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Zhong Hong

[ Chang Tse-tuan ; zi Zhengdao ]

(b Dongwu [now Zhucheng, Shandong Province], fl early 12th century).

Chinese painter . There is little historical account of Zhang Zeduan’s life. However, it is known that when young he went to the capital city Bianliang (modern Kaifeng) to study, and subsequently focused on studying painting. He became a member of the imperial Hanlin Academy in the Zhenghe (1111–17) and Xuanhe (1119–25) eras of the Northern Song period, probably serving as a court painter in the Imperial Academy of Painting. In his time he was celebrated for fine-line architectural painting, known as ‘boundary’ or ‘measured’ paintings (jiehua), especially for his boats and carts, bridges and moats, busy streets and city traffic and market places.

Although most of his paintings have not survived, he is well known for his monumental scroll Qingming shanghe tu (‘Going up the River on the Qingming Festival’; Beijing, Pal. Mus.) depicting the Northern Song capital city. This long handscroll, representing a panorama view of the vibrant, busy and noisy daily life in and around Bianliang, was painted shortly before the city was captured and burnt by the Jin army in ...


Reiko Tomii

[Zero Jigen]

Japanese group of performance artists founded in Nagoya, Japan, around 1959 and active until 1971. Zero Dimension was initially formed in Nagoya as a group of young painters, which held a few local exhibitions between 1960 and 1962. In 1963 Yoshihiro Katō (b 1936) and Iwata Shin’ichi (b 1935) emerged as two new leaders when more than 30 clothed members staged Crawling Procession Ritual on the streets of downtown Nagoya on New Year’s Day, in conjunction with the Insanity Nonsense Exhibition held at Aichi Culture Hall. With this first street performance by the group, the focus of its activity shifted to performances—which Katō called ‘rituals’ (gishiki)—in order to ‘bring human acts to the state of zero’. The driving force of Zero Dimension as a performance collective was Katō, who moved to Tokyo in late 1963 and started an electrical goods store, the income from which financed the group’s subsequent activities in Tokyo and other cities....


Mark H. Sandler

[Junzō; Koma; Reisai; Tairyūkyo; Tanzen]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1807; d Tokyo, July 13, 1891).

Japanese lacquer artist, painter and ukiyoe woodblock print designer. Zeshin was the most important Japanese artist working in lacquer in the 19th century (see Japan, §XI). He was also an accomplished master of the Shijō school of painting (see Japan, §VI, 4, (viii)) and a successful designer of surimono (‘printed object’, deluxe woodblock prints; see Japan, §X, 3, (iii), (f)). Zeshin came from a line of skilled woodworkers from Echigo Province (now Niigata Prefect.). His father, Junzō I, was trained as an architectural wood-carver and briefly studied ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) painting with the printmaker and painter Katsukawa Shunshō (see Katsukawa family, §1). Zeshin’s mother was said to have been a geisha in her youth. Thus, Zeshin was born and brought up in the heart of the urban merchant artisan classes of Edo, the social milieu which both inspired and supported his life’s work....



A. A. Ivanov

[formerly Talas, Taraz, Yangi, Awliya Ata, Mirzoyam, Dzhambul]

City in the Talas River valley of southern Kazakhstan and capital city of the region of the same name. Excavations have established that the area, conveniently located along the trade route from Central Asia to China, was inhabited from the 1st and 2nd centuries ad, and ancient Turkish inscriptions have been found in the region. The town, known as Taraz or Talas, was first mentioned in the account of the Byzantine ambassador Zemarkhos in 568, and the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (c. 630) described Ta-la-sz’ as significant. In the 7th century the town had a citadel surrounded by a wall with towers and a small town precinct; it became the capital of the Karluk Turks in the 8th and 9th centuries. In 751 Muslim armies defeated Chinese troops at the Talas River, but Islam did not gain strength in the region until the late 9th century, following the campaign of the ...


Li Liu


Site in Shaanxi Province, China, in the area of the Western Zhou (c. 1050–771 bc ) capitals, Feng and Hao, south-west of the city of Xi’an. The Western Zhou remains at Zhangjiapo were excavated in 1956–7, 1967, 1979–81 and 1984. Foundations of 13 semi-subterranean houses, small in size and simple in structure, and more than 500 tombs were uncovered.

