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Asian art

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No. 1 A load of steel arrived

20th century


Li Shaoyan


1918 - 2002


Li Shaoyan is from Linyi county in Shandong province. He was a member of the Eighth Route Army in 1938, but never abandoned his love of graphic arts. In 1941 he became the director of woodcut factory in Shanxi province. In subsequent years he was art editor of a Chongqing daily, an art group leader of yet another daily publication, as well as deputy chairman of two major Artist Associations.
Li Shaoyan’s active involvement in the development of arts in China continued throughout his life. Until his later years, he maintained a position of respect and influence. He has been chairman and deputy chairman of three different Artist Associations.
Over a period of more than 50 years hundreds of woodblock prints were produced. These have been exhibited abroad as well as in China where he received prizes for several of them in Shanxi province.
Li Shaoyan held Lu Xun in great esteem, joining the struggle to substantiate China’s newly emerging graphic tradition-that of bringing art to the people and to have graphic arts as representative of the people. He has been acclaimed as famous amongst China’s contemporary graphic artists of the last generation. In 1991 he was awarded a medal for his outstanding contribution to printmaking in China. This was in conjunction with Lu Xun’s 110th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of “New Chinese Graphic Arts”.
His work has been referred to by phrases such as “full of strong emotion but simple in style”, “of rich connotations and variations in forms”, and “ the subtle employment of great force and magnificence”.


Other Title

No. 1 steel products arrive

Alternative title

组画之一 一批钢材运到 [Zuhua zhiyi Yipi gangcai yundao]

Place where the work was made



20th century

Media category


Materials used





40.9 x 35 cm image; 52.6 x 42.5 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased 1993


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Li Shaoyan

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history