Chinese Artist: Wang Bu

“Vases with Bird-and-Flower Painting” by Wang Bu (1898–1968)

Artist

Wang Bu was a 20th Century Chinese artist that specialized in working with Ceramics.  He was officially trained in the blue and white art, working under an expert tutor for several years.  Wang Bu’s first significant work came when popular ceramic artist, Wu Aisheng, hired him to design porcelain items in the style so popular during the Ming and Qing periods.  He would continue working with porcelain and ceramics for the rest of his life, preferring to decorate them in the blue and white coloring his father and mentor had loved.

Wang Bu made two great contributions to the art field.  First, He created the innovative method of using Chinese brush drawing to add the blue and white colors onto his ceramics and porcelain works ~ a technique that many other artists would soon pick up.  Second, he invented a “coloring pigment” by using the Chinese ink painting technique.  This pigment helped the colors used on ceramics to stay bright and colorful, as opposed to dulling and spotting as it dried.  

He briefly abandoned the blue and white style  during the tumultuous period of WWII an the Anti-Japanese War. However, he would later return to his roots, and eventually earned the title “King of Blue and White.  In the sixty years that he worked, he designed millions of works, many of which are still famous today.

Influences

  • His father, Xiuquing, who was an expert in blue and white painting. 
  • Xu Yousheng, his teacheer and another expert artist that worked with blue and white painting.
  • Ming and Qing Dynasty ceramic artists.

Stylistic Characteristics

  • Blue and White Coloring ~ particularly over-glazed with colors underneath or paste on paste.
  • Ceramics and Porcelain canvases.
  • Use of Chinese brush drawing or ink painting.
  • Bright, smooth coloring.
  • He seems to have like flowers, animals, and natural subjects.
  • His signature in his later years was often “the old man Taoqing.” 

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