Modern Ink: The Art of Qi Baishi
- About the Book
Born into a poor farming family and coming of age during China’s century of civil strife, Qi Baishi transformed the elite brush art of China’s literati scholars into a universal art form appreciated by people of all social backgrounds. His distinctly modern art language breaks through class and cultural barriers through use of expressive “carved” brushwork, juxtaposition of vibrant colors against deep and rich ink tones, poetic economy in form and composition, and choice of emotionally resonant subject matter. For these reasons, Qi Baishi’s art is the ideal gateway through which art lovers of any class or culture can learn about the millenia-old tradition of Chinese brush painting.
A selection of Qi Baishi’s seal carving—the art of the “iron brush”—links his origins as an artisan carver to his life as China’s most celebrated calligrapher, poet and painter. The scholarly discipline of calligraphy then forms the basis for our understanding Qi Baishi’s distinctive carved brushwork. In painting, landscapes and figures are two subjects that appear early in Qi Baishi’s career and provide us with an opportunity to appreciate the poetic economy of his brushwork and the universal appeal of his humanist themes. Finally, birds and flowers form the bulk of Qi Baishi’s oeuvre and a chronological selection allows us to explore the development of his unique brush, ink and color language over the span of his productive career.
- About the Author(s)
Britta Erickson, AuthorBritta Erickson received her Ph.D. in Chinese Art History from Stanford University and serves as co-author and series editor. Erickson is an independent scholar and curator. Her doctoral dissertation investigates patronage modes in the career of the mid-nineteenth-century Shanghai School artist Ren Xiong. She has taught at major universities, publishes and lectures widely, and has curated important exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art. Dr. Erickson now serves as artistic director at INK Studio, a Beijing gallery devoted to contemporary ink artists, and includes among her current projects the production of a film series, The Enduring Passion for Ink.
Jung Ying Tsao, Author
Craig Yee, AuthorCraig L. Yee, founding director of the art space INK Studio in Beijing, has played a central organizational and editorial role in research projects for exhibitions on Chinese painting, including New Songs on Ancient Tunes (Honolulu Academy of Arts), Selected Masterworks of Modern Chinese Painting (Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing), and Alternative Dreams (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). His research interests include the visual semiotics of ink art. He co-authored The Art of Qi Baishi and The Art of Xugu in The Mozhai Foundation’s Modern Ink series and has published monographs on Zheng Chongbin and Chen Haiyan in the D.A.P. Contemporary Ink Series. He holds BA degrees in economics and symbolic systems and an MBA from Stanford University.