A Life of Zhu Xuanxian
ZHU Xuanxian, 1927(Zhejiang)—2002(Chongqing), is an artist of traditional Chinese painting, woodcut and caricature, and also an activist in fine arts.
He started the creation of traditional Chinese paintings, new Chinese woodcut works and political caricatures in early 1940s. During his art career of more than half a century, he has created many of traditional Chinese paintings, woodcuts and caricatures, as well as illustrations, watercolors, gouaches and comic strips, many of which have been collected by National Art Museum of China as well as other fine arts galleries and museums all around China, and covered by other large publications such as China Yearbook and Chinese Graphic in 100 Years. From 1946 to 2002, his works have been exhibited in a series of national fine arts exhibitions many times, and thousands of his works were published and specially commented by many mainstream media like The People’s Daily; he published a series of collections, including Selected Art Works by Zhu Xuanxian, Chinese Paintings of Flower and Bird by Zhu Xuanxian (Selected Collection), Collection of Woodcuts by Zhu Xuanxian, Selected Collection of Landscape Woodcuts by Zhu Xuanxian, Caricature Works by Zhu Xuanxian and ZHU Xuanxian, A Master of Brush Evergreen (Ever-green Art—Artist Zhu Xuanxian). The 6 organizations concerning culture, media and publishing jointly sponsored an exhibition titled the “Art Exhibition to Celebrate Zhu Xuanxian’s 55—Year Art Career”, and his biography was covered by many nation-level dictionaries such as Chinese Fine Arts Dictionary.
Zhu Xuanxian, plunging into the people’s art cause and the progressive student movement in his youth, directly participated in the New Culture Movement and the New Woodcut Movement initiated by Lu Xun from Zhejiang to Shanghai, and became a member of the National Woodcut Association of China in 1946, and was imprisoned in the famous Observation Event in the modern history of China in 1948. After that, on behalf of the fine art community of Shanghai, he publicized the Joint Announcement together with Liu Kaiqu, Yang Keyang, Zhang Leping, (Zheng) Ye Fu and Pang Xunqín etc. on Ta Kung Pao to welcome the liberation of Shanghai. Afterwards, he joined the “Joint Office” of National Fine Arts Association of China, National Woodcut Association of China and National Caricature Association of China, and participated in the preparatory work for Shanghai’s fine arts society in the early years of liberation. After that he joined the People’s Liberation Army, and later went to Chongqing with the army at the end of 1949. He was appointed as an executive committee member of China National Artists Association (the former name of China Artists Association) Chongqing Branch in 1951; and was selected a member of the First Session of Chongqing Federation of Literary and Art Circles , a member of China Artists Association and a member of China Graphic Artists Association. As was elected the executive vice chairman and the secretary general of the First Session of Chongqing Artists Association, he acted as the initiator of Chongqing Artists Association, a sponsor and later an advisor of Chongqing Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting and the founder and the principal of Chongqing Fine Arts School. For a long time, with the outstanding performance and integrity, he had selflessly led the art work in press, culture, education and publication fields of Chongqing. As an important pioneer of Chongqing’ s art cause since the foundation of the P.R.C in 1949, he made great contribution to the establishment and promotion, especially the development and prosperity of Chongqing’s art cause in the mid and later years of 20th century. He was once awarded the medal “For the Founders of the P.R.C.” by the government.