Past Exhibitions

Family Life and Beliefs in the Figure Paintings Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties

3rd Floor
2020.01.15 -

Experience and Strategy: the Art Changsha 2019

No.1 and No.2 Special Exhibition Hall,1F
2019.12.07 -

At 2:00 p.m. on December 7, 2019, “Experience and Strategy: the Art Changsha 2019” was officially unveiled in the Art Hall, 1st Floor, Hunan Museum. Since 2007, Hunan Museum has held six “Art Changsha” consecutively, and this year ushers in the 7th “Art Changsha”. This is an “atypical cultural landscape” among Chinese major museums. In the 21st century, the functions and missions of a museum began to shift greatly due to the innovations of ideas and technology. The position of museums as cultural hubs has been reemphasized and reinforced. From the perspectives of both time and space, museums are no longer limited to “collecting history”, but are endowed with a value orientation of connecting reality and the future. Therefore, it is essentially an exploration of its functions and the boundaries as well as its relations with the contemporary society for a museum to hold a contemporary art exhibition. This exhibition, featured by an integration of academic and art, apparently reflects the fields of “contradiction” between historical relics and contemporary art. In nature, it is a deep conversation that is based on rich historical materials in the museum and digs into the history and contemporary arts. By implementing the new concepts and ideas of “enlivening” the relics, “merging” the arts into life, and “inviting” the audience to join, this exhibition will further promote cultural confidence, improve public culture and artistic literacy and contribute to keeping up with people’s ever-growing needs for a better life!

Exhibition of the Chinese ancient calligraphy on bamboo slips and silk

No.2 Special Exhibition Hall,1F
2019.11.10 -

To write on bamboo slips and silk is new and strange to us today. Our encounter with the calligraphy on bamboo slips and silk  began with the archaeological discoveries at the beginning of the 20th century while the calligraphy on bamboo slips and silk had been a daily life until the popularization of paper. The unearthed books on bamboo slips and silk were written from the Warring States to Wei and Jin dynasties, spanning for nearly a thousand years. Later on, the inscriptions on bronzes and tablets were used by ancient Chinese calligraphy learners as models instead of the calligraphy works on bamboos and silk because these early bamboo and silk works have been lost in history. In the Qing dynasty, "epigraphy" was incorporated into the aesthetic system of calligraphy. It exerted profound influence on contemporary calligraphy learners in aspects from aesthetic taste to the model selection.

Now faced with a large number of diverse calligraphy works on bamboos and silk, we have noticed the possibility of rewriting the history of Chinese calligraphy. These works recorded the factors affecting the writing effect including the calligrapher’s writing habits and strokes, aesthetic taste of different times, customs of different regions, different writing tools and styles. It is difficult to use the existing theoretical system of calligraphy to interpret the complexity of font evolution and the characteristics of the times in the layout in silk calligraphy, so only when we abandon the traditional cognition and immerse ourselves in these works can we feel the beauty of them. 

This exhibition aims to restore the diversity and richness of the calligraphy on bamboos and silk as much as possible, outline its development process from the Warring States to the Wei and Jin dynasties, and inspire new thoughts on Chinese calligraphy.

Exhibition of Artworks by Xu Beihong, Zhou Lingzhao and Dai Ze

No.1 and No.2 Special Exhibition Hall,1F
2019.08.28 -

Xu Beihong, the first President of China Central Academy of Fine Arts(CAFA), is a master of modern painting and art and alsoan art educator. Zhou Lingzhao and Dai Ze were both invited by Xu Beihong to teach at the CAFA, and they both adhere to the direction of art education and creation initiated by Xu Beihong. As pioneers of Chinese art in the 20th century and the founders of Chinese modern art education, the three artists have made historic contributions to the establishment of the Chinese modern art education system. 

Reditus & Veritas –Exhibition of Modern Ceramics by Zhang Jitao

No.1 Special Exhibition Hall,1F
2019.07.10 -

Zhang Jitao, born in 1931 in Changsha, Hunan, currently resides in Taiwan. After moving to Taiwan in 1949, he attended and graduated from Military Technical School and Military Foreign Languages School. In 1976, he learnt under the famous Taiwanese ceramicist Mr. Lin Baojia and from then on has been devoting his body and soul into ceramic creations. Zhang has always followed his master's ideology of "Ceramics Living Arts"; his artworks fused both the past and the present, connecting beauty and functionality, most of his works are based on Chinese traditional containers, which he then integrates with modern ceramics' design and functionality, along with glazes of his personal style. This clearly portrays the meaning of ceramics living: A fuse of innovation and aesthetics.

In November, 2014, Mr. Zhang Jitao donated 75 sets (99 pieces of artwork) of the most iconic works in his ceramics career to the Hunan Museum. Within the collection, there are ceramic plates that cleverly combine calligraphy with paintings, vivid and lively animal ceramic sculptures and colorful glazed ceramics. These works condense Mr. Zhang' s perception of life, carrying his many years of creative passion and filled with a rich philosophy of life. This exhibition is truly a cultural feast of modern ceramics.

Echoes of Lisao——Exhibition of Ink Paintings by Liu Yiyuan

No.2 Special Exhibition Hall,1F
2019.06.15 -

Liu Yiyuan’ creation of modern ink painting began in the 1980s.  For the past half a century, he has been creating ink paintings with the keywords of  “heart image” (心象), ”dots and lines” (点线) and “feelings of the changes” (感时), providing a profound narrative of the ink arts in the field of Chinese arts. Based on the local life experience, he confronts the present world with a perceived and reflective attitude, taking the advantages of ink arts theories in Chinese traditional painting such as “aesthetic experience with peace of mind” (澄怀味道) and “expressing Taoism by shape” (以形媚道). From the 1980s to the beginning of this century, his works adopted the traditional painting techniques of “creating a circumstance in the mind" (因心造境) and “expressing one’s heart by the brush in hand”(以手运心) since Song and Yuan Dynasty, giving full play to the expression quality of the ink painting. Hence, a sense of compassion for all mankind was integrated into the images and paintings to express multiple understandings about human’s life after “modernity”, which arouses wide resonance. His works has been studied by theorist and critics who focus on the contemporary transformation of Chinese culture. Critics have been revealing the sense of history, reality and characteristics of his creation methodology in his works from different perspectives, which provides fresh starts for the practice of Chinese contemporary ink art. 

Themed on the “Echoes of Lisao”, this exhibition aims to demonstrate the spiritual elevation of Liu Yiyuan’s art creation as well as the subtle changes of his artistic language during the past decade. The exhibition showcased 35 of his works, among which 25 were created after 2005. In these works, he reoriented his exploration and research on the traditional culture from the Song and Yuan paintings to the more ancient Chu culture that dates back more than 2000 years ago. The sense of compassion in his early works turned into a pursue to poetic nature and connotation, which was related with the traditional Li Sao and its rhyme. It’s not only a modern practice of “landscape expressing Taoism by its shape” (ZongBing), but also a spiritual transcendence and sublimation.  The selected works in this exhibition echo with the Chu art in its advocation of life, movement and vitality as well as the artistic spirit of yearning for freedom. For example, strong color contrasts in “Reborn” and “Sound of the Chu Hero” express the spiritual pursuits; flowing lines in “Reminiscence of the Miluo River”, “the Milky Way”, and “the Trace of Time” bear poetic connotations. Hunan and Hubei are the birthplace of Chu culture and therefore boast strong tradition of Chu culture and abundant resources of Chu art. It is highly expected that this exhibition in Hunan Museum can promote our imaginative robust and mettlesome ethos, encourage the creation of modern and contemporary local art in China and exert its positive effect on culture development.