We are reviewing all the Chinese paintings in the Leeds Museums and Galleries collections in preparation for an exhibition that opens at Lotherton Hall on 3 October. The most recent painting is by a living artist, Fu Hua. He presented the painting, entitled ‘Prunus Blossom in an Ancient Urn’, when he visited Lotherton Hall in 1993, to give demonstrations during a special loan exhibition from China, coordinated by the International Relations department of the City Council.
Many of us are really fond of this painting with the carfree large red urn, and the very personal style of calligraphy. Estelle Wu, a student from Taiwan, is the guest curator for this year’s exhibiton and her research has revealed the following about Fu Hua.
Fu Hua was born in Beijing, China in 1926, and is now a very famous Chinese artist who focuses on ‘flower-and-bird paintings’. He helped establish the Chinese Painting School in Shanghai in 1955, which is a multi-functional institution that includes artist studios, an administration office, a meeting room and exhibition space. In 1965 he joined a new project, the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute.
Fu paints with a keen instinct, and always starts with a thick Chinese brush, simply but quickly drawing the outline of the object, and then dealing with the details in bright colors. His paintings contain an energetic atmosphere and positive spirit that build up the unique Fu style.
With his talent and the strong ambition to share and spread the beauty of Chinese traditional painting, Fu started living in the United Kingdom in 1986. He quickly achieved a good reputation in mainstream art circles and a lot of respect. His paintings are popular among the well-to-do and he has now held more than 30 solo exhibitions over the last 20 years, including shows at the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Manchester City Museum, and at Lotherton Hall in Leeds. Several museums have his paintings in their collections.
According to the worldwide web his most recent UK exhibition was in the Mall Gallery, London, in 2004. In that exhibition, around 100 works were shown, including a very representative work Lotus and Grapes in ink and wash painting. 70% of the pieces exhibited had been painted in the last few years, indicating just how productive the artist is. After the show, Fu moved to Australia. In 2012, he came back to Shanghai to hold a solo show, which showed 200 works. When his Leeds piece is on show again in October we hope to get in touch with him directly to let him know.
Thanks to Dajiyuan.com for the above image which you can find at http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/4/10/18/n693418.htm
To know more about Fu Hua, please visit his personal blog: http://blog.sina.com.cn/fuhua2010
By World Cultures Curator Antonia Lovelace