The tombs can be divided into three groups: large, medium and small. Grave goods include ceramic, bronze, jade, stone, bone and ivory artefacts. The bronzes are ritual objects, weapons, tools and chariot parts. The jade and stone ornaments are in the forms of various animals, such as fish, birds, cattle, deer, rabbits and cicadas. Important burials include a group of three tombs belonging to the family of a nobleman named Jing Shu. A large tomb, which enclosed a male body, is composed of a rectangular pit with two ramps, one on either side, and is flanked by two smaller tombs, each of which contained a female body. Some 460 fragments of grave goods of 4 major types were unearthed: bronzes, jades, glazed pottery and lacquerware. The bronzes include chariot parts, bells (...


Chu-Tsing Li

Chinese family of artists . The wife of (1) Zhao Mengfu, Guan Daosheng, his sons (2) Zhao Yong and Zhao Yi and his grandsons Zhao Lin, Zhao Feng and Wang Meng were all painters. Members of the family collaborated on such works as Three Horses by Three Generations of the Zhao Family (New York, Met., Crawford Col.) and Three Bamboos by Three Members of the Zhao Family (Beijing, Pal. Mus.)

(b Wuxing, Zhejiang Province, 1254; d 1322).

Chinese painter and calligrapher . A descendant of the first Song emperor, Taizu (reg ad 960–76), Zhao was born into a privileged class towards the end of the Song period (960–1279). His father was a high official in the court at Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song (1127–1279). Zhao was educated in the classics and inherited a broad interest in artistic pursuits. At the age of 14 he was appointed a staff member of the Office of Revenue at Chenzhou (near modern Yangzhou). When he was 23 the Mongols overran Hangzhou and established the Yuan dynasty (...


Richard Edwards

[Hsiao Chao]

(b Huce, Shanxi Province; fl c. 1130–62).

Chinese painter. During the political disorders at the end of the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) he found refuge in the Taihang Mountains, where he pursued a path of brigandage and captured the painter Li Tang. Startled by the discovery that his victim’s baggage contained only the tools of painting, according to Zhuang Su and Xia Wenyan he decided to abandon robbery for painting. As Li Tang’s pupil he went with him to the south and became a major figure at the reconstituted imperial Painting Academy in Lin’an (now Hangzhou, Zhejiang province), capital of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). He was a favourite of the emperor, Gao zong (reg 1127–62), being appointed a dai zhao (‘painter-in-attendance’) with the honorary title di gong lang (‘gentleman for meritorious achievement’).

Xiao’s early recorded achievements were a commission for wall paintings in the Xianying Temple (destr.), a Daoist shrine on the edge of West Lake, Hangzhou, dedicated to an immortal who was believed to have protected Gao zong during perilous days in the north; landscape paintings executed in a single night (aided by four flagons of wine) on the four walls of an imperial building called the Liang Hall (destr.) on the West Lake island of Gushan; and a fan painting (untraced), to which Gao zong had added a couplet, in the 13th-century collection of ...


Weihe Chen

[Chiang Chao-ho]

(b Luzhou, Sichuan Province, May 9, 1904; d Beijing, April 15, 1986).

Chinese painter. He is considered one of the most important representatives of figure painting in 20th-century China. His long artistic career can be divided into three phases. From 1920 to 1928 he worked to familiarise himself with various arts. He worked in Shanghai as a commercial artist, doing portraits to order, designing advertisements and dressing shop windows. In his spare time he taught himself sketching, oil painting, gouache and sculpture. He mastered the structure, anatomy and proportions of the body, gained a good command of portraiture and developed a faculty for analysing and faithfully representing objects.

The period from 1925 to 1936 was one of comprehensive practice and exploration. In 1927 he became acquainted with Xu Beihong and the following year he became a teacher in the art department at National Central University in Nanjing. From 1930 to 1932 he gave sketching lessons at the School of Fine Arts in Shanghai. His first recorded oil painting, ...


Mayching Kao

[Fang Chao-ling]

(b Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Jan 17, 1914; d Hong Kong, February 20, 2006).

