Event Title

Exhibiting and marketing modern Chinese art: Incubating the marketplace for Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong in Hong Kong

Presenter Information

Shuo HUA, University of Hong Kong

Location

Lingnan University / Online Session via Zoom

Start Date

20-5-2021 3:00 PM

End Date

20-5-2021 4:30 PM

Description

This paper investigates the exhibitions of two modern Chinese painting masters ─ Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) and Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) ─ and their socio-economic interactions with the art patronage community in Hong Kong (1970s-80s). The purpose is to further our understanding of the below questions: What was the socio-cultural context of Hong Kong's art world in terms of exhibiting and commodifying modern Chinese paintings? How did the inter-connectivity between exhibiting and collecting impact the international circulation and exchanges of modern Chinese art?

Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong's exuberant ink paintings display fine quality of coalescence of Western and Oriental visual culture and lead to critical discussion on the modernization of Chinese art. Both frequently traveled to and resided in Hong Kong for exhibitions. This study unveils the roles played by art dealers and collectors in jointly sponsoring and promoting exhibitions, at a time where the Western art world had just started to become interested in collecting modern Chinese art. The display of their artworks in public art museums and commercial galleries served as an integral curatorial and marketing agency for nurturing international demand and interest in collecting and appreciating modern Chinese art. Case studies derived from the East Asian context will encourage researchers to re-examine artistic commodification in relation to exhibition culture and history, and it must be a matter of legitimate concern to attempt to discover what has conditioned the exchanges and circulation of artworks.

Recommended Citation

Hua, S. (2021, May). Exhibiting and marketing modern Chinese art: Incubating the marketplace for Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong in Hong Kong. Presented at Then and Now: Collecting Art and Exhibiting Cultures in Asia Conference, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

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May 20th, 3:00 PM May 20th, 4:30 PM

Exhibiting and marketing modern Chinese art: Incubating the marketplace for Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong in Hong Kong

Lingnan University / Online Session via Zoom

This paper investigates the exhibitions of two modern Chinese painting masters ─ Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) and Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) ─ and their socio-economic interactions with the art patronage community in Hong Kong (1970s-80s). The purpose is to further our understanding of the below questions: What was the socio-cultural context of Hong Kong's art world in terms of exhibiting and commodifying modern Chinese paintings? How did the inter-connectivity between exhibiting and collecting impact the international circulation and exchanges of modern Chinese art?

Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong's exuberant ink paintings display fine quality of coalescence of Western and Oriental visual culture and lead to critical discussion on the modernization of Chinese art. Both frequently traveled to and resided in Hong Kong for exhibitions. This study unveils the roles played by art dealers and collectors in jointly sponsoring and promoting exhibitions, at a time where the Western art world had just started to become interested in collecting modern Chinese art. The display of their artworks in public art museums and commercial galleries served as an integral curatorial and marketing agency for nurturing international demand and interest in collecting and appreciating modern Chinese art. Case studies derived from the East Asian context will encourage researchers to re-examine artistic commodification in relation to exhibition culture and history, and it must be a matter of legitimate concern to attempt to discover what has conditioned the exchanges and circulation of artworks.