Teaching the classical canon
Xu Lele is a young female artist from Nanjing who brings the great tradition of literati painting in China into a humorous, almost satirical, contemporary idiom. The scene of the scholar seated, in his long flowing robes, on the dais and beside him the young acolyte reading the text, surrounded by the scholar's accoutrements of scrolls, inkstone and brush, is a typical composition of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). But here the amusingly droll expressions on the faces of scholar and acolyte, and the eloquent modelling of the brush washes, betray a late twentieth-century modernity. Xu belongs to a group of artists living and working in Nanjing, many of whom have received some 'Western' art training, and who are committed to instilling Chinese painting traditions with the spirit and imagination of the modern age.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 266.
Place where the work was made
album leaf; ink and colour on paper
37.0 x 58.0 cm image/sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, “Le…the year of Dingchou (1997)”.
Signed u.r., in Chinese, stamped in red ink, “Le [artist's seal]".
Signed u.r., in Chinese, stamped in red ink, “Xu [artist's seal]".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Chinese New Literati Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Aug 1997–05 Oct 1997
Referenced in 1 publication
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 266. The colour illustration in this book actually refers to Accession no. 366.1997, Xu Lele, 'Seeking for a line in a Poem'.