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Zhang Daqian - Chinese Art Gallery


Artist: Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)


Zhang Daqian, Chinese Painter, 1899-1983

  • Chang Dai-chien [Zhang Daqian] (1899-1983) was a native of Nei-chiang, Szechwan. His original given name Chuan was later changed to Yuan, while his childhood name Chi was later incorporated into his studio name Chi-yuan. He took the religious name Dai-chien upon becoming a Buddhist monk, and after returning to the laity he called himself Dai-chien chu-shih or "Lay believer Dai-chien."

  • At the age of 21 he studied under Tseng Hsi and Li Jui-ching. Taking Shih Tao and Pa-ta Shan-jen as his starting point, he sought out as many paintings by famous artists of past centuries as he could to copy. Beginning with an impressionistic style and progressing to meticulous brushwork, he developed the ability to move between these techniques with complete master. In 1941 he traveled to DunHuang where he spent two years and seven months copying wall paintings. Here he studied traditional coloration and line drawing methods, being particularly moved by the grand scale and complex layout of the high Tang style. The sumptuous splendor of high Tang art inspired him with the desire to create great art.

  • Besides copying from old masters Chang Dai-chien was also expert at painting from life.

  • Chang Dai-chien traveled widely in Europe and America, where he came into contact with the contemporary art movement in the West. This spurred a sea change in his methods of painting, and he created unique splashed-ink and splashed-color styles, expanding the potential of plane surfaces and coloration. In his later years, he combined splashed ink and splashed color with the masterly texture strokes and liberation of his early years to form a new synthesis. Hovering between concrete and abstract, reveling in freedom and unpredictability, Chang Dai-chien's work created a whole new style of modern Chinese painting. -- By Chen Kang-Shun
  • Considered by many to be the "Picasso of the East"

  • Chronology of Chinese Art

    Shang Dynasty | circa 1750-1045 BC

    Chou Dynasty | 1045-256 BC

    Ch'in Dynasty | 221-207 BC

    Han Dynasty | 202 BC - 220 AD

    Three Kingdoms | 221-265

    Southern & Northern Dynasties | 265-581

    Sui Dynasty | 581-618

    T'ang Dynasty | 618-906

    Five Dynasties | 907-960

    Sung Dynasty | 960-1279

    Yin Dynasty | 1260-1368

    Ming Dynasty | 1368-1644

    Ch'ing Dynasty | 1644-1912



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