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photo of Chinese artist, Jian Bai Xu

Jian Bai Xu (Xu Jian Bai, 徐坚白) Biography

Jain Bai Xu is part of China's revolution, in art, which began around the turn of last century.  Her career began at the National Institute of Art in Chongqing, in the 1940's before China's other revolutions, under the guidance of Feng Mian Lin (Lin Feng Mian) who was part of the early revolution in Chinese art, which came to be known as the Hangzhou school of oil painting.   The newer schools of art, in those days, like impressionism, modern art, cubism and deconstructionism, put the focus on other skills beyond just painting pretty, perfect pictures.  Before the invention of the camera, painting was the only means of chronicling life and events, in pictorial form.  The invention of the camera gave artists artistic freedom, while calling on other venues of creativity, in art.  Thus, Jian Bai Xu's paintings convey emotion: things beneath the surface.

After graduating from the National Institute of Arts in Hangzhou, she went off to the U.S. and spent the next four years studying at the Kentucky Institute of Art and the Chicago Institute of Art.  When she returned to China, in the early 1950's, she moved to Guangzhou.  Although studying, in America, and traveling, in Europe, during those years, may have helped her hone her artistic skills, it did not help her, politically, when she returned to a new China, under the control of Mao Zedong, she was constantly under suspicion because she had lived and traveled outside the country.  Fortunately, her husband, Xue Sheng Tan managed to protect her during those years of Maoist paranoia, so that she could continue to bring us her wonderful, bright impressions of life.

Her paintings are mostly done in an impressionistic style.  They can be bright, colorful and happy or they can be brooding, moody, and sullen.  They all display remarkable understanding and skill.  Even early in her career she traveled the world, learning technique and capturing people and scenes, on canvas, which also caused her trouble when Mao took over and closed the doors to foreign influence, in the middle of the 20th century.  She is married to Xue Sheng Tan, another well-known artist from that era (see Xue Sheng Tan Page) and a former Dean of Guangzhou's prominent fine arts school.  They have both been living in the U.S. for several decades, and they still continue to paint.
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[Up] [Jian Bai Xu] [Xue Sheng Tan] [Yi Xing Ma] [Jin Ming Lee] [Zhao Qian Xu] [Liang Yi Er] [Zhang Zhen Jiang] [Meng Liu] [Tang Hai Guo] [Dapu] [Liang Jun Yan] [Zhao Bao Cheng] [Feng Wu Sui] [Guang Zhi Zhang] [Da Zhong Zhang] [Ri Dong Ou] [Xin Ming Xuan] [Mu Yang Shen] [Bo Liang] [Zheng Tian Li] [Yi Xiang Xu] [Jie Gu Wang] [Hua Yang] [Hong Ji Ling] [Xiangxiu embroidery]
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