Crossing the Pacific Ocean – Early Cantonese Artists Studying in America ​​was exhibited at the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts • October 2022

On September 9, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s 2022 National Art Museum Collection Boutique Exhibition Season Project Crossing the Pacific Ocean – Early Cantonese Artists Studying in the United States was exhibited at the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Wang Huangsheng, Chief Curator of the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Hu Bin, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, served as exhibition consultants, Chen Xiaoyang, Executive Deputy Director of Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, served as exhibition director, Associate Professor Yang Huidan, University City Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Li Tiejun, Director of the Exhibition Department, is co-curator.

During the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, Guangdong was the first group in modern China to travel across the oceans to study in the West. Some Cantonese youths with artistic talents moved to the other side of the Pacific Ocean to make a living or study art in Canada, the United States, Cuba and other places. Among these Cantonese artists who traveled abroad to seek art, many famous masters who would have a profound impact on Lingnan painting circles were born, including Li Tiefu, Feng Gangbai, Guan Jinao, Yu Ben, etc. This exhibition focuses on the group of Cantonese artists who studied in the United States in the early days, and combines the history of overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese studies, and strives to reproduce their artistic achievements and art circle activities in a more overall social, historical and cultural field, and further explores their work in China and their value in the world of art. The exhibition is divided into three units from the perspectives of Cantonese artists studying in the United States “going to the United States”, “returning to China” and “studying in the United States”. “Between East and West: The Language and Spirit of Art Across Cultures”.

The exhibition is a continuation project of the comprehensive sorting out of modern and contemporary art in Guangdong. Through exploratory work such as pioneering, collecting, and filling in omissions, the exhibition is jointly organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Kantor Art Center of Stanford University, the Krannert Art Museum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the United States. With the support of Chinese Historical Society, Museum of Chinese in America, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Guangdong Museum of Art, Kaiping Art Museum, Kaiping Chikan Library and other institutions, as well as the artist’s family and friends, the collection of early study abroad in North America is currently available. For the first time, more than 20 early Cantonese painting pioneers who studied in the United States are displayed as a group at the same time. Among them, nearly ten artists, including Wu Zeshu, Li Xizhang, Xie Rongguang, Yun  Gee, Huang Qiyao, Li Hongde, Huang Yuxue, etc., are exhibiting for the first time in public art museums in mainland China. In this way, it provides a valuable group sample for further improving the overall appearance of Guangdong’s modern art, and promotes a new stage of regional art research with an international perspective.

On the afternoon of September 29, the academic seminar “Crossing the Pacific Ocean – Research Exhibition of Early Cantonese Artists Studying in America” ​​was held in the Academic Lecture Hall of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Professor Wang Huangsheng, Vice President of Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University, Professor Li Chao, Researcher Hua Tianxue of China National Academy of Arts, Professor Cao Qinghui, School of Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Vice President of Anhui Academy of Painting and Calligraphy, Research Librarian Dong Song, independent curator Exhibitor Mo Nu, Professor Tan Jinhua of Guangdong Overseas Chinese Cultural Research Institute of Wuyi University, Mai Lihong, first-class artist of Guangdong Academy of Painting, Chen Zhiyun, researcher of Guangzhou Art Museum, and teachers in related fields of our school participated in the seminar, hosted by Hu Bin and Chen Xiaoyang. The meeting was conducted in a combination of online and offline. The first half was an online speech, which made a macro exposition from the social culture and the background of early study abroad. , and the cases of artists studying in the United States, etc., to jointly explore and expand the path of studying in North America in modern times.