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Online Lecture

Exploration of Chinese Oil Paintings

Date:  24 Mar 2023 - 24 Mar 2023

Exploration of Chinese Oil Paintings


Date: Friday, 24 March 2023

Time: 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (HKT)

Mode of delivery: Online via Zoom, registration required

Language: English



Yiqing LI | Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Arts, Peking University
Mira CHAN Mei Wah | Assistant Curator I (Wu Guanzhong), Hong Kong Museum of Art


Discussant: Sarah NG | Curator, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
Moderator: Florian KNOTHE | Director, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong


Please click here to register.


Reform and Experimentation: The Boom of Chinese Abstraction from the late 1970s to 1980s



By dividing the legitimisation of Chinese abstract art into three phases during the era of reform and opening-up, Dr Li will analyse the various cultural and artistic strategies by which reformist artists, critics and administrators legitimised abstract painting in Chinese society. This talk will argue that the promotion of abstract painting did not merely free artistic creation from the model of socialist realism; it also inspired artists to explore the Chinese cultural characteristics of abstract painting, which reflected a national consciousness felt throughout the global art world.



Yiqing Li is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Peking University. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California San Diego. Her research interests include transcultural modernism, modernity and tradition in twentieth-century Asian art and Sino-Southeast Asian art. Her research papers have been published in journals such as Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Fine Arts and Art & Design Research. Over the past few years, she has organised three panels for the annual conference of the Association of Asian Studies, including ‘Art, Geopolitics, Cold War: Drawing China’s Cultural Belt in the 1950s’ (Boston, 2023). Currently, Yiqing is working on her book manuscript On the Path to Chouxiang: The History of Twentieth-Century Chinese Abstract Art. She will join the University of Macau as an assistant professor in July 2023.


Stylistic transition and innovation in Wu Guanzhong’s oil paintings from the 1950s to 2000s



Wu Guanzhong (1919–2010) was an iconic twentieth-century Chinese painter. He followed in the footsteps of his predecessors by furthering his art studies in France, and then returned to China to explore ways of modernising Chinese art. Based on the significant collection of Wu Guanzhong’s paintings held by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, this presentation will examine how Wu’s life experiences led to the transition of his artistic styles and genres from the 1950s to 2000s, and how his experimentation with Chinese ink, as well as his art writing, created new perspectives for understanding modern Chinese art.



Ms Chan Mei-wah, Mira is currently Assistant Curator at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Based on her interest in modern and contemporary Chinese art, she has curated a variety of exhibitions and programmes at the museum, and has contributed research and content for the art education documentary series A Journey into Wu Guanzhong’s Jiangnan, co-produced with Radio Television Hong Kong (2019). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Hong Kong and a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.

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