19th and 20th century Chinese ink art displayed in Beijing
By Li Qiong
The M K Lau Collection, one of Asia’s finest private collections of 20th century brush and ink artwork, is holding an exhibition in Beijing. Entitled "Intimate Encounters: Handscrolls and Albums from the M K Lau Collection", the exhibition showcases 50 works that have rarely been seen by the public. They have been collected over three decades by the M K Lau Collection. 
Different from western paintings that are simply hung on walls, Chinese ink painters also painted on handscrolls and album leaves. Art collectors can enjoy each moment when handscrolls are unrolled, section by section, and leaves in an album are viewed, one by one... and see the artworks' details as they are slowly revealed.
One of the exhibition's two sections is largely dedicated to Pu Ru, a cousin to Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. He is widely considered to be the most talented painter in the royal family. The 11-meter long handscroll, called Lofty Landscape, is a monumental ink painting of this late Qing Dynasty artist.
"Lofty Landscape" by Pu Ru /Photo courtesy of China Guardian Auctions

"Lofty Landscape" by Pu Ru /Photo courtesy of China Guardian Auctions

The handscroll highlights Pu Ru's unique approach to classical themes, which combines descriptive representations with atmospheric effects.
Another highlight at the exhibition was created by Zhang Daqian. His album of 12 leaves "Landscapes of Mount Huang" is painted on rare Song Dynasty paper. It records the UNESCO World Heritage Site in all its glory, making use of diverse brushwork to represent the distinctive landscape.
"Landscapes of Mount Huang" by Zhang Daqian /Photo courtesy of China Guardian Auctions

"Landscapes of Mount Huang" by Zhang Daqian /Photo courtesy of China Guardian Auctions

The immersive exhibition is equal halves of hand-scrolls and albums of leaves of Chinese ink art from the 19th to 20th centuries. Holding this kind of public exhibition is a fresh attempt by the newly built Guardian Art Center, which primarily handles auctions.
"All the art works on display at this exhibition are from the collector's private collection. It's open to the public. In this way, the collector wants to share his own interests with more people, just like a private art museum. And the Guardian is happy to offer such a platform," said Hu Yanyan, Chief Executive Officer of China Guardian Auctions. "In the future, the Guardian Art Center will hold courses of lectures and classes for art lovers from different walks of life."
The exhibition "Intimate Encounters" runs through November 22 at the Guardian Art Center in Beijing.