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Virtual Asian-American Art Museum Project

Alexei Taylor, Author

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Yang Ling-fu

The art of Yang Ling-fu is only just now being seen after decades out of public sight. This exhibition showcases her work for the first time in maybe fifty years. After arriving in San Francisco as an early Chinese artist-refugee in 1936, Yang presented her work in exhibitions including the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in 1939, but she never reached the profile she had achieved in China, where she was the first female president of an art college. These paintings from the late 1930s and 1940s show an artist of great discipline and focus, who responded to her new American context with a brighter palette and stronger naturalism than seen in her earlier work in China (Plate 3 and Fig. 16). Yang ultimately relocated to Carmel-by-the-Sea and invited several other artists to join her in developing a Chinese artist colony there. Although not directly the result of her personal invitations, that did, in fact, happen, as artists including Cheng Yet-por, Hu Chi Chung, S. C. Yuan, and even Chang Dai-chien made it their home.
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