Daqian Zhang

Zhang Daqian is one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century. Known for his shifting styles, he began as a guohua painter but was later regarded as an Impressionist and Expressionist painter.

Zhang was born in 1899 in Sichuan Province. He belonged to an artistic family, and first learned painting from his mother and older siblings. In 1917, he moved to Kyoto to study painting and textile dyeing techniques. Returning to Shanghai in 1919, Zhang began studying art under Zeng Xi and established a successful art career. In 1940, he was sent to Dunhuang to copy ancient Buddhist art. In Zhang’s two years and seven months there, he finished 276 pieces. In 1945, he held exhibitions in Paris, London, Prague and Geneva.

In 1949, Zhang headed to Taiwan, and later settled in Hong Kong. A year after, Zhang was invited to hold an exhibition in New Delhi, India, where he visited the Ajanta caves and compared the murals against those in Dunhuang. During his time in India, he produced many works with intricate details and techniques. In 1956, Zhang met up with Picasso in Nice, France, where the two exchanged paintings.

Zhang’s influence began spreading internationally, and he frequently travelled to and from one continent to another, holding exhibitions and gathering inspiration. He started developing a new style with splashes of coloured ink, combining Abstract Expressionism and traditional guohua. He expressed that there shouldn’t be a line between Eastern and Western art. Zhang believed that integrating the two meant perhaps using ink to paint Western paintings, and oil to paint guohua.

Zhang settled in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California in 1967. His first solo exhibition in California was in the same year at Stanford University where his works attracted a crowd of thousands. His stay in the States marked a period of peak production for Zhang. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the Pacific in 1974.

In Taiwan, Zhang frequently held exhibitions at the National Museum of History. He was awarded the Order of Chiang Chung-Cheng in 1982. He died a year after in Taipei at the age of 83.


ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Plum Blossom, Bamboo, and Plantain

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Boating in Stream

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Self-Portrait

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Temple at the Mountain Peak

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Ancient Temples Amidst Clouds

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Viewing the Waterfall

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Temple at the Mountain Peak

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Red Lotus and Mandarin Ducks

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Landscape along Highway Hengguan

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Contemplating upon an Autumn Landscape

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Guanyin in Early Tang Style

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Splashed Colour Lotus

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Garden of Eight Virtues in Pomo Style

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Spring Snow on Magnificent Hills

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Guanyin After Early Tang Style

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Summer on California Mountain

ZHANG DAQIAN (CHINA, 1899-1983)

Splendour of the Peak

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Heavy Snow on a Mountain Pass

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Dwelling in the Qingbian Mountains

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Mist Clearing Over Pine Covered Peaks

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Living in the Mountains

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Landscape Hidden in Mist After Bi Hong

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Living in the Mountains

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Red Trees in Autumn Mountain

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Ancient Temple in Misty Mountain

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Verdant Mountains and Layered Peaks After Rain

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Lofty Scholar by Lush Trees

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Clear Autumn in Wu Gorge

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Lotus in Rain

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Snow Upon Spring Mountains

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Magnificence of the Mountains

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Cloudy Mountains by the Water

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Appreciating Landscapes and Flowers

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Splashed Ink Lotus

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Lake of Five Pavilions

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Landscape at Sunset

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Hills in Autumn Haze

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Two Scholars Amongst Pine and Clouds

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Splashed-colour Lotus

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Castle Peak Villa

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Indian Actress