I still remember the happiness and surprise when I first viewed Xia Huiying’s art works displayed in a private art gallery named HuiFeng Art Gallery in Pudong at the invitation of a friend, where it housed Xia’s art creations. I was very impressed by knowing such a young female artist with creative mind and free thinking in Shanghai.
As a Shanghai-born artist, Xia made her name when she was very young. As early as only 10 years old, she was awarded the 1st prize at Shanghai Children’s Art Competition, Shanghai Primary School Students’& High School Students’ Calligraphy & Seal Making Contest and National Young Children’s Calligraphy Competition respectively. Xia’s early success as a young art prodigy was broadcasted in a feature entitled in the Sparkling Spring Sunlight by Shanghai TV Station and she held her calligraphy and painting exhibition at Shanghai Art Museum and China Art Museum when she was below 15 years old. Young as she was, Xia had promising future but faced numerous barriers as evidenced by many cases of eventual failure of young talents in history. Young prodigies have enormous difficulties balancing common life and huge expectations from society. Therefore, young talents with gift have to overcome obstacles and troubles with super understanding and tremendous efforts themselves. What I saw that day turned out to be the outcomes of Xia’s hard work and unyielding spirit, which left a great impression on me with strong visual impact and rich cultural heritage.
Engrossed in copying and imitating ancient paintings, Xia received trainings on traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting in childhood, which was very conductive to laying a solid foundation for pursuit of her art career in the future. Xia was tutored by many famed masters such as Liu haisu, Yan wenliang, Li keran, Wu zuoren, Li kuchan, Guan shanyue, Xie zhiliu, Chen shifa, Chen peiqiu, Shen roujian and Tang yun. Xia migrated to Shenzhen, the forefront of China’s reform and opening initiative in her twenties, where she was deep exposed to fresh, innovative and diversified art atmosphere and immersed in spectacular landscape of mountains and rivers of Zhejiang province before she came back to Shanghai afterwards.
I can see Xia picks up something new and drops something old in her previous works. Xie succeeds in encompassing people, objects and happenings in one picture by freeing herself from the rigid commitment of being truthful to stereotypical Chinese paintings of landscape, flowers, birds and figure portraits. She thus opens a brand new art genre by integrating skills of contemporary ink paintings with abstract and expressive ways where she freely showcases her understanding of life and expresses her gratitude to the great times with her resourceful painting brush. Visitors are sure to be touched and impressed by rich cultural essence and creative aesthetics of these pictures.
I thus strongly feel the significance of tutoring and encouragement Xia received from many art predecessors, whose efforts inspired Xia to work continuously and earnestly all the time. Xia Huiying has never let the art masters down by combining painting with her life experience, breaking traditional restrictions and creating her distinctive art characteristics on a continuous basis. Today, we get to know Xia Huiying, who is back here to Shanghai and we sincerely hope she will give us new knowledge and surprise.
By vice chairman of China Artists’ Association, chairman of Shanghai Artists’ Association and director of Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy
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