The inscription reads, ‘In memory of the members of the Art Gallery Society, Sydney, Australia, who visited Hangzhou; painted by Shu Chuanxi in the late autumn of the year 'bingyin' (1986).’ There are three seals: ‘cunzhi' (preserving one’s natural disposition), ‘fengchi' (phoenix sidestep - meaning: palatial sidestep), and his name.
Shu Chuanxi is a native of Nanjing, China. He studied fine art at the Suzhou Academy of Arts in 1952 and graduated from the Huadong Academy of Arts in 1955. He then went overseas and studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany, and graduated in 1961. He has been a Professor at the Zhejiang Academy of Arts (now China Academy of Arts) since the 1960s, until his retirement in the 1980s. He is an established artist and educator, mastering in ink painting and print making.
In this painting, Shu painted the lotus in the 'mogu' (boneless) style or even splash-ink-and-colour technique. Haphazard splurges of ink often account for a large portion of the painting and capture the viewer's breath. The tension is released by the wave-like rhythm as he balances volume with the need for empty space.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, October 2008.