4 October

The Integration of Brush and Ink - Selected Collaborative Paintings of Professor Jao Tsung-i and Mr. Wu Hao


Date: 4/10/2019 - 15/11/2019
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday, closed on public and university holidays)
Venue: Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole, The University of Hong Kong
Enquiry: 3915 5598

Through the introduction of Mr. Xie Zhiliu, Professor Jao Tsung-i was able to get acquainted with Mr. Wu Hao. Xie and Jao were experts in Dunhuang Studies as well as close friends ever since the Chinese economic reform, and they felt like old friends when they first met. Mr. Wu was the pupil of Mr. Xie, and Xie especially appreciated Wu’s imitations of the paintings of Monk Shitao. During that time, I often needed to travel between Guangzhou and Hong Kong because of work. Due to the introduction of Mr. Ma Kwok Kuen, I was able to visit Mr. Wu at Menglianxiang Studio. I was deeply indebted to his patience because he often discussed art with me, and I frequently took his works back and present them to Professor Jao.

In the mid-80s, Mr. Wu lectured at The Chinese University of Hong Kong by invitation. During those days, Professor Jao regularly invited him to his place and discussed art with him. One day, Mr. Wu mentioned Professor Jao’s deep research on Bada Shanren, especially the association between his inscribed poems and Zen quotations, and later he said he once saw the painting Fish and Bird by Bada Shanren which was excellently done. He was so excited about his experience and he painted this work by memory. Professor Jao was impressed by this piece and he also immediately inscribed a sentence from Shiren, a poem from the Classic of Poetry, which read, “Her beautiful eyes are so clear that the black and white are well defined.” This is a much-told story between them with regard to their collaboration.

Since then, Professor Jao often painted collaboratively with Mr. Wu, and I generally acted as a “carrier” to take their paintings back and forth Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Sometimes I took Professor Jao’s works to Guangzhou and let Mr. Wu add some strokes; and at times, I also took Mr. Wu’s paintings back to Professor Jao for additional strokes or inscriptions.

Exhibits include selected collaborative works by Professor Jao and Mr. Wu, as well as some works painted by Wu and inscribed by Professor Jao. Through these works, we are able to see the ingenious realm of the integration of brush and ink of these two masters.

Tang Wai Hung
September 2019