A Brief Discussion of Xu Beihong’s Chinese Ink Paintings
Xu Beihong was deeply influenced by the New Culture Movement, and sensitive to the historic changes that were taking place in Chinese society. Following the ideas of Kang Youwei, this 24-year-old youth published the essay “Ways of Reforming Chinese Ink Painting.” This essay established Xu’s artistic ideas. He would devote his life to improving and reforming Chinese ink painting through realism and “rejuvenating Chinese art.”
His works The Foolish Old Man Moves a Mountain, Jiu Fanggao, Join Forces in Tokyo, Chongqing People Drawing Water, and Boatmen criticized social problems at that time. His upright temperament and well-defined tastes will exist forever in the sharply contrasting brushstrokes and realist modeling of his work.