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Zhong Hong

[Li Shu-t’ung; Wen Tao; hao Guanghou, Shutong; Xianying, Hongyi fashi]

(b Tainjin, Oct 23, 1880; d Quanzhou, Fujian Province, Oct 13, 1942)

Chinese painter, calligrapher, art educator and musician. A colourful and influential figure in the history of 20th-century Chinese art, he pioneered the introduction of Western arts, including commercial art, woodcut printmaking, modern drama and music, into China.

Li Shutong became interested in Western art at the Nanyang Public School in Shanghai. In 1905 he entered the Tokyo School of Fine Art in Ueno Park, where he studied oil painting under Kuroda Seiki, a leading Japanese painter trained in Paris. While in Tokyo he also attended piano courses at a music school. A lover of the theatre, he wrote some of the first modern dialogue plays in Chinese and put them on stage with fellow Chinese students. Back in China in 1910, Li taught graphic art at a technical college in Tianjin. From the following year he taught art and music in a girls’ school in Shanghai, where he later founded Wenmeihui (Literature and Art Society) and became for a short time art and literature editor of the ...