Art of War: Chinese woodcuts from Yan’an ca. 1944
The exhibition features a set of eighteen woodcut prints created during WWII by a group of fervent artists who fought for China’s survival with wood-carving knives, ink and paper. Inspired by the teachings of the revolutionary thinker Lu Xun (1881-1936) and sustained by a shared conviction to prevail, young artists such as Yan Han (1916-2011), Gu Yuan (1919-96) and Li Qun (1921-2012) created some of the most defining images of the period without resorting to gruesome imagery that often characterized wartime China. Printed on coarse paper and shown unceremoniously for public consumption in resource-stricken Yan’an, these compelling images celebrate patriotism, comradery, and above all, the determination to overcome obstacles and create order during the moment of national crisis. Presented to an American soldier in Yan’an as a token of appreciation by the Chinese, these prints—long held by the American soldier’s family until recently—will be shown for the first time in public. As this site at Mount Davis was once a battery against Japanese invasion in the last century, these prints offer a glimpse of the hardship suffered during the war.
This exhibit is presented in partnership with the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and is curated by Josh Yiu (AB’00; Director of the Museum) and Andie Fialkoff (AB’19; Jeff Metcalf intern at CUHK in 2018). The prints were acquired by Professors Patricia Ebrey (AB‘68) and Thomas Ebrey (SM’65, PhD’68) who donated to the Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is the first time that they are shown publicly since 1944.RSVP
Date: November 30, 2018 – March 31, 2019
Venue: The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong
The Merlin Lu Reading Room, LG, 168 Victoria Road, Mount Davis, Hong Kong