Spirit of the pine
‘Zhu Xiuli was born in Shanghai in 1938, where he experienced much hardship throughout his early childhood. His mother had to struggle to keep alive when his father failed to return from the war and she and her son were reduced to penury.
Zhu Xiuli worked in his spare time and managed to complete middle school where, his love of music, singing, dancing and his skill at playing the flute made him very popular.
When he sat his entrance examinations in 1957, his artistic talent gained him offers of places both at Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts and Nanjing Academy of Arts. He chose the latter. At the Academy he studied under many well known artists, including Yu Jienhua, Chen Da Yu and Li Changbai.
He travelled to many of the beauty spots of China when, in 1960 he followed Fu Baoshi, Song Wenzhi, Ya Ming and many other leading artists on a tour of great mountains and rivers.
Zhu Xiuli now lives in Anhui where he holds a post of First Class Artist in the Anhui Academy of Traditional Painting and Calligraphy/
He has lectured in Hong Kong and has published a book of his Correspondence Course for the Hong Kong Chinese University. He has had solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore and his paintings have been shown in many countries.
In 1987 he was chosen to visit Bulgaria with a Chinese Artists’ Delegation and his paintings are now in the Rosa Art Gallery in Bulgaria. In this country his works are to be found in private collections as well as in those of national museums.
Zhu Xiuli’s work is dominated by his high spirits. He has the capacity to draw out the essential elements of the scene he is painting and fill it with vibrant movement, light and optimism: his children wave sticks as they herd the ducks, the ducks themselves dive in the pond, cocks crow loud and clear, boats make a fine pattern on the river, dogs run around the farms, a girl in a punt floats on a lotus pond. There are endless combinations of sensitive love of nature, but also a friendly man whose artistic intuition makes him a good judge of character and enables him to tell a good story.
His appreciation of poetry and of his literary culture reflects in his art his own serenity and an optimism which transcends the difficulties and frustrations of life. For his art is not just simple and happy, the boldness of its composition and the firmness of its line, denote a man who thinks and finds solutions and comes to terms with the world.’
Chi Mei Chai, Eastern Art Gallery, Spring 1989.
Place where the work was made
hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper
137.0 x 68.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated top c. in Chinese, inscribed in black ink ''… the year of Yichou (1985), Xiuli.” Signed top c., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Zhu Xiuli [artist's seal]". Signed upper c., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Zhu Xiuli [artist's seal]".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Art of the brush, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Sep 1995–12 Nov 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 14, 14 (illus.). Cat.no.4.8