Having collected modern Chinese paintings for over four decades, the master of Eryi Caotang has assembled an extraordinary collection that provides an overview of the development of Chinese ink painting from the late 19th century to the 20th century. The exhibition features 71 masterpieces by well-known masters including Qi Baishi (1864–1957), Xu Beihong (1895–1953), Zhang Daqian (1899–1983), Lin Fengmian (1900–1990), Fu Baoshi (1904–1965), and Li Keran (1907–1989). Many were collected during the 1970s and 1980s, when China gradually recovered from the aftermath of the devastating Cultural Revolution and when Hong Kong’s economic boom fostered a demand for works of art. The master of Eryi Caotang was a typical Hong Kong businessman of that period whose success in business led, atypically, to his lifelong passion for Chinese painting and friendships with many prominent artists. As such, the collecting history in recent memory is intricately linked with the lives and practices of artists and the ties between Hong Kong and mainland China. His story will be featured in the accompanying catalogue.
We are delighted to present this guided tour with Dr. Josh Yiu (姚進莊博士), Associate Director of the Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, and completed his doctorate at Oxford University. From 2006 to 2013, he served as the Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Seattle Art Museum. A specialist in late imperial and modern Chinese art, his book publications include Writing Modern Chinese Art: Historiographic Explorations (2009) and A Fuller View of China: Chinese Art at the Seattle Art Museum (2014). He is also the Project Director and Co-editor (with Mimi Gates) of Uncover the Past: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Seattle Art Museum Collection, an online catalogue that won the "Gold Muse Award for Online Presence" presented by the American Alliance of Museums in 2014. He has taught and lectured at various universities, including the University of Washington and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.