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Transforming Traditions in Modern Chinese Painting

Huang Pin-hung’s Late Work

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Jason C. Kuo

Modern Chinese painting embodies the constant renewal and reinvigorations of Chinese civilization amidst rebellions, reforms, and revolutions, even if the process may appear confusing and bewildering. It also demonstrates the persistence of tradition and limits of continuities and changes in modern Chinese cluture. Most significantly, it compels us to ask several important questions in the study of modern Chinese culture: How extensively can cultural tradition be re-interpreted before it is subverted? At what point is creative re-invention an act of betrayal of tradition? How has selective borrowing from Chinese tradition and foreign cultrue enabled modern Chinese artists to sustain themselves in the modern world? By focusing on the art of Huang Pin-hung (1865-1955), particularly his late work, this book attempts to provide some answers to these questions.