The influence of Western civilization on Chinese civilization has made itself felt – though not as profoundly as on literature – also on modern art. Chinese students, who in the last thirty years more and more have come to Europe, especially France, to study European art, were, on their return home, the propagandists of the new style of painting so different from the traditional Chinese one.. A fusion between the two styles has not yet taken place and while the old Chinese school of painting – which also had good names, such as Wu Ch’ang-shih (1844-1927) – has not managed to overcome traditional schemes, it cannot yet to say that the young painters, followers of Western painting, have been able to make their contribution to it.
Modern Chinese painting, as well as sculpture, is now faced with the dilemma of being either revolutionary (ie Westernizing), and therefore outside the traditional Chinese, or traditional, but not yet innovative trail. An overcoming of these two positions may perhaps occur in the next few years. The war against Japan gave jobs to artists who were mainly engaged in patriotic propaganda activities: the various “artistic societies for resistance to the enemy”, which were set up in the first years of the war, directed above all the painters’ activity to the creation of wall posters and propaganda posters. During the war, in April 1938, Lu Hsun Hsueh Yuan was opened in Ye-nan, a center of Chinese Communists.(art school named after Lu Hsun) who knew how to produce good engravings of war scenes or dedicated to social problems.
Among the modern Chinese painters, the best known is Hsu Pei-hung (Ju Péon), a teacher at the Beijing Art Academy. Born in 1894 in I Shing in Kiang-su, he went to study in France in 1918, where he remained for about eight years: he held exhibitions in Brussels in 1930, in Milan in 1934. As a painter he was noted for some large oil paintings, of historical subject, among which the best known is T’ien Heng and his five hundred followers, illustration of an episode of ancient Chinese history: subsequently he returned again to paint in the Chinese way. Another fairly well-known painter is Liu Fen-mien, born in 1898 in Mei Hsien, in Kwan-tung, and also trained in France.
Among the sculptors it will be enough to mention Li Ching-fa and Chang Chung-len.
According to YOUREMAILVERIFIER.COM, the main centers of art studies are currently in Nanjing, at the Central University, in Hang-chow, at the Academy of Fine Arts, and in Beijing.
As for modern Chinese architecture, it attempted a rebirth of traditional forms using modern Western techniques: this attempt at rebirth, mainly due to the initiative of cultural missionary institutes, was limited, at first, to the superimposition of the typical roof on the body of the building.
Examples of this first type include Nanking University (1910) in Nanjing, St. John University in Shanghai. A new style making room for Chinese elements, such as the typical raised corner roof, the marble terrace surrounding the base, the bright colors of the decoration, was consecrated by the construction, which took place around 1920, of Ginling College in Nanjing and the Beijing Yenching University: it found its best expression in the construction of the Shanghai City Hall (1930) and the Beijing Library. The transfer of the capital to Nanjing (1929) should have resulted in the construction of a large complex of buildings, for administrative use, in the Chinese style, according to the intentions of the architects behind the master plan of the city. to be built at the foot of the Purple Mountain, around the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Political events caused the project to be abandoned, so that the new buildings in the capital were built without coordination and with disparity of styles: among the best examples of Chinese style we can mention the current headquarters of the executive Yüan. The war years did not see any new buildings worthy of note: in the post-war period, however, there was a modest recovery in construction activity, hitherto contained in terms of economy. Remarkable is the reconstruction of Nanjing in which there are, however, no examples of neo-Chinese style. among the best examples of Chinese style we can mention the current seat of the executive Yüan. The war years did not see any new buildings worthy of note: in the post-war period, however, there was a modest recovery in construction activity, hitherto contained in terms of economy. Remarkable is the reconstruction of Nanjing in which there are, however, no examples of neo-Chinese style. among the best examples of Chinese style we can mention the current seat of the executive Yüan. The war years did not see any new buildings worthy of note: in the post-war period, however, there was a modest recovery in construction activity, hitherto contained in terms of economy. Remarkable is the reconstruction of Nanjing in which there are, however, no examples of neo-Chinese style.
In the field of monumental architecture, the aforementioned Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen (1929), the work of the architect Lu Yen-chih, must be remembered, in which, however, there is a hybrid mixture of styles, and the Sun memorial monument. Yat-sen, designed by the same architect, in Canton.
Damage to China’s artistic and cultural heritage during the war. – According to recent government statistics, during the last war against Japan, China allegedly lost more than 1870 cases of books by destruction, by removal by Japanese troops or by cession to Japan by the collaborationist government of Wang Ching-wei. and art objects. Quite notable destruction due to Japanese aerial bombardments occurred in ancient cities such as Ch’ung-K’ing, Yen-an, C’hang-sha and others: the damage suffered by Nanjing and Beijing was not serious. During the war, the Chinese government took care of the rescue of the works of art by transporting most of the existing objects to the imperial palace in Beijing in the provinces of Kwei-chow and Sze-ch’wan.
The action carried out by the Chinese government to return the works of art aims to include those works that were lost since 1894-95, the time of the first Sino-Japanese war.
The work of restitution was fruitful, especially for the books brought to Japan during the last war: the Royal Asiatic Society, the Central Library in Nanjing, the University of Sun Yat-sen in Canton and the Nankai University in T ‘ien-tsin were able to rebuild their libraries.
The current civil war between the communists and the nationalists causes considerable damage to the monuments of the interior: the destruction of the Catholic missions and of ancient temples and convents has been repeatedly reproached by the nationalists to the communists, who, in the last year, according to information governmental, would have destroyed the famous Buddhist temples of the mountain of Wu Tai Shan, the ancient Confucius temple in Chefoo, some lamaserie in East Manchuria, the ancient Catholic mission of Siwang tze in Chungli and others. However, the lack of an effective administration for the protection of monuments means that even in areas not directly theater of war, the prevalent neglect is above all the main cause of the ruin of Chinese monuments.