Zheng Jin, a famous artist and art educator, was appointed as the first Principal of the Beijing Art School in 1918 and an important pioneer of modern Chinese art education.
Art Chronology of Zheng Jin
1883 On the 21st day of the first lunar month, he was born in Sanxiang Yongmo village, Xiangshan, Guangdong (now Zhongshan). His father was Yu Chigong who good at painting.
1888 He studied at a village school.
1897 He followed his sister to move from Xiangshan to Yokohama, Japan and entered Datong School. He went after Liang Qichao, Lin Huiru, Zhong Zuojing and Zhang Yutao and had traveled for three years.
1901 He graduated from middle school.
1902 He went to Tokyo to study Western painting.
1907 He enrolled at the Kyoto City University of Arts to learn painting skills.
1910 On the 14th day of the second lunar month, he married Bao Guie in Yokohama, Japan.
1911 He graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts, specializing in Japanese Painting. Then he went to study at Kyoto City Art School and learned landscape painting with Yamamoto Shunkyo. He lived with Chen Shuren and Bao Shaoyou in Kyoto.
1913 His work “Grace” was selected in the 7th Art Exhibition of Japanese Ministry of Education. He first met Gao Jianfu and Gao Qifeng.
1914 His work “Waiting for Dawn” was displayed at the Tokyo Taisho Exhibition. He graduated from Kyoto City Art School. His graduation work “Parrot” (also known as “Leisure”) was purchased and collected by the school. After returning to China, he lived in Gongmenkou, Xizhimen in Beijing.
Zheng Jin, Self-portrait, about 1915, Oil painting
Zheng Jin and his family in Gongmenkou
1915 He went to Tianjin to visit Liang Qichao, and Liang Qichao wrote an article “Introduction of Works by Zheng Jin” for Zheng Jin. He brought the article to visit Zhang Yilin. He taught graphic design in Beijing Higher Normal School.
1917 He organized and established an art school under the order of the Ministry of Education and started to recruit students in 1918. He was appointed as Director of Beijing Art School by the Ministry of Education.
The main entrance of the auditorium of the Beijing Art School
1918 On April 15, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Art School was held in the Qianjingjidao, Xicheng, and then Chief Education Minister Fu Zengxiang, Vice-minister Yuan Xitao, Cai Yuan Pei, President of Peking University, and headmasters of other national institutions of higher education in Beijing as well as many guests attended the ceremony. At the same year, the Ministry of Education approved the establishment of the higher education department and higher normal department in Beijing Art School.
1919 He served as the tutor of the “Painting Research Association” of Peking University and taught watercolor.
1920 With Chen Shizeng, Xiao Junxian, Wang Mengbai, Yao Hua, Wu Ling and other teachers of Western painting, he organized “Huayin Art Association” and created “Magnolia and Peacock”.
A group photo of “Chinese Art Association”, including Chen Shizeng (the second from left), Zheng Jin (the first from right), etc.
1922 The Ministry of Education appointed Zheng Jin as the Principal of Beijing Art School and issued the school seal. On November 10, the school held a special school celebration, in which then Chief Education Minister Tang Erhe, Vice-minister Cai Yuanpei, and principals of other seven national institutions as well as many guests were present.
1923 He cooperated with Gao Shuda, and painted illustrations for a set of four copies of “Thousand Characters for a Civilian Class” of the “China Civilian Education Promotion Association”.
1924 He resigned as Principal of Beijing Art School.
1927 With an invitation from Yan Yangchu, Zheng Jin was employed by “China Civilian Education Promotion Association” to host the “Intuitive Audiovisual Education Department”. He moved to the countryside, Ding county, Hebei province to promote the civilian education movement. The Ministry of Education of Beiyang government changed the name of “Beijing Art School” into “National Art School”.
Zheng Jin’s residence outside Ding county, Hebei province
A corner of Zheng Jin’s house in Ding county, Hebei province
1928 His work Civilian Education and Civilian Art was published by Shanghai Commercial Press.
1936 He was invited by Sun Zhesheng, Wu Tiecheng, Yang Ziyi from the Guangdong Provincial Government, to return to his hometown in Zhongshan county, and became the president for the “Rural Construction Committee of Zhongshan County”.
1937 The Anti-Japanese War broke out, and he arranged his family to return to his hometown from Beijing. He created “Eagles Fighting”.
1940 He took refuge in Bao Shaoyou’s home in Baishi village, Zhongshan county. After the fall of Zhongshan, he moved to Macao and lived at Gaoshide road. He created “Hoofbeat in the Forest” and “Strong Wind in the Green”.
Zheng Jin in Hong Kong, 1941
Zheng Jin