Modern Ink: The Art of Xugu

Paperback: $38.00
ISBN-13: 9780824851460
Published: January 2015

Additional Information

108 pages | 80 color illustrations
  • About the Book
  • The enigmatic Chinese monk-painter Xugu (1823–1896), with his daring brush techniques and implicit expression of spiritual insight, stands out among notable innovators in the late Qing period. Despite the political upheaval and cultural decay of his day, he tapped the creative spring of Chan (Zen) Buddhism to develop a highly personal and modern visual language within the calligraphic idiom of traditional scholars' art. His portraits and landscapes, along with his depictions of flowers, fruits, and animals, convey quiet elegance, sensitivity, ethereality – and at times humor – even as they surprise with their unconventionality and tendency toward abstraction. This monograph, illustrated in full color, examines seventeen paintings and one rare work of calligraphy by this extraordinary artist in the context of his life and stylistic development. The inclusion of a portrait by two of his close associates provides perspective on the enduring impact of Xugu's vital breakthroughs on the burgeoning art center of nineteenth-century Shanghai and beyond.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Britta Erickson, Editor

      Britta Erickson is an independent scholar and curator, who received a PhD in Chinese art history from Stanford University. She currently serves as artistic director at INK Studio, a Beijing gallery devoted to contemporary ink artists, and includes among her projects the production of a film series, The Enduring Passion for Ink.
    • J. May Lee Barrett, Editor

      J. May Lee Barrett is an independent writing and editing professional with a focus on Chinese art.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • "A slim volume with high quality reproductions, Modern Ink: The Art of Xugu serves as a partial catalogue of Xugu's works drawn from private collections but nevertheless representative of the painter's range of paintings and calligraphy." Juan Jose Morales, Asia Review, September 2015
      —Juan Jose Morales
  • Supporting Resources