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An artist of the people

Updated: 2024-03-23 10:35 ( China Daily )
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Jiang Zhaohe's paintings mostly feature ordinary people. [Photo by TAIKANG ART MUSEUM/CHINA DAILY]

And they show Jiang's longtime investments in profiling figures, by combining the outlining techniques of Chinese ink art and the three-dimensional effect of Western art, which can be traced back to his years of exploration in Shanghai in the 1930s.

Back then, his gift and diligence already impressed artists of eminence such as Qi Baishi who spoke highly of Jiang's figure paintings, saying, "integrating Chinese brushwork with foreign approaches, the work claims uniqueness of a kind, and I much admire it".

Ruan, the curator, says the exhibition title is from an inscription Jiang left on a self-portrait made in 1983, in which he gazed into the distance with a smile, "recollecting in his mind the vicissitudes his country and people had experienced, and the works he had produced to document the changes of time".

Jiang once said: "I don't know what art is for in life. Is it like a fine wine, or a bowl of bitter tea? If it is the latter, I will prepare one myself, with all earnestness, and present it to the people."

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