The Development of Lu Shoukun’s Art

Chan, Flora Kay 陳鳳姬
1989
Supervisor: Prof. H.Y. Shih

Lu Shoukun spent the second half of his life in Hong Kong. During his 27 years' stay, he lived through the preparatory and consolidation stages of development in Hong Kong art. The purpose of this thesis is threefold: to offer a thorough study of the development of Shoukun's styles and themes in his paintings, to assess his achievements in the context of twentieth century Chinese painting, and to evaluate his proper position in the development of Hong Kong art. This thesis is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 1 presents his family background, and Chapter 2, his artistic life before 1950. The next two chapters discuss the influence of the Lingnan School and Western art on him. The discussion and analysis of his Hong Kong landscape paintings describing particular locations and other semi-abstract landscapes are included in Chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 7 deals with his Chan painting, one of Shoukun's achievements in art; and, as a conclusion, his achievements in art education and influence on other artists are summarized.

The Development of the Jingdezhen Kilns in the Yuan Dynasty

Yeung, Chun Tong 楊春棠
1989
Supervisor: Prof. H.Y. Shih

This thesis is an attempt at examining the ceramic industry in the region of Jingdezhen in Jiangxj Province during the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1271-1358). The study consists of four major parts: (1) the development of Jingdezhen kilns in relation to the economic growth and cultural background of Jiangxi Province. (2) the setting up of the Fouliang Porcelain Bureau in Jingdezhen and the use of kaolin with china stone by Jingdezhen potters, (3) the kinds of wares produced by Jingdezhen kilns and their characteristics in the Yuan Dynasty, and (4) the sale of Jingdezhen wares in domestic and overseas markets. After the fall of the Northern Song Dynasty, many Han people moved from North China to the southern provinces. The increase of population in South China led to the growth of a number of handicraft industries. It was during this period that Jingdezhen improved and increased its ceramic production to meet the demands of the increased population. With the setting up of the Fouliang Porcelain Bureau in 1278, Jingdezhen began to produce high-quality wares for the imperial palace and government offices. Apart from official orders, large quantities of Jingdezhen wares were manufactured for commercial disposal. They were sold throughout the Yuan territories and to many Asian and East African countries. As regards the kinds of ceramics produced in Jingdezhen, the study is based on (1) many ceramic finds excavated in China, which came from the Jingdezhen kilns of the Yuan Dynasty, (2) the Yuan ceramic collection in the Topkapi Sarayi Museum of Istanbul and the Ardebil Shrine Collection in the Iran Bastan Museum of Tehran, (3) the qingbai wares recovered front the shipwreck off Sinan coast in South Korea, and (4) the exhibits in the Exhibition of 'Jingdezhen Warethe Yuan Evolution' held in the Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong in 1984. In comparison with Song wares, the Yuan wares of Jingdezhen show a marked increase in the variety of forms, decorative motifs and glaze colours. Despite the short life of the Yuan Dynasty, the Jingdezhen potters of this period certainly achieved important advances which occupy a significant position in the history of Chinese ceramic art.

Research on the Art of Zhu Ming with Special Focus on His ‘Taiji’ and ‘The Living World’ series

Lui, Shi Mun Patricia 呂詩敏
1985
Supervisor: Dr. N. Corazzo and Prof. H.Y. Shih

Despite the imposing wealth of content and diversity of scholarship in Chinese art history, twentieth century Chinese sculpture remains virtually an unexplored area. For this reason, it is thought that research on the Taiwanese sculptor, Zhu Ming (b. 1938), acclaimed as the most distinguished Chinese sculptor since the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 14th century) could make a significant contribution to the perception of sculptural exploration taking place in twentieth century Taiwan as well as being a survey of the artist's sculptural career. Part One of this paper outlines the historical context. Major historical and artistic events in mainland China are briefly reviewed in Chapter One to provide a basis of comparison with that of Taiwan, while placing Zhu Ming 's art in a broader framework. Twentieth century Taiwan is investigated as an entity in Chapter Two and Chapter ·Three, the former covering the period 1895-1949,·the latter covering the period since 1949. Southern Chinese folk art tradition, the introduction of European art through Japan to Taiwan, the 'Modern Movement' in art and the 'Native Soil Movement' are foca1 points of these chapters. In Part Two, Zhu Ming's life and his art are subjects of study. Chapter .Four contains a brief biography of Zhu Ming from his birth until 1968. Integrated within this period is his apprenticeship to Southern Chinese folk sculpture tradition, under Li Jinchuan. Chapter Five treats Zhu's sculptural developments between 1968 and 1976, during which he was apprenticed to Yang Yingfeng, whose influence on his aesthetic concepts was significant. Chapters Six and Seven are devoted to the double focus of this paper, the ‘Taiji’ and ‘The Living World’ series. The two series together span a period of ten year; their richness and continuity render them eloquent witnesses of Zhu Ming's conceptual and formal development in sculpture. With these two series, Zhu Ming brought about a twentieth century breakthrough in Chinese sculpture by transcending the long-standing supposition of Chinese art critics of the past, that sculptural materials have their limitations intractability, and by complementing Chinese aesthetics. It is here also that Zhu Ming succeeded in finding his own resolution to an intellectual dilemma faced by twentieth century Chinese artists in general: how to live up to the native Chinese tradition yet respond to the contemporary situation.

