Chen Hengke Chinese

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In Japan from 1902–1909, Chen saw an indigenous culture discarded in the pursuit of material advantages from the West. He was determined that China would not follow this course. Paintings like this one, with its simplified shapes and subdued color remain bound to traditional media and techniques. The plant he chose to paint however, is a fresh subject, suited to the art deco spirit that was emerging internationally. Chen Hengke died before he reached fifty, but the many artists who were his friends and students, among them Qi Baishi, advanced his ideals.

Spathyphyllum, Chen Hengke (Chinese, 1876–1923), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, China

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