Glamour of the Jao's Lotus
Glamour of the Jao's Lotus (蓮蓮吉慶) @ Guangzhou Jao Tsung-i Academic & Art Academy (廣州市饒宗頤學術藝術館)
On 13 May 2017, Glamour of the Jao's Lotus - Touring Exhibition of Professor Jao Tsung-i’s Chinese Calligraphy and Lotus Paintings was opened ceremonially at the Guangzhou Jao Tsung-i Academic & Art Academy, the headquarters of Royale Furniture Holdings Limited (皇朝傢俬集團) in Xian Cun Town (仙村鎮) of Zengcheng District (增城區). Deputy Chairman of Guangdong Federation of Literature and Art Circles (廣東省文聯副主席) Commissioner Hong Chuping (洪楚平專員), Director of Zengcheng District Culture & Sports Tourism Bureau (增城區文體旅遊局局長) Mr Huang Zeyong (黃澤勇), Executive Director of Jao Tsung-i Research Institute of Sun Yat-sen University (中山大學饒宗頤研究院執行院長) Professor Chen Weiwu (陳偉武教授), Chairman of Board of Directors of Perfect Treasure Holdings Limited (香港柏寶集團有限公司董事長) Mr Wong Shu Yui (黃書銳), Director of Guangzhou Jao Tsung-i Academic & Art Academy (廣州市饒宗頤學術藝術館館長) Dr Thomas Tang Wai Hung (鄧偉雄), and President of the Royale Furniture Holdings Limited (皇朝傢俬集團控股主席) Mr Jackson Tse Kam Pang (謝錦鵬) were all guests officiating the opening ceremony.
This exhibition, co-organized by Guangzhou Jao Tsung-i Academic & Art Academy, Jao Tsung-i Research Institute of Sun Yat-sen University, University of Hong Kong, Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole Fan Club, and the Jao Studies Foundation, was undertaken by Jao Tsung-i Petite Ecole of University of Hong Kong, with the support of the Home Affairs Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Royale Furniture Holdings Limited, Jao Link, and the Sino United Publishing (Holdings) Limited (聯合出版（集團）有限公司).
Professor Jao Tsung-I has an indissoluble bond with lotus flowers. His name is closely related with Zhou Dunyi (周敦頤), who wrote the essay On Loving the Lotus (愛蓮說). Over the past decade, lotus have become a major subject matter of his paintings. The lotus flowers he paints are unique in style, manifesting naturalness while at the same time modelling after various schools of styles by integrating line drawing in traditional ink and brush style, colour sketching, painting with golden, blue and green colours, ink painting without outlines, black ink-splashing, and western painting techniques, as well as incorporating poetic sentiments and zen senses, subsequently initiating quite a number of new techniques and directions in lotus painting. For this reason, the lotus flowers painted by Professor Jao enjoy the reputation of “Jao’s Lotus”, the lotus spirit of which manifested being crucially connected to his studies in Tunhuangology, Buddhism, and zen teachings.
Paintings displayed in the exhibition took various forms, including ink and wash painting on paper, multiple-layer colour painting on golden plates, painting on fine-silk fans, and painting on paper handrolls. Regardless of their sizes, which range from gigantic black-ink splashing to small pieces of lotus painting, the lotus-painting techniques, brushing skills, colour-using and composition displayed are ever-changing. Through Professor Jao’s lotus-painting works, we can see his advocation of “amalgamation of scholarship and art” and his ever-advancing creativity.
It is known that the exhibition has attracted a large number of art and literary lovers to visit it, which continues to 10 June 2017. Thereafter, the exhibition will be held in places such as France, Macau, etc.