Chinese Artists Gather And Consolidate In ChungkingOriginally published in:
News Release (China Information Committee, Chungking, China) nr. 339, 11 February 1939, pp. 2187-2188
The China Information Committee was an organization within the Ministry of Information of the Guomindang. It published government propaganda, both within China and abroad. The CIC employed several Western writers and journalists, and had branch offices a.o. in New York and London.
Inserted into the text, between square brackets , are modern pinyin transcriptions of names of people and places.
Chungking [Chongqing], wartime capital of China, assumes the aspect of the centre of fine arts in China as more than 50 of the nation's best artists have assembled in this city since the withdrawal of Chinese forces from the Wuhan area.
These artists, be they cartoonists, woodcutters, painters, sculptors or musicians have engaged in war activities using fine arts as their weapons against Japanese under the banner of the Chinese Artists' Enemy-Resisting Association.
The Association is headed by Mr. Wang Jih-chang, French-returned painter who was formerly secretary-general to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and is now counsellor of the Executive Yuan. Among its directors is Mr. Chang Tao-fan, Vice-Minister of Education who is noted as a playwright and composer.
The Association has one of its best cartoonists in Mr. Kao Lung-sheng, graduate of the College of Fine Arts in the famous lakeside city of Hangchow [Hangzhou]. He is drawing for leading local vernacular Chinese newspapers, and one of his recent works that drew considerable attention was entitled "Looking Up." In that cartoon the Japanese Emperor was shown as a dwarf-like figure beside Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
The group of caricaturists under Mr. Yeh Chien-yu [Ye Qianyu], another noted cartoonist, is now in Hong Kong where they have continued their patriotic task as in Hankow [Hankou, at present part of Wuhan] turning out war cartoons for publicity purposes.
The woodcut artists, one of China's most colourful groups of war publicists, are represented in the Association in Chungking by Mr. Lu Hung-chi, also a graduate of the College of Fine Arts.
Two Chinese painters of high calibre who are most active in the war-aid affairs of the Association are Messrs. Lu Sze-po and Wu Tso-jen, both professors of fine arts in Central University. The former had studied in Paris while the latter is a graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium. At an exhibition recently held in the Methodist Episcopal Mission, Chungking, their paintings, saturated with war atmosphere, won great applause.
Another painter, equally talented and better known abroad, is Mr. Hsu Pei-hung [Xu Beihong], also a professor of Central University, who attracted considerable attention during an exhibition tour of Europe and America a few years ago. He is now touring the South Seas with his pictures to raise funds for China's resistance against Japan.
The works of all the best cartoonists, woodcutters and painters here in Chungking and elsewhere throughout the country will be represented at the National Art Exhibition to be held under the auspices of the Association during April. Proceeds will be devoted to China's warchest.
Among the musicians affiliated with the association, Mr. Chao Mei-po stands out as one of China's best tenors, he having gained considerable renown during a concert tour of Europe and America some years ago. Other celebrated musicians include Mr. Hsi Hsing-hai, composer of many of China's martial songs and formerly attached to the movie studio of the Political Training Board of the National Military Council, who is now teaching in a school in Yenan [Yan'an], Northern Shensi [Shaanxi], and Mr. Ma Sze-chiung, French-trained musician, who is now in Hong Kong.
Ten of the artists who are members of the Association work in the Political Training Board in Chungking, while 50 others have been sent to different places close to the war fronts to sound the call to arms among the peasants through their drawings, painitings or music.
For the training of China's future artists, the National Central University has strengthened its Department of Fine Arts since its removal to Chungking from Nanking [Nanjing] during December, 1937. Now the department has more than 50 students and ten teachers most of whom are French-returned.
The Chinese Artists' Enemy-Resisting Association is going to supplement this by conducting a short-term training school for 200 young men and women with a flair for art who, upon completion of the training, may be able to produce more patriotic posters for uplifting China's rural population.