On Professor Jao’s
Professor Jao’s scholarship and creative artwork are complementary. His research in the history of Chinese painting and calligraphy has enabled him to explicitly inherit the ancient techniques of painting and calligraphy. With his studies in Dunhuang art, he has established a unique style in the line drawing of Dunhuang and Dunhuang-inspired paintings; through his studies in Zen Buddhism, he pays attention to the revival of Zen paintings; having studied calligraphers and painters from the late Ming dynasty, he has a good command of the painting techniques of the Four Monks of Late Ming; after studying the artistic ideology of 17th-century Ming loyalists, he has mastered the techniques of artists such as Chen Laolian and Fu Qingzhu.
Because of his profound research in archaeology, Professor Jao is able to conduct a comprehensive study into newly excavated objects, especially oracle bones, bamboo strips, and wooden strips, which serve as a physical reference of the history of Chinese calligraphy and were never seen by pre-20th-century scholars. Prof. Jao constantly reminds us that our generation has achieved more in-depth studies in the history of ancient art than our predecessors, thanks to the newly unearthed objects. Therefore, he constantly incorporates his research findings of art in his paintings and calligraphy, which is a good example of the “dual synthesis of scholarship and art” that he advocates.
Professor Jao Tsung-i has made important contributions in exploring various new areas in the study of art, especially in oracle bones, bamboo strips and silk manuscripts, the relationship between late Ming loyalists and Zen Buddhism, Dunhuang art, and the origins of painting.
“Master Jao’s paintings can attain such great achievement because of his erudition. What is paintings truly depict is his own experience, his erudition, his aspirations, and his understanding of life.” – Miaozi
China Arts Life Achievement Award
On December 19, 2010, Professor Jao was awarded the China Arts Life Achievement Award by the Chinese National Academy of Arts, to pay tribute to his contributions to Chinese arts and culture.