funds for the relief of domestic refugees. The Perak Chinese Committee for Relief of Refugees in the Motherland specially issued a certificate of appreciation for “Benevolence spreads wide.” He created ink-and-wash paintings of horses and eagles, showing his concern for the country and the struggling spirit.
The Peon Art Museum Chongqing has held Xu Beihong-themed art exhibitions for four consecutive years, displaying 135 original works of Xu Beihong and attracting more than 180 groups from Chengdu and Chongqing to visit. Xu Beihong Art District is one of the key projects to promote local economic development. The government will further explore celebrity resources, taking Xu Beihong’s historical, cultural, and artistic resources as the core to create a creative benchmark for cultural tourism.
(Chen Lu, as an intern, also contributed to this report)