‘I think we should not only take in elements of Western painting. If there are good points in Indian painting, Egyptian painting, Persian painting, or masterpieces of other countries, we should embrace all of them, too, as nourishment for our Chinese painting.’

Gao Jianfu (1879–1951)

The Lingnan region, literally ‘south of the Nanling Mountains’, traditionally refers to the Cantonese speaking area of south China, including present-day Guangdong province and Hong Kong. This region has long been the frontier between China and the outside world. The flourishing of the Lingnan School of painting in the early 20th century is associated with modernization and the experimental mixing of foreign styles and techniques. Meanwhile, some artists focused on preserving and developing traditional Chinese painting. This exhibition from the museum’s collection displays works by Lingnan masters of different tendencies, including Gao Jianfu, Deng Fen and Li Yanshan, as well as those by successive generations of their pupils. Paintings displayed here reveal the communication between Lingnan artists and transitions in Lingnan painting over the last 200 years.

View the online exhibition here