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WU Changshuo


1844 - 1927


‘Wu Changsuo was a poet and a calligrapher before he became a painter and it was association with Ren Bonian that inspired him to become an artist. Wu subsequently became one of the leading figures of the Shanghai school, renowed for the directness, colour and sense of spontaneity of his work. This scroll typifies Wu’s energetic style distinguished by a graphic bravura in both the painting and the calligraphy. Having earlier studied calligraphy and ancient epigraphy Wu had a special appreciation of the opportunities of calligraphy and this is well demonstrated in his wonderful and expressive brushwork. The subject matter of the mature and ripening loquats combined with the sheer energy of the brushwork echo a sense of lively regeneration in the artist, who painted this scroll in his 75th year. The poem, also written by Wu, read:

'During the May 5th festival,
the good food ripens with the warm wind,
though its colour is like yellow gold,
that hardly relieves poverty.
Placed with pomegranate flowers on the table for appreciation.
In the 'wuwu' year four days before the ninth day of September,
a guest in the Qu Zhi Sui Yuan studio,
Wu Changshuo at the age of seventy-five.
Hanging on the wall,
Resembling Li Futang's old brushwork.
Written by a Fu-Daoist at Chan Bi Xian studio.'’

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.166.
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Place where the work was made



Republic 1912 - 1949 → China



Media category


Materials used

hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper


181.5 x 82.0 cm image; 247.0 x 100.5 x 110.0 cm scroll

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, “…the year of Wuwu (1918)…Wu changsuo…”
Signed top c., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Junqing zhiyin [artist's seal]".
Signed upper c., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Changshuo [artist's seal]".
Signed c., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Wu Changshuo [artist's seal]".


Purchased 1987


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

WU Changshuo

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 11 publications


Edmund Capon, Orientations, 'Modern Chinese Paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales: The Shanghai School and its Impact', pg. 104-109, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 106 (colour illus.). fig.3

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 260 (colour illus.).

McClure Multimedia (Producer), Voices & Visions from China, Carlton South, 2002, (colour illus.). See: Contents: Visual & Performing Arts, Traditional painting.

Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Chinese Painting', pg. 42-52, Sydney, 1990, 46 (colour illus.), 47.

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Chinese Painting, 'Wu Changshuo', Sydney, 1985, 14 (illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 13, 14 (illus.).

Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 206 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, Look, 'Contemporary Art from China', Heidelberg, Sep 1988.

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 166-167 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 167 is a detail of this work.

Jacqueline Menzies, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian', pg. 72-93, Sydney, 1988, 78 (illus.).

Public Programmes Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Adventures in Asia. An education kit for the Asian gallery, Sydney, 2003, 7 (colour illus.). card no.7