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Modernizing Tradition: Huang Binhong and Xugu



Huang Binhong

Huang Binhong (1864–1955) and Xugu (1823–1896) were among the most innovative painters of their respective eras. By experimenting with new techniques of brushwork as well as applying ink in varying layers and densities, both artists achieved freshness, vigor, and poignancy in images that might appear inelegant or even distorted. 

Xugu was a prominent member of the dynamic art scene in Shanghai, where he served a largely commercial clientele. Huang Binhong, by contrast, was an eminent poet, critic, art historian, and connoisseur—as well as painter. This focused installation features literati-style landscape paintings from albums by both artists, as well as hanging scrolls by Xugu that depict his characteristically bold images of animals and flowers. 


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