Featured Artist in Collection

Huang Binhong (1865-1955)

Sights Beheld While Travelling Along a River

Huang Binhong was a Chinese literati painter and art historian born in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. He is considered one of the last innovators in the literati style of painting and is noted for his freehand landscapes.

His early painting style showed the influence of Li Liufang, Cheng Sui, Cheng Zhengkui, Kun Can, Hong Ren and the masters of the Yuan and Ming periods. It emphasized on the importance of the unification of positive and negative space, and the dark and light shades. Each brush line is powerful and precise. The compact touches, the graceful outlines and the elegant styles of Xin’an School of painting had a profound influence on Huang throughout his life. His style before the age of sixty is called the White-period.

After sixty, Huang went to Guichi. The scenery of Guichi not only attracted the artist, but also had a great impact on his style. Huang changed from focusing on brush and line to focusing on ink wash. He started to practice the painting style of Wu Zhen. In 1928, Huang visited Guangxi and Guangdong and created a lot of works by sketching the real landscapes. Huang started to transit from his “White style” to “Black style”.

At the age of 69 or 70, Huang visited Sichuan. He was inspired by the atmosphere of Mount Qingcheng in rain and the Qutang Gorge under moonlight. He utilized dripping, staining and layers of dense ink to illustrate the misty wet feeling of rain and the nightly view of mountains. Since then, his “black, dense, thick, heavy” style became his significant feature.

From 1937 to 1948, Huang lived in Beijing for eleven years and most of his Black period paintings were done during that time. After that, he moved to Hangzhou and started another new horizon in his art. Inspired by Western Impressionism, he integrated the two major Chinese painting systems (Ink-wash painting and color painting) into unity. Dots of red, green and blue pigment merged with layers of dense ink, creating a luxuriant and richly integrated style in which he deftly manipulated solid and void.