Xu Beihong in Nanyang

June 9, 2008 at 12:25 am | Posted in itchy mouth | 2 Comments
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Many people including myself know that artist Xu Beihong (1895 – 1953) was very skilful in painting horses. But in the exhibtion presented by the Singapore Art Museum and the Xu Beihong Art Museum (Beijing), visitors were able to appreciate a far wider range of works by Xu Beihong – from calligraphy, traditional Chinese ink painting, oil paintings and even ceramics. Many of the works showcased were loans by private collectors.

Follow this way into the world of Xu Beihong

Like many foreign talents, Xu Beihong was attracted to Singapore in the late 19th century, making many friends during his stay here. The connections between Xu Beihong and Singapore, Malaya and India were highlighted in the exhibition, Xu Beihong in Nanyang.

The exhibition spanned three levels

Seal of authenticity

Visitors listened attentively to the curator’s narration of the artist’s
famous work

Put Down Your Whip (1939) was completed in Xu Beihong’s stay in Singapore.
It set a record highest auction price at HK$72 million (US$9.2 million)!

But personally I prefer Protrait of Young Lady (1940)…notice he didn’t
just sign off his name at a corner but did it within another painting?

Tisu boy liked this – The Fool Who Moved The Mountain (1940). It was used
by Xu Beihong as a metaphor to praise the Chinese in their anti-Japanese efforts.

But both of us still like his painting of horses! See how they captivated
this lady?

I shall not attempt at doing a review of his work, as I am sure many more qualified people had already done so. But I was certainly impressed by quite a number of his oil paintings, and of course the horses paintings. Xu Beihong in Nanyang is worth a visit for anyone keen in knowing more of his work, and especially how Singapore and the Nanyang area had been significant in injecting new elements into his artistic development.

Xu Beihong in Nanyang will be showing now till 13 July 2008 at the Singapore Art Museum.



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  1. I found Xu Bei Hong’s oil paintings more captivating than his paintings of horses though. Not to say that they aren’t good lol.

    Did you see the one of a chinese lady sitted on a chair? (to the left of “put down your whip” It’s called Miss Jenny or smth. I love that one:]

    ps: no photog in the museum!hehe i took as well

  2. ya, I like that one too, the lighting on the face is nice. Portrait of Miss Jenny (1939)

    hee…initially didn’t take any photos, just admiring around…but later itchyfingers started to get itchy…so just took a few without flash…but did so discreetly so as not to encourage more people to follow our bad example…:p pai say…:p

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