The Erudite: An Elegant Gathering

2016.10.12-2016.11.07 1F Powerlong Building, No.1399 Xinzhen Road

“The erudite” (hongru) in Chinese culture refers tothose who are not only knowledgeable but also noble-minded. “Elegant gathering”(yaji) as a gathering of scholars andliterati has a long and glorious history in China. The Orchid PavilionGathering, the Western Garden Gathering and the Yushan Cottage Gathering areknown as the three most prestigious and influential gatherings in ancientChina, among which the Western Garden Gathering played a particularly prominentrole in the history of Chinese painting.

The passion of Chinese scholars and literati for thiskind of gathering could be traced back to long time ago. For instance, renownedcultural figures such as Wang Xizhi of Eastern Jin Dynasty, Wang Shen of SongDynasty, Zhao Mengfu, Cao Zhibai of Yuan Dynasty and Shen Zhou, Zheng Xie ofMing and Qing Dynasties were all ardent organizers and participants of suchevents. “The future generations look upon us in the same way as howwe look upon the past.” Given the similarities people of different times share,in the contemporary context, elegant gathering is still seen as spiritualdwelling where scholars and literati could draw inner peace andinspiration. In a way, today the elegant gathering is not only a grand culturalevent but also a cultural belief onto which scholars and literati projecttheir vision and insight towards the future.

To imbue new verve into the legacy of Chinese traditionalculture relies on not only how we inherit from the past but alsohow we envisage to innovate. The Powerlong Group in collaboration with theShanghai Painting and Calligraphy Academy presents “The Erudite: An ElegantGathering”, a group exhibition featuring Chinese calligraphy and paintingworks, to carve out a poetic platform where contemporary calligraphers and painterscan communicate and draw inspiration from each other. The artists invited toparticipate are renowned figures of the Shanghai-school of painting andcalligraphy, and the gathering of them and their works, in a sense, vividlyreproduces what Liu Yuxi wrote in his “The Scholar’s Humble Dwelling”: Scholarsat their ease within, for all but ignorance enters in. The exhibition features66 works by 14 artists, including Chen Zhihao, Ding Shenyang, Dai Xiaojing, LiuXiaoqing, Su Xiaosong, Tang Qigeng, Wang Chengxiong, Yang Huaiyan, Yue Zhenwen,Zhang Chi, Zhang Fuxing, Zhang Qiubo, Zhang Weisheng and Zhu Xinlong, coveringa wide range of subject matters and forms and casting light on both the essenceof traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy art and the new dynamics of thecontemporary Shanghai-school of painting and calligraphy.

The collaboration between Powerlong Group andthe Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Academy is an embodiment of the academy’smission to promote “diversity, integration, inheritance and innovation” and to“further develop the Shanghai-school of art and culture with a contemporarytouch”. We hope that through the exhibition the quintessence and influence ofShanghai-school of art could be made accessible to a wider range of audienceand therefore more local audience are able to relive the poetry and charisma of“elegant gathering”.

Shanghai Paintingand Calligraphy Academy