1900 - 1929Seeking Independence in Art and Politics
Tenshin visits India and meets Tagore family
Okakura Tenshin visits Culcatta (present-day Kolkata) and stays at Tagore’s residence. Okakura meets the Bengali artists, including Abanindranath and Gaganendranath Tagore, and teaches the styles of Japanese painting. During the visit, Okakura travels around India, including Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Ajanta, and Ellora.
Tokyo Fine Arts School receives students from Asia
Faculty of Art and Education is established at Tokyo Fine Arts School. The graduates are appointed to teach at elementary, secondary, and advance educational institutions in Joseon or Taiwan and become a source of information for local artists about the trends of Japanese art and studying in Japan.
Mongolian independence movement
Mongolia declares the independence from the Xin Dynasty due to the Xinhai Revolution in China and appoints the 8th Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, the living Buddha as the emperor. However, their attempts fail due to pressure from the Republic of China and Russia. The Republic of China keeps the suzerainty and grants political autonomy.
A Korean artist awarded in Japan
Kim Eunho receives a prize with his work Nightfall at The 10th Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Bunten), which is held between October 14 and November 20 at Takenodai Exhibition Hall, Tokyo. After returning to Korea, Kim holds a solo exhibition of oil painting in Pyongyang, which is the first of such exhibitions by a Korean painter.
May Fourth Movement and New Culture Movement
As China’s request for the cancellation of Japan’s “Twenty-One Demands” is rejected at the Versailles Peace Conference, the nation-wide expansion of student demonstrations and anti-Japan movements occur, which eventually lead to the New Culture Movement (May Fourth Movement).
Beijing Art Convention with radical slogans
National School of Fine Arts in Beijing organizes the Beijing Art Convention, which comprises art exhibitions and performing art events, under the slogan, “Defeat the imitative traditional art! Defeat the art occupied and enjoyed by a few nobles! Create the art representing our time! Create the art appreciated by all the people from any classes!”
China Academy of Art founded
China Academy of Art is founded in Hangzhou, officially inaugurated with Cai Yuanpei. Lin Fengmin becomes the principal. The school aims for creativity that expresses the time in which Western and Chinese art coexisted. In October 1929, the school changes its name to the China National Academy of Fine Arts (present-day China Academy of Art).
Art Movement Society promotes modern art
Teachers of the China Academy of Art found the Art Movement Society, and Ling Fengmin, Wang Ziyun, and Li Pu-yuan are in charge of the group. They reject the value of traditional art and seek an art representing the new era. The group issued the first volume of magazine, Apollo, in October, focusing on introducing of Chinese contemporary art and Western art (stopped in 1936).
The National Art Exhibition begins in Nanjing
The Ministry of Education National Art Exhibition (The First National Art Exhibition) is held as the first nation-wide exhibition in China. Calligraphy, bronze and stone inscription, Western-style painting, sculpture, architecture, craft, and artistic photography, as well as 80 works from Japan and other foreign countries, are exhibited. Long Chinsan (Lang Jinshan) served as a jury of art artistic photography section. During the exhibition, Xu Beihong and Xu Zhima have the “Two Xu Controversy,” arguing whether realism is more important or as much as free expression.