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Through the Centuries, Across the Straits: The Works of Xie Zhiliu, Chen Peiqiu, Fu Shen, Lu Rongzhi


Location:Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian)

Dates: 2018-11-17 through 2018-11-30


The Palace Museum is currently hosting an exhibition organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism called “Through the Centuries, Across the Straits: The Works of Xie Zhiliu, Chen Peiqiu, Fu Shen, and Lu Rongzhi” at the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian). With four sections and 184 works on view, the exhibition highlights the unique contributions by each of the artists, who share a wealth of experiences in the arts of calligraphy and painting and the professional fields of art authentication and curation. Visitors will experience the historical and academic value of “through the centuries” (qiangu) and gain an understanding of what it means to be “unrestrained” (zongheng) by Eastern or Western forms of art. 


Xie Zhiliu

The first featured artist is Xie Zhiliu (1910–1997). Originally from Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, he was a calligrapher, painter, art historian, and authenticator of ancient paintings and calligraphy. As a youth, he studied under Qian Mingshan (1875–1944) and later became fascinated by the art of Chen Hongshou (1599–1652). In his paintings of figures, Xie continued in the style of Tang (618–907) artists, but he adopted Northern Song (960–1127) approaches to landscapes. He modeled after the Song (960–1279) academy style in his paintings of birds and flowers and developed what became known as the New Xuanhe Style (after the reign name of a Song emperor known for his patronage of the arts). After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Xie undertook official responsibilities for calligraphy and painting authentication and served an important role in the State Council’s oversight of cultural heritage. Some of his works featured in this exhibition are Red Lotus (Honglian tu), Outdoor Amusements (Qiting duchang), Horses on the Frontier (Saishang maqun), and Four Beauties (Simei tu).


Chen Peiqiu

The next featured artist is Chen Peiqiu (b. 1923), wife of the late Xie Zhiliu. Trained in traditional Chinese styles of the Song and Yuan (1279–1368) periods, she developed her own innovative styles over the years. She studied art in Chongqing in the 1940s and was later recognized for her accomplishments in Shanghai and on the national level. In 1956, she became a painting instructor at the Shanghai Painting Academy and, in 1978, a member of the Shanghai branch of the China Artists Association. Among works by Chen on view are Jade Mountain Spring (Xishan cuise) and Flowering Crabapple in the Ninth Month (Jiuyue haitang).


Fu Shen

The exhibition also features works by Fu Shen (b. 1936). Born in Nanhui, Jiangsu Province, Fu studied at Taiwan Normal University in the 1950s under several well-known professors, including Zong Xiaochen (1891–1979). Recognized for his accomplishments in traditional Chinese painting, seal engraving, and calligraphy at graduate exhibition, he began teaching in the secondary school affiliated to his alma mater. In the 1960s, he earned a graduate degree in art studies and began working in the Taipei Palace Museum, where he specialized in historical calligraphy and paintings and eventually undertook projects as an authenticator. In 1977, he curated a large exhibition of Chinese calligraphy at Yale University and a complementary symposium. Beginning in 1979, he oversaw the collection of Chinese fine arts at the Freer Gallery of Art for fifteen years and became also the director of Chinese arts at the Sackler Gallery in 1988. His works are now found in collections around the world, including the National Museum of China, National Art Museum of China, and the British Museum. Some of his works featured in this exhibition include a painting called Imitation of Clear Vista of Rivers and Mountains by Xia Gui (Lin Xia Gui xishan qingyuan tu juan) and a lengthy calligraphic rendering of The Heart Sutra (Xinjing shufa changjuan).


Lu Rongzhi

Lu Rongzhi (also known as Victoria Lu, b. 1951) is the wife Fu Shen. Born to a family of Shanghai literati in Taiwan, she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels and later immigrated to the United States where she studied painting at the University of California. In the 1970s she wrote articles on art criticism for publications in Taiwan. She is credited with translating the English word “curator” as cezhanren (lit. “planning-exhibition person”) in Chinese in the 1980s and is the first female art critic and curator in the contemporary Chinese art world. Several of her works are featured in this exhibition.



Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying


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