Media are briefed about the upcoming exhibition of Chinese modern artists Qi Baishi at a news conference in Seoul on May 25, 2017. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
South Koreans will get their first chance to have a close look at the artwork of Chinese modern art master Qi Baishi, hailed as China's Pablo Picasso.
Qi's masterpieces will go on show at the Seoul Arts Center from July 31 to Oct 8, as part of the cultural events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Korea. It will also be the first time Qi's works have been showcased in South Korea.
The exhibition, From a Carpenter to a Master, will feature 50 works, including scroll paintings, calligraphy and wood carvings. More than 80 antiques Qi collected during his lifetime will also be displayed, together with over 30 calligraphy works by both Chinese and South Korean calligraphers to remember the late master.
Qi Baishi (1864-1957), born into a farming family in Central China's Hunan province, became a carpenter at the age of 14 and began studying art at 27. After traveling throughout China, he settled in Beijing in his late 50s and developed a unique style, boldly blending his mark as an individual with traditional Chinese painting methods.
Shi Ruilin, cultural counselor at the Chinese embassy in South Korea, and Ko Hak-chan, president of the Seoul Arts Center, May 25, 2017. [Chinaculture.org]
The upcoming show in Seoul is jointly organized by the Chinese embassy in South Korea, the Chinese Cultural Center in Seoul, the Hunan Provincial Cultural Department and the Seoul Arts Center.
Speaking at the news conference on Thursday, Shi Ruilin, cultural counselor at the Chinese embassy and head of the Chinese Cultural Center, said: "The art of calligraphy and painting is created by artists in Eastern countries including China and South Korea, and admired by people worldwide. The unique art form has made contributions to the development of world culture and the progress of human civilization."
"We are hosting this special show of Qi Baishi at this special moment of the year in order to inherit and spread the essence of Eastern arts, to start a dialogue with the world civilization, to promote a healthy and stable relationship between China and South Korea, and to make contributions to world peace," Shi continued.
Ko Hak-chan, president of the Seoul Arts Center, said: "We're honored to hold the show at this special moment, in the year of the 25th anniversary of the South Korea-China ties. We hope the show will further promote relations between the two countries. At the same time, we hope to offer an opportunity to help South Korean artists and the general public further understand Qi Baishi's art world. "
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