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Lot 144: LANDSCAPE SCROLL SIGNED HUANG JUNBI (1898-1991)
04 November 2016
Online, PA, USALive Auction
Landscape Scroll Signed Huang Junbi (1898-1991):
Foggy mountains form the background of this lustrous river scene. Waterfalls cascade down into a misty river. On the right side are houses perched on the riverbank. Artist's seal on the lower right. Calligraphy and artist's seals on the upper left.
Haung Junbi was born in the then town of Nanhai, which is now a district of Guangzhou city. His talent for drawing and painting was formidable from a young age. He began studying classical Chinese painting from the master artist Li Yaoping when he was 22. Yaoping taught Haung in the traditional way, with strict obedience to the master and hours of copying masterpieces.
The study of Occidental art was encouraged by the Chinese government at this time, and Haung himself was most interested in learning about the styles and techniques. So he joined the Chu-Ting Art School that taught Western painting in 1922.
Haung joined the Gui Hai Painting Cooperative that had been formed by Deng Fen in Guangzhou in 1923. A few years later, in 1929, he became one of the co-founders of the Yue Society in the city. He concentrated on making landscapes during these years, and it was the intermingling of Western and Chinese styles that made his art quite unique at the time. His work was becoming more and more popular, and he was appointed to teach at the Chinese Painting Research Society in 1932. This was the beginning of a long teaching career.
In 1934, the Guangzhou municipal government decided to send Haung to Japan with the aim of learning art education. A few years later, he moved to Sichuan, and was appointed head of the Chinese Painting Department in Chongqing in 1942.
Haung decided to leave Mainland China in 1949, and moved to the newly created Republic of China, namely Taiwan. It was here that he really came into his own as an artist. He was immediately hired to teach at the National Taiwan Normal University when he arrived, and was a co-founder of the Department of Fine Arts of which he was the director for more than two decades.
Haung believed in training teachers in order to have better students. He spent a lot of time and effort in making sure that the quality of the teachers at the university was excellent, and academic research was encouraged. He had a system of five steps for teaching. It started with demonstrating personally what one wanted, followed by showing works to the students who were then given detailed explanations of the work they were being shown. The students were then expected to make their own sketches, and finally they were encouraged to be creative and innovative in their work.
Apart from teaching, Haung painted prolifically. According to his daughter, the artist Huang Xiangling, he painted every single day, and worked extremely hard for both the university and his students.
In 1957, Haung travelled to the United States for the first time. Three years later, he was invited to visit again, this time as a Fellow of the Brazil Arts Institute based in Houston, where he spent several months. He made a third trip in 1966, and a last one in 1969.
Haung retired from teaching sometime in the early 1970s, by which time he himself was more than 70 years old. The artist fell ill and died in Taipei in 1991.
176" X 13 1/2"
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