Past Exhibitions

Every Flower Tells a Story — Flower-and-Bird Paintings from Long Museum Collection

2018.5.1-2019.2.3
Long Museum  Pudong

Organizer:    Long Museum PUDONG

Artist:          Chen Gua, Chen Jiru, Ju Chao, Li Kuchan, Pu Ru, Qi Baishi, Ren Yi, Shi Tao, Wu Changshuo, Yu Feian, Zhang Daqian, Zou Yigui

Chinese flower and bird painting has a long history, dating back to the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties. Due to political stability, economic prosperity, and unprecedented activity in culture and art in the Tang Dynasty, flower-and-bird painting gradually became a specialized painting department. In the Song Dynasty, under the personal promotion of Song Huizong, flower-and-bird painting reached the highest level in history. Both the form of expression and the aesthetic conception have far-reaching influence. 


The meticulous and colorful flower and bird art of the Five Dynasties continued the basic formula formed since the late Tang Dynasty. The Northern Song Dynasty inherited the tradition of the Five Dynasties and still followed the expression formula of "rich and noble spirit". The Yuan Dynasty was a turning point in the transformation of Chinese classical painting from recurring style to expressive style. Many literati found ways of self-realization through painting, expressed their feelings with objects, and applied strong political attitudes to their paintings, making objects a symbol of ideal personality.


The Ming and Qing flower-and-bird painting schools were numerous and famous, from the palace flowers and birds represented by "Lin Liang and Lu Ji" in the early Ming Dynasty, the freehand ink flowers and birds paintings of "Qing Teng (Xu Wei) and Bai Yang (Chen Chun)" in the middle and late Ming Dynasty, to the freehand flowers and birds paintings of the "Eight Mountains and People" in the early Qing Dynasty, the bold and innovative "Eight Monsters of Yangzhou" in the mid-Qing Dynasty, and the inclusive "Shanghai School" in the late Qing Dynasty. All of these represent the mainstream of flower and bird painting in different periods. 


This exhibition selects 50 pieces (groups) of flower-and-bird paintings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties to modern times from the collection of Long Museum, covering the works of representative flower-and-bird painters and genres from the 17th to the 20th century.


Flower and bird painting is rooted in the excellent traditional culture of the Chinese and embodies the spiritual pursuit and life attitude of Chinese literati. Through this exhibition, Long Museum hopes to present to the public the development of flower-and-bird painting from Ming to Qing Dynasty to the present. On the other hand, each flower-and-bird painting with different styles also reflects the aesthetic changes of different artists and the cultural background behind their creation.

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