The Crystal Museum presents Qi Baishi’s amazing work of a life time (1864-1957) as its debut exhibition. Back to then, that was a time when new spirit sprouted out from the older art realm and surprised the world. The change of eras and mentors exhausted the artist, but it also taught him to embrace both relaxing moves of the wrist and meticulous skills at the hand to look at things and transform his mental imagery into unique and magnificent scenery of mountains and rivers, or hovering hawks on papers. Going further, he also produced portraits of energetic insects like crickets, spiders, and long-horned beetles. With an oriental brush, he painted the world boldly and also exquisitely, moving between macro and micro perspectives at ease. Qi Baishi’s unique characters and ambition created powerful flow for the ocean of art, which also streamed down to us. The Museum aims to quench its thirst for viewing the larger world as a whole and walk into the art master’s world. The memorialisation of this artist is the prelude it chooses to connect with viewers in the world.
Mr Baishi looked into the spirit of art in peace. His elegance came from the ups and downs in the life. “Life shall be gorgeous like splendid blossoms in the summer. Death shall be quiet as fallen leaves in the autumn.” Everything in the world rises and falls with dignity and pureness. When Qi Baishi turned 96 in 1956, he won the World Peace Prize awarded by the World Peace Council. He was a peace maker survived after wars and chaos, a man who is composed and tranquil, living like smokes. According to Mr Qi, “I have been painting for six or seven decades, and all I have illustrated are good-looking and vivacious things. For each insect I paint, I always wish to make it lively and vivacious.”