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Asian Art Museum

Fang Zhaoling "Figures"

Fang Zhaoling "Figures"

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From: Asian Art Museum
Limited Edition: 27
Exhibition: Fang Zhaoling: A Life in Painting
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 35" x 72" (88cm x 182cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


Chinese painter and calligrapher, Fang Zhaoling, lived a life that shaped her art. Her story is an epic saga of a Chinese woman living in Europe at the outbreak of World War II, a young widow with eight children in Hong Kong, and an artist who spent five decades developing her own style. 27 banners from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco are now available from the artist's retrospective.


Contemporary Chinese art continues to gain in popularity around the world. One contemporary artist who spans the traditional to the modern to the contemporary is Fang Zhaoling (1914 - 2006). With traditional elements and a modernist vision, Fang is one of the few female artists to have gained world renowned for her work.

Her personal life story reads like an epic, modern drama. Born in provincial China, she was encouraged by her mother to pursue her love of art. She studied in England and ultimately married a fellow Chinese artist there. The couple spent years building their family and living in the U.K. and the U.S.A. When they finally returned to settle in Hong Kong in 1950, Fang's husband died suddenly. She was widowed at 36 with eight children, and had to give up her art to take over her husband's business. Her love of painting did not waiver, and as soon as she was able she studied once again, eventually being taken under the tutelage of one of China's most preeminent artists. Over five decades, her style matured and her art blossomed to merge the finest techniques of traditional Chinese art with the simplicity and vigor of modern art.

One side of this banner features a dancing figure dressed in red along with the exhibition's title, "Fang Zhaoling/A Life in Painting", in red and black letters. Chinese characters in white are enclosed in a red box. Small text at the bottom reads "Sponsored by HSBC" and includes the company's logo.

The other side of the banner features a blue-clad figure of a man walking, his walking stick in hand. Text reads "Asian Art Museum/Oct 1 - Nov 13" in red and black letters. The figures on both sides are painted with joy and lightness, but also with the fewest strokes needed to fully express an idea. Hanging two banners side-by-side creates a lively, fun diptych that includes both of these playful figures.


These banners were displayed around San Francisco from October 1 through November 13, 2005 to promote the exhibition Fang Zhaoling: A Life in Painting at the Asian Art Museum.

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