Artist Statement -

Capture the moment
- Mr. Guo Xianzhong's statement

Mr. Guo was born and raised in the beautiful province of Sichuan. He started learning traditional Chinese painting at the age of 16, and imitated many masterpieces by older generations of Chinese artists. One day, his brush could not help but paint by itself, and greedily swallowed his papers. From that point on, his own artistic life commenced.

In recent decades, his works have captured all the natural conditions and local customs across the Yangtze River, with fantastic skill and an unruly manner. His style varies greatly, as if from many different artists.

His work of the late 1980's represented the peak of his career as an artist. It can safely be said that his crane paintings during this period are masterpieces of traditional Chinese painting.

The crane is a theme which has been depicted in traditional Chinese paintings for years. In traditional Chinese paintings, it is commonplace to see a crane as part of a scene, but it is rare to see the crane depicted as a spiritual creature as it is under Mr. Guo's brush. Mr. Guo paints his cranes with only a few strokes but uses very thick ink, which makes his crane paintings full of spirit and energy. People who view them are surprised at how free his style appears. He combines calligraphy techniques with crane painting, which has become his unique style. To some extent, Mr. Guo's crane paintings are the soul of his personality: unconstrained, open-minded and enthusiastic.

In 1988, Mr. Guo was invited by friends to Hainan Island. Such tropical features as a beautiful blue sky, crystal clear sea, golden beaches, sturdy cacti and attractive wild pineapples, which are full of energy and freedom, greatly impressed him. Strong sunlight grinds the shapes of all objects, turning them into bizarre and gaudy colors. Gales scatter those lively colors, turning them into rhythmic tones. Nothing artificial or obscure can be found between his strokes; instead, his earnestness can easily be sensed.

In 1992, Mr. Guo involved himself in the tropics even more deeply when he arrived on Hainan Island for the second time. In the first few months, he would often walk around windy and sunny beaches, or ride about wild fields in a jeep, absorbing the colors of the tropical scenery. After discarding many a painting he was dissatisfied with, Mr. Guo reached another peak in his career as an artist.

Wild pineapples on beaches, coconut trees under clouds, red woods at dawn, plump cacti... under Mr. Guo's brush, all these are transformed into passionate paintings.

These paintings appear unorthodox in color and stroke, like scribbling or scrawling, but when viewed as a whole are quite harmonious. People sometimes feel his works are like a newborn baby, opening its eyes, seeing the world for the first time. Life is fully eulogized by the artist's brush.

The fertile and fruitful lands of Hainan Island have attracted numerous artists who usually come to paint the tropical scenery in great detail. However, most artists perceive this island superficially. There is far more behind the abundance of this land, which has been sensed and expressed through Mr. Guo's perfect artistic feeling. In his paintings, life is everywhere; tropical plants in the sun are developed into a rousing chorus under his brush, as if they were shouting out loud. Time is cruel - it destroys everything it produces. But on Hainan Island, time forces everything to show its beauty without reservation, which can be vividly viewed in Mr. Guo's paintings.

Mr. Guo is lettered in literature and philosophy, and he has keen insight into nature and life, therefore everyone can gain something from his work. It is fair to say that Mr. Guo has progressed traditional Chinese painting into a new stage, which remains to be recognized by people from all over the world.

Artist Exhibitions

Mr. Guo's works were exhibited at many Chinese art galleries, and in other countries such as the United States, Japan, Canada, the Philippines and Taiwan. His works have also been published in various magazines and newspapers at home and abroad.

In 1985, his painting ‘Autumn’ was included in the New Traditional Chinese Paintings Selection published by Tianjin Fine Arts Publishing House.

He held solo art exhibitions at the Fine Arts Department of Southwest Normal University in June 1986, at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in May 1987, at Qingdao Art Gallery in September 1987, at Henan Museum in October 1987 and at Sichuan Artist Association in August 1988.

In 1988, his works were included in An Album of Modern Landscape Paintings published by Henan Fine Arts Publishing House.

In 1994, his painting ‘Night Reading’ was on display at the 2nd Asia International Wash Painting Exhibition held in Taiwan.

In 1996, his painting ‘Spring’ was on display at the 8th China National Art Exhibition.

In August 1998, he joined a Chongqing art delegation to Macau and his painting ‘The Song of the Red Woods’ was on display at the art exhibition for Macau's return to China.

In September 1999, he led the ‘Love Toward Yangtze River’ art exhibition delegation to Manila, Philippines and his painting ‘The Late Autumn Of Ning River’ was on display at that exhibition.

In October 2000, he was invited by the Kaohsiung Municipal Social Education Hall to hold a solo art exhibition in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Most recently, Mr. Guo held a solo art exhibition at Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum between 16 and 20 October 2012, which received wide public attention and accolades (For details, please check out this link:

Artist Publications

“The most direct impression that Guo Xianzhong’s paintings offer me is the great variety of their styles, which probably comes from the genuineness of his spirit and the naturalness of his expression. The true art is always abundant in its colourful variations and constant changes. After over half a century’s endeavour in his art, Mr. Guo has obviously achieved the complete freedom which allows him unlimited space to unchain his artistic imagination.”

Lin Mu. Professor of Sichuan Univerty, famous art critic

“Guo Xianzhong has possessed his very own artistic language – this is not easy. He does not stick to conventional painting techniques; rather, he masters the principles and paints according to his own feeling. He has converted the traditions into his personal style, and each of his paintings is different.”

Li Wenxin. Professor of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

“Mr. Guo’s paintings have come from rules to no rules, and combined traditions and reality, not restricted to conventions.”

Du Xianqing. Professor of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

“Guo Xianzhong is very open-minded and receptive. He incorporates painting, calligraphy and seal together, which is adorable.”

Ma Ding. Cartoonist

“In the field of art, China has had her poetic genius, painting genius, and Guo Xianzhong is certainly a genius – a unique one, full of free spirit.”

Bai Desong. Dean and professor of the Traditional Chinese Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

“Guo Xianzhong’s capacity and achievements are attributed to his objective attitude in understanding the differentiations of Chinese and western cultures. He uses traditional Chinese ink, equipped with western color theories, to instill color into ink and ink into color, even break the boundaries of ink and color, thus creates a brand new media.

These recent landscape works of Guo’s are not typical traditional Chinese paintings, but a new type of Chinese paintings with a traditional flavor. His way of thinking, his skill and his fashion are typically Chinese. On that account, his paintings are modern Chinese paintings, not the continuation of the traditional literati painting.”

He Zi. Professor of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Fine Arts Theorist

“Under Mr. Guo’s brush, tropical forests washed by strong sunlight are developed into a group of abstract and bizarre colors. On Hainan Island, life honestly expresses its beauty without reservation. Life’s spirit is no longer an assumption, but a vision. This vision, when it arrives at Mr. Guo, naturally becomes a way of painting.”

Kong Jian. Chinese Scholar ...

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