“I’ve been living with his works since I was a child,” says Xu Qingping, 75, referring to his father, Xu Beihong (1895-1953), one of the most prominent figures of 20th-century Chinese art.
“I was a primary school student when the Xu Beihong Memorial Hall (in Beijing) was established and opened to the public in 1954. I spent almost all the holidays and weekends at the hall to help oversee the displays,” Xu Qingping says.
He says those childhood experiences helped him to gain a familiarity with his father’s oeuvre.
“My understanding of my father and his works grew, and so did my feelings for them－maybe much stronger than many others,” Xu Qingping says.
One can share that attachment to his family legacy when flipping through The Complete Works of Xu Beihong, a new six-volume collection compiled by Xu Qingping. He also authenticates the works featured in the books.
The collection, which rolled off the presses at China Youth Publishing Group in May, catalogs Xu Beihong’s oil paintings, classical Chinese paintings, sketches and drawings, as well as his calligraphic works, his art collection and theoretical accomplishments. It was listed among the works to be sponsored by the National Publication Foundation in 2017.
Xu Beihong received art training in China and then France. He was immersed in the traditions of Chinese ink art. Years of living and studying in Europe provided him full exposure to the teachings of classical Western art and contemporary trends.