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Lu Xun's Legacy: Print Making in Modern China

19 May 2021 - 12 September 2021 

Lu Xun (1881-1936) is the pen name of the revolutionary Chinese writer Zhou Shuren. 

Arguably one of the most important cultural figures of 20th century China, Lu Xun was a leading left-wing writer and printmaker and a passionate critic of the cultural and political conditions in early 20th century China. Lu Xun transformed the neglected art of woodblock printing, invented in China more than 1000 years earlier, making the woodblock print a weapon for social change and national resistance. 

This retrospective includes fifty-three prints drawn from the collections of the Muban Educational Trust, chosen from every decade since Lu Xun founded the Modern Woodcut Movement in the 1930s. The exhibition explores artistic trends, political conflict and technical innovations. Its four sections aim to connect history with the contemporary and message with style and technique. 

Lu Xun’s Legacy: Print Making in Modern China celebrates the extraordinary range and versatility of style, technique and aesthetic expression in modern Chinese prints. 

Wood block print of a landscape with hills in the background, a river and fields in the foreground with people and machinery for harvesting, all in reds, yellow and brown colours.Image caption: Detail from My Home on the Songhua River by Chen Yuping (1982), Muban Educational Trust registration no.chenyp061