- Post 16 November 2009
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Internationally acclaimed master of painting Wu Guanzhong had offered Hong Kong another generous donation of 33 paintings, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, announced November 13, adding that the donation would become a significant permanent collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
To provide an opportunity for the community to appreciate Wu's work, the Museum of Art will hold an exhibition in March to showcase the latest donation along with its existing collection of Wu's works.
A significant figure in Chinese art history in the 20th century, Wu has made a great contribution to the practise of integrating Chinese and Western art. Wu was born in 1919 in Yixing, Jiangsu. In 1946, he was selected as the most outstanding candidate for government-funded fine arts studies in Paris. In 1950, he returned to China and was assigned to teach at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and later transferred to other institutions. In 1991, he was granted the Officer de L'Ordre des Arts et des Letters by the Ministry of Culture of France. In 1992, the British Museum organised "Wu Guanzhong: A Twentieth Century Chinese Painter", the first the museum to present an exhibition of work by a living Chinese artist. In 2002, he was the first Chinese artist selected for the Medaille des Arts et Lettres by the Academie des Beaux-Arts de L'Institut de France. In 2006, he donated his representative oil painting "Along the Yangtze River 1974" to the Palace Museum - the first time the museum had collected the work of a living artist. In the same year, the Chinese University of Hong Kong granted an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters to Wu.
The connection between Wu and Hong Kong was built 60 years ago. On his way to China from Marseille, France, by ship, he went ashore and stayed in Hong Kong for a short period. In 1985, he came to Hong Kong again and was surprised by the rapid changes of the past 30 years that had transformed the city into a metropolis. From then on, he came to Hong Kong several times for different activities. In 1990, he was invited to sketch soon-to-be-redeveloped old districts by the then Land Development Corporation to interpret their history with his artistic eye. In 1995, the Museum of Art presented the "Vision and Revision: Wu Guanzhong" exhibition and in 2002 "Wu Guanzhong: A Retrospective", which were well received, with overwhelming public response and admiration for his art.
Source: GovHK (www.gov.hk)