Chinese painter and calligrapher. Born into a prosperous and well-educated family, Fang developed an early interest in art. She studied at the University of Hong Kong and Oxford University before devoting herself to art from the 1950s onwards. The foundations of her art were traditional. A student of Qian Songyan (1899–1985), Zhao Shao’ang (b 1905) and Zhang Daqian, she grasped firmly the spirit and techniques of her native tradition, especially the expressive calligraphic line. In addition to studying Chinese literature and philosophy, she ‘walked 10,000 miles’ to visit scenic landscapes in China and elsewhere. She was also open to influences from modern developments in Western art. Her personal and individualistic style evolved from a synthesis of these factors, expressing her profound empathy for the joys and sorrows of life and her refreshing vision in bold compositions and powerful brushwork.

Wucius Wong: ‘Fang Zhao-ling’, Orientations, 13/11 (1982), pp. 44–55...


James Cahill

[Chin. Zhe pai]

Term used to refer to a school of Chinese painting within the Ming period (1368–1644). Derived from the south-eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, the name has been in common usage since the early 17th century. However, the definition and art-historical boundaries of the Zhe school are far from clear, since many of its artists are also included in the ‘Ming academy’, an equally problematic term loosely applied to a group of painters serving at the imperial court in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is true that the designation of a Zhe school as a local phenomenon has some validity in that many of its members, and notably its founder, Dai Jin, were from Zhejiang. Moreover, Zhe school masters followed an older, conservative stylistic tradition, that of the Southern Song (1127–1279) Academy ( see China, People’s Republic of, §V, 4, (i) ), centred from its beginnings in the Hangzhou region of Zhejiang. Nevertheless, the school also included artists from other parts of China and drew on different stylistic traditions. In the end it seems best to retain both the term ‘Zhe school’ and the term ‘Ming academy’, while admitting that they do not define either a truly local school, in the strict sense, or an organized academy....


Melissa Chiu

(b Shanghai, 1955; d Paris, Dec 13, 2000).

Chinese installation artist, active also in France. Chen studied at Shanghai Fine Arts and Craft School until 1973 and the Shanghai Drama Institute until 1978, where he majored in stage design. Following his graduation, he became a professor at both art schools. Chen’s most representative works from this period are a series of large, grey oil paintings entitled The Flow of Qi (Qi You Tu) (1985). These works endeavoured to represent the movement of qi, or spirit, a core element of life and the cosmos in Chinese philosophy. Although not radical in form, the work with its references to ancient and traditional Chinese philosophy was a provocative political gesture given that these ideas had been suppressed during the Cultural Revolution.

When Chen moved to Paris in 1986, he enrolled at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, graduating in 1989. His installations throughout the 1990s, when he came to international prominence, nearly without exception included references to his Chinese heritage, including Daoist philosophy, Chinese domestic objects (chamber pots, furniture such as chairs and tables, Buddha statues, abaci), and traditional medicine. These references demonstrate a residual effect of his Chinese upbringing—he lived in China until he was 31—as well as a sense of displacement as an immigrant in France and an attempt to come to grips with being a contemporary artist living and working in the West, but not sharing that region’s culture, history and traditions. For Chen, the incorporation of Chinese references in his work were essential as a matter of defining who he was as an artist, while at the same time articulating the uniqueness of his experience....


Wu Zhen  

Chu-Tsing Li

[ Wu Chen ; zi Zhonggui ; hao Meihua daoren ]

(b Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, 1280; d 1354).

Chinese painter . Although he was well educated, especially in philosophy and swordsmanship, he never took the examinations to enter government, preferring to spend most of his life in his home town with occasional visits to such nearby towns as Hangzhou and Wuxing. A scholar of the Yijing (‘Book of changes’), he practised fortune-telling to make a living. As a painter he was not as successful commercially as Sheng Mao (one of his neighbours), but he had his own circle of literati friends, including such painters as Wu Guan and Zhang Guan and such scholars as Tao Zhongyi.

As a painter, Wu is known for his landscapes and paintings of bamboo, most of which are in ink on paper, in free brushwork; his calligraphy is also noted for its cursive style (caoshu). His earliest known painting is Two Junipers (hanging scroll, ink on silk, 1328; Taipei, N. Pal. Mus.), which is strongly influenced by the 10th-century master Juran. Wu’s interest in the free use of texture strokes on mountains and rocks and in the shapes of trees and branches is already apparent. ...


