21.10.2022 — 05.03.2023

Ink in Motion – A History of Chinese Painting in the 20th Century

Yang Jiechang

Cernuschi Museum - Paris Museum of Asian Art

Following on from the exhibition Painting Apart from the World, which invited visitors to explore China’s imperial legacy through the work of literati painters, the Cernuschi Museum extends this journey through time, focusing on 20th century Chinese painting. For the first time, the museum, which has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary Chinese paintings in Europe, is showing these masterpieces. The exhibition brings together more than seventy paintings created by thirty-four artists, including Yang Jiechang. The presentation of these fragile ink and paper treasures, which cannot be exposed to light for long periods, is a unique event.

From the end of the Empire to the Revolution of 1949, 20th century China underwent major changes, reflected in Chinese painting. Defined for centuries by the use of ink, it reinvented itself under the influence of oil painting and photography, but also through the rediscovery of its own history.

The travels of artists played a key role in this renewal. Although the destinations changed from one generation to the next, the exchanges extended from Europe to the United States, and of course Asia. Ink painting was deeply impacted by this crosscultural dialogue. Throughout the century, it was at the centre of theoretical debates, about the definition of national painting, the question of political commitment, of realism and abstraction.


Eric Lefebvre, Director, Cernuschi Museum
Mael Bellec, Chief curator, Cernuschi Museum

Cernuschi Museum - Paris Museum of Asian Art


7, avenue Vélasquez
75008 Paris
Tel : 01 53 96 21 50

ink on Xuan-paper, mounted on canvas
ca. 65 x 250 cm
signed on front right
Photo by Felicitas Yang