Oct 5 - Dec 30 1995

Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting – from Realism to Post-Modernism

Press Release

Original Press Release Unavailable

Excerpt below from Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting – from Realism to Post-Modernism catalogue prologue by Manfred Schoeni, August 1995.

The idea for this book first began to take shape towards the middle of 1994, when after having produced several publications featuring contemporary Chinese artists, I suddenly realised that there were no other works giving a complete ontological account of the rise of oil painting in modern China.

Over the last two decades, Chinese contemporary painters have created new works of art at a tremendous pace, as if there were no tomorrow, no hope for the future and they were all struggling to complete the painted world into which they could escape. It is refreshing to work with such artists, and it is refreshing too, to explore the historical evolution of this art with eyes that are untainted by the guilt of merely latching onto and following new trends.

Art should not be constrained by the limitations imposed by categorisation into form or style; art is continuity, the present being the link between the past and what is yet to come, and it is the brush, together with each individual painter's outlook which creates and recreates forms, shapes and colour, in the search for the ultimate expression. The process of painting may be a means to an end, but the paintings stand autonomous. Since life has a limited span in time, we search for the eternity which might enable us to live a little longer, in art.

The purpose of this catalogue is to provide an insight into the short history of Chinese oil painting and to explain its development beginning from its source to the present situation of this genre in general.

This book not only introduces the best Chinese oil painters to the West but provides an excellent base for all those who love art to have a first contact with the current diversity of Chinese oil painting, against a factual, historical background.

Only those Chinese painters still living in mainland China have been included in the contemporary section of this book for the simple reason that their immediate environment is part of their creative impulse, and here their roots assume significance. So many painters, having left their country, loose their identity as they assimilate themselves with new surroundings. Many Chinese painters achieve success in their adopted home, but all too often the reason is their novelty in the foreign culture.

Our hope is that this publication will help to establish the place in the international market that Chinese oil painting so strongly deserves, and through a comprehensive historical background, promote understanding and admiration of the exquisite works created by the best Chinese artists currently active.

There will always be some information that is overlooked, always some painters who are not included. We have tried to present an overview that takes all the different styles into account. All the essays featured here are the work of academics and specialists in the field of Chinese oil painting. It is our hope that this book will encourage a Western audience to explore Chinese oil painting, and therefore create a new bond with overseas collectors.

We are deeply grateful to all the artists who have contributed to this first edition of a "History of Chinese Oil Painting­From Realism to Post-Modernism", and would like to express our sincere thanks to all the authors who have put much time and energy into producing their essays for this book and contributing to a rounded insight into what is an exciting new tradition.

Selected Artworks


Additional Material

  • Oct 5 - Dec 30 1995

  • Schoeni Art Gallery in collaboration with Galerie Théorèmes, Brussels, Belgium

  • Ai Xuan

  • Cao Li

  • Ding Yi

  • Guo Jin

  • Guo Wei

  • He Sen

  • Hong Ling

  • Jiang Guofang

  • Liu Liping

  • Li Shan

  • Liu Wei

  • Li Tianyuan

  • Liu Xiaodong

  • Liu Dahong

  • Li Guijin

  • Shen Ling

  • Sun Weimin

  • Qi Zhilong

  • Wang Hao

  • Wang Huaxiang

  • Wang Guangyi

  • Wang Jinsong

  • Wang Yidong

  • Wang Yuping

  • Wei Rong

  • Weng Danxian

  • Xia Xing

  • Xin Haizhou

  • Xu Jiang

  • Xu Mangyao

  • Yang Shaobin

  • Yang Feiyun

  • Yu Hong

  • Yu Shaofei

  • Yue Minjun

  • Zeng Fanzhi

  • Zhang Bin

  • Zhang Gong

  • Zhao Bandi

  • Zhong Biao

  • Zhu Qi

  • James Cahill

  • Nigel Cameron

  • Shui Tianzhong

  • Lam Kwoktao

  • Shao Dazhen

  • Yin Shuangxi

  • Liu Xiaochun



Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting – from Realism to Post-Modernism



Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting – from Realism to Post-Modernism 2