Vyvyan Brunst and James Cahill

[Ch’eng Cheng-k’uei; zi Duanbo; hao Juling, Qingxi Daoren]

(b Xiaogan, Hubei Province, 1604; d Hubei Province, 1676).

Chinese painter and scholar-official. Cheng took the civil-service examinations to become a juren at the age of 21 and a jinshi seven years later. In 1631 he accepted an official position at the Ming court (1368–1644) in Beijing. While there he met Dong Qichang, the distinguished theorist and scholar, who is said to have tutored him in calligraphy and painting. A few years later, when Cheng resigned his post and tried to return to Hubei, he was seized by rebels but subsequently released. In 1642 he was called back to the capital to serve as Keeper of the Imperial Seals. Two years later he left Beijing to take a post in Nanjing but was again captured by rebel troops and briefly joined them. He eventually escaped and accompanied other Ming officials to Nanjing in support of the Prince of Fu. When Manchu forces took Nanjing in 1645, Cheng surrendered and joined the new government under the Qing dynasty (...


Mary S. Lawton

[Cheng-chou ; Chengchow]

Capital of Henan Province, China. Archaeological excavations since 1950 in the drainage basin of the south bank of the Yellow River have produced evidence that this was a centre of Shang culture (c. 1600–1050 bc ).

The area has been identified by some archaeologists with the second Shang capital, Ao, which according to the ancient annals (e.g. Liu Xin’s San Tong li pu (a calendar) and the Zhushu jinian (Bamboo Annals)) was founded by the Shang ruler Zhongding (reg c. 1568– c.1558 bc), but on the basis of archaeological evidence is generally dated to the 15th century bc. Around 1300 bc it seems the capital was transferred to Yin, near modern Anyang (see 1968 exh. cat.). Findings support the hypothesis that for some time Zhengzhou and Anyang may have been occupied contemporaneously. During the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bc ) the area was first called Guyang and then known as Dantu. While serving as the capital of the state of Wu during the Three Kingdoms period (...


Chu-Tsing Li

[ Wang Chen-p’eng ; zi Pengmei ; hao Guyun Chushi ]

(b Yongjia, Zhejiang Province, c. 1280; d c. 1329).

Chinese painter. He was the most famous exponent of ‘boundary painting’ (jiehua), which is characterized by precision and accuracy, especially in the depiction of architectural details, usually achieved with a ruler. He served at the Yuan court in Beijing and became known to the emperor, Renzong (reg 1312–21), who bestowed on him the name Guyun Chushi (‘The Hermit of Lonely Clouds’). Appointed an official in the fifth rank, he served in the Imperial Library, thus having an opportunity to view many of the paintings and books in that collection, sometimes even making copies of the paintings. He painted many works of interest to the Emperor and the court, such as famous palaces of the past, well-known pavilions and buildings, activities in the court and historical and Buddhist figures, all executed in extremely fine lines without colour.

Wang’s most famous work, painted for the Emperor in 1310, is the ...


Roger Goepper

[ Yen Chen-ch’ing ; zi Qingchen ; Lu Gong ]

(b Shandong Province, ad 709; d 785).

Chinese calligrapher, scholar, writer and government official . His family, members of the gentry, moved within Shandong from the north to the south, giving him an acquaintance with the different cultural traditions of both areas. After the early death of his father he was educated by his uncle, Yan Yuansun. At the age of 28 he passed the civil service examinations to become a jinshi. He was prefect of Dezhou and governor of Pingyuan, both in Shandong Province, and he held high positions at the imperial library, in the Ministry of Justice and as preceptor of the crown prince. In 767 he received the title Duke of Lu (Lu Gong) for his honesty and integrity as investigation censor of the Bureau of Administration. An outstanding example of Confucian loyalty, he fought against the rebellion of An Lushan in 755 and against Li Xieli in 781; Li took him prisoner and had him strangled in 785....


Elizabeth F. Bennett

[Lo Chen-yü; zi Xuetang; hao Chensuntang]

(b Huaian, Jiangsu Province, Aug 3, 1866; d Lüshun, Liaoning Province, June 19, 1940).

