Art Works by Prof. Zhang Longxi  (張隆溪)

“My first passion, when I was a young student in high school, was painting. I dreamed of being an artist someday, and I tried traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, Western style water colors and oil paintings. I was pretty good at that, so when I graduated from junior high in 1963, I was recruited by the art school in Chongqing, but I did not go, because I was more interested in continuing my senior high school and then college. I loved literature and was learning English with serious interest. When I graduated from senior high in 1966, however, the Cultural Revolution cut off my dream of a college education and sent me instead to the paddy fields and a factory. I never gave up painting and my study, however; so I practically taught myself everything under very difficult circumstances. Like everybody else in my generation in mainland China, I lost ten years, but I was fortunate enough to pass the national examination in 1977, skipped college entirely, and went directly to Peking University as a post-nothing graduate  

student after the Cultural Revolution.    

I spent five years in Beijing, first as a MA student and then a teacher of English at Peking University. I then spent sixteen years in the US, first as a Ph. D. student at Harvard and then a professor at the University of California, Riverside. Since 1998, I have been working at CityU in Hong Kong. As an academic, my busy life does not allow me as much time as I would have liked for painting, but my strong interest in arts has never left me. If I pick up a pen or brush, I can still paint a decent portrait or landscape, but I simply have not done much painting in the last twenty years. The only piece I contribute to this excellent exhibition of our own CityU artists is an old water color painted when I was in California, a combination of realistic and imaginary still life. I hope I have done more, and I still dream that I shall be able to paint more, but for the moment this is the only piece I can produce to bear witness to my love of painting, a love started in youth and will, I am sure, grow even deeper and stronger with my years.”  

-- Zhang Longxi