The Study of Liao Ceramics

Mok, Kar Leung Harold 莫家良
1985
Supervisor: Prof. H.Y. Shih

Established by the Qidan, the Liao Dynasty was a period strongly marked by its nomadic customs. However, Chinese cultural elements were constantly infiltrating into the Liao society. As a result, Liao culture was in fact dualistic: Qidan and Chinese. This very unique feature is very often reflected in Liao ceramics. Recent excavations showed that pre-Liao Qidan ceramics are relatively rough and primitive. Vessel forms are limited in variety and without any application of glaze. The rise and development of Liao ceramics were largely effected by more advanced techniques brought north by Chinese potters originated in Hebei and Henan. Many Liao ceramics, therefore, have characteristics that can be traced back to a Tang tradition as well as echoing a Song style. In addition, ceramic techniques of the Bohai kingdom, which was destroyed by the Qidan in the very early tenth century, had also exerted influence on Liao ceramics, particularly low-fired lead-glazed ware. A number of Liao kiln sites have been discovered. They are situated at or near the five Liao capitals. Investigations made on these kiln sites made it clear that the Liao had inherited and assimilated many techniques employed in Tang and Song kilns. The most important Liao kilns are the Gangwayaocun kiln at Chifeng and the Longquanwu kiln at Beijing. Most of the ceramic pieces excavated in Liaoning, Inner Mongolia and Hebei can be attributed to them. The pecularity of Liao ceramics of having two traditions --- Qidan and Chinese --- is most markedly revealed in vessel types. Simple forms, such as bowls, dishes, jars, etc., are clearly Chinese. Others, such as pilgrim flasks, dish-mouthed vases and ewers, lugged vases, phoenix-head vases, dishes of eccentric shape, etc., however, show a more unique Liao taste. Many of them were derived from non-ceramic medium --- leather and metal. Decorative motifs of Liao ceramics are not great in number. The peony occupies the most important position, while others include lotus, scrolling vines, butterflies, fish, phoenixes, etc. Liao designs were very often symmetrically arranged of evenly spaced, giving rise to a relatively stiff effect. The general impression is simple and plain, which is very different from the delicacy of most of its Song counterparts. An innovative Liao decorative technique seems to be the type with a quick incision through a white slip and an additional black glaze painted on the ground. With the help of unearthed materials from dated or roughly datable Liao remains, it is possible to classified Liao ceramics under three different stages of development: the Early Liao, the Middle Liao and the Late Liao. Moreover, some problems related to Liao ceramics can also be solved. Liao kilns did produce guan and xinguan-marked white wares while some low-fired lead-glazed wares that had often been placed in the repertory of Liao ceramics need to be reattrinuted. The Liao-Jin life-sized Lohen figures in three-coloured glaze are not discussed herewith in this thesis.

A Study of the Stone Sculptures of Dazu, Sichuan Province, with Special Reference to Dafowan at Baodingshan

Wong, Yin Fong Anita 黃燕芳
1985
Supervisor: Mr. S.C. Chuang

In 1945 rock sculptures were discovered in the County of Dazu in Sichuan Province. This complex at Dazu, consisting of over 40 sites, is probably the most outstanding works among all cave temple sites in Sichuan in terms of quality and quantity. This paper aims to analyze thoroughly the beautiful art of Dazu. The introductory chapter deals mainly with the pre-Song sculptures at various sites in Sichuan . The prominent subject matter of "Bianxiang" or art forms accord with descriptions in the Buddhist sutras since the middle Tang period is witnessed at these sites. Among them, the remains of Wanfosi at Chengdu are historically important since some of them are accompanied by inscriptions dating to the Southern Dynasties. Chapter two gives a general survey of the sculptures of Dazu from different perspectives. These include their geographical locations, the surrounding land features, their history and the distribution of the site. In the last section of this chapter attention is paid to the recent re-investigation of Dazu. Among the numerous sites of Dazu, the most concentrated in number, the largest in scale, the finest in craftsmanship and the richest in content are the works at Beishan (Northern Hill 北山) and Baodingshan (Hill of the Precious Peak 寶頂山) which are the focuses of this study. The works of Fowan at Beishan, consisting of 264 caves and niches, are dated from the late Tang to the late Southern Song dynasty, i.e., from the last few years of the ninth century to the rnid-twelveth century; whereas the thirty-one serial-numbered works along the three sides of the U-shaped gorge of Dafowan at Baodingshan are dated to the Southern Song dynasty. Chapter three discusses the origin of the construction and sculptures at Beishan, in which the biography of Liu Benzun and Zhao Zhifeng, the two important supervisors of Beishan and Baodingshan respectively, are traced. The precise period of construction of Baodingshan lasting from 1179 to 1249 of the late Southern Song dynasty will be investigated in the last section of this chapter. With Xiaofowan (Smal Buddha Bay 小佛灣) and Dafowan (Large Buddha Bay大佛灣) as the major sites, the stone sculptures of Baodingshan are the core of Chapter four. A brief account of the sites of Baodingshan will be included together with a detailed study of the works of Dafowan, a representative site of Baodingshan as well as of the whole county of Dazu. These Southern Song works were mainly carved to explain the religious doctrines of the Yogacaya School of Buddhism under the one-man supervision of Zhao Zhifeng, a local monk, over a continuous period of several decades. All the monumental works here are arranged in a systematic manner so that themes such as self-sacrifice, enlightenment, re-incarnation and filial piety are successfully conveyed to the viewer. It is significant that beside the carved pictures, there are inscribed Buddhist texts, eulogistic expressions and other explanatory notes to explain the religious stories and doctrines depicted by sculpture. Furthermore, the shapes of the cliffs, the fountain heads and other natural surroundings were taken into consideration in the carving of the images. Scientific principles of mechanics, lighting and the rules of perspective were also made use of by the skillful sculptors. Every visitor i greatly impressed by the monumental and lively art of Baodingshan.