Chinese writer, collector and calligrapher. He is particularly well known for his studies of oracle bone script (jiagu wen), the earliest Chinese writing, so called because it was found on animal bones and shells used for divination (see China, People’s Republic of §IV 2., (i), (a)). Luo’s friend Wang Yirong (1845–1900) and Liu E (1857–1909) were the first to collect the bones, which they discovered and rescued from pharmacists, who ground them up for medical prescriptions. The importance of oracle bones for early Chinese history was more widely recognized in 1899 after large quantities of them were unearthed at the Yinxu site in Anyang, Henan Province. Sun Yirang (1848–1908), Wang Guowei (1867–1927) and Luo investigated the texts on the oracle bones, and Luo dated them to the latter part of the Shang period (c. 1600–c. 1050...


Lu Zhi  

Louise Yuhas

[Lu Chih; zi Shuping; hao Baoshan]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1496; d Suzhou, 1576).

Chinese painter and minor poet (see fig.). He is associated with the Wu school of painters active in Suzhou during the Ming period (1368–1644). Lu’s surviving paintings date to 1523–74; the most distinctive, executed between 1547 and 1555, represent a synthesis between the literati style of painting (wenren hua), as exemplified by Wen Zhengming (see Wen family, §1), and the professional tradition, as epitomized by Qiu Ying. Lu himself was a literatus: after he passed the local civil-service examination, his studies were supported by the prefectural government, though he never succeeded in the provincial examination. In 1557, at the age of 61, he was awarded the largely honorary gongsheng degree and allowed to retire.

Lu lived a life of genteel poverty. With the exception of two years as an instructor in a Confucian school in the early 1520s, he did not accept employment, refusing the hopeful students who sought him out. In the mid-1550s he built a retreat outside Suzhou on Mt Zhixing, where he lived in relative seclusion until the age of 80, when failing health forced him to return to the city. His biographer Wang Shizhen noted that Lu was somewhat misanthropic: he barred the door and hid at the approach of unwanted guests, though he might talk the night away over home-made chrysanthemum wine with a few select friends....


Chu-Tsing Li

[Ts’ao Chih-pai; zi Youxan, Zhensu; hao Yunxi]

(b Huating (modern Songjiang, Shanghai Municipality), 1272; d 1355).

Chinese painter, poet and engineer. Born into a family of prominent officials, he lost his father during infancy and was brought up by his mother and grandfather. He received a traditional education in the Chinese Confucian classics. He distinguished himself first as a hydraulic engineer, serving in 1294 and again in 1298 as an imperial adviser. His engineering achievements earned him great repute and doubtless contributed to his becoming one of the richest men in the Huating district. By reclaiming large areas of local wetland, he developed a large estate and farm. In the early 1300s he became a teacher in the nearby district of Kunshan but soon resigned. Later he visited the capital, Dadu (Khanbalik; now Beijing), where many aristocrats and high officials were interested in befriending him. Cao declined all offers of patronage, however, saying that he was not one of the vulgar people who went to the capital to seek high position....


Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Chao Chih-ch’ien ; zi Huishu ; hao Beian ]

(b Kuaiji, Zhejiang Province, Aug 8, 1829; d Nancheng, Jiangxi Province, Nov 18, 1884).

Chinese calligrapher, seal-carver, painter and scholar . After his example, it became common for artists to attempt to be competent in painting, calligraphy and seal-carving rather than to specialize in a single discipline. Zhao was one of the greatest artists of the late Qing period (1644–1911), although much of his work displays a disquiet and unbalanced awkwardness that conflicted with Chinese aesthetic values of the time.

As a painter, Zhao specialized in plant life. His early work is characterized by soft, detailed brushwork and brilliant, translucent colours. Plants of Zhejiang (1861; Tokyo N. Mus., see Tokyo kukuritsu, p. 162), a set of four hanging scrolls, is one of his early masterpieces: each scroll shows an unusual choice of plants and flowers and an immense range of colours and techniques. In one of the scrolls, the clublike arms of a prickly pear cactus are drawn in wet colour, with thistles added in ink while the paint was still wet; next to this is a complicated web of arched oleander leaves. Against this manipulation of wet colour, with its subtly vibrating edges, the pink and white oleander flowers are opaque. The fact that each composition is cut by the border of the scroll and that many elements within the paintings are interwoven gives a sense that the plants are reaching beyond their confines and enhances the vitality of the work. In contrast, the colours in Zhao’s later paintings are muted; there is an increased use of ink, and the brushwork is more exaggerated. ...