The great desert
1908 - 1997
‘The work of Wu Zuoren exemplifies the way in which the traditional brush-and-ink technique of Chinese painting can be transformed into an entirely modern idiom. Wu studied with another of the great modern masters of Chinese painting, Xu Beihong, and then from 1930 to 1935 he studied and worked in France and Belgium. His distinctive use of broad wet brushstrokes in the ‘mogu hua’, or ‘boneless’ style, that is one worked in brush washes of ink rather than brush lines, hints at the Western styles that he would have absorbed while in Europe, like his mentor Xu Beihong. Wu is particularly renowned for his appealing images of camels, yaks, oxen and pandas and for his evocations of the Gobi desert.’
‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.171
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Damo - great desert
Camels in the Gobi Desert
Damo (The great desert)
Place where the work was made
hanging scroll; ink on paper
69.8 x 45.7 cm image; 159.5 x 60.3 x 69.7 cm scroll
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, “Zuoren…in 1977”.
Signed u.r., in Chinese, stamped in red ink “Wu” [artist's seal].
Gift of Graham E. Fraser 1993
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 5 publications
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 263 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 14, 15 (illus.). Cat.no.4.6
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Chinese Painting, Sydney, 1985, cat no 25.
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 171 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Chinese Painting, 'Wu Zuoren', Sydney, 1985, 14 (illus.). Cat.no.25