Guangdong, as a coastal province, has had extensive connections with the outside world since ancient times, and in the late 19th century, it witnessed the social transformation and the rise of modern China. In the past century, Guangdong was the forefront of cultural innovation and economic reform. Through examining the classic artworks at the exhibition.
Last year, "Reform Mission: Guangdong Art Centennial Exhibition, featuring 350 oil paintings, watercolor paintings, illustrations, woodcut prints and sculptures was displayed in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen,to map out the evolution and influence of fine arts in Guangdong from 1916 to 2016.
A selection of masterpieces by 21 prominent Cantonese painters, including Li Xiongcai, Gao Jianfu, Guan Shanyue and He Xiangning, was shown at the exhibition. "These 21 pioneers were selected by the academic board of the exhibition. Some of them were among the earliest Chinese to study art in Japan or Europe and after they returned to China, they became influential art reformers with established achievements and pushed forward Chinese art history," said Xu Qinsong, vice chairman of China Artists Association, chairman of Guangdong Literary Federation and chief curator of the exhibition.
A history theme painting “Xi Zhongxun in Nanliang” was the highlight of the exhibition. The painting vividly depicted Xi Zhongxun, then chairman of the Soviet Government in Shaanxi-Gansu Border Revolutionary Base Area, launching new policies for running the area. The picture reminded many Chinese people Xi Zhongxun’s inaugural promise - “I, together with my colleagues, will spare no effort to ensure that all the people shall have work, enough food and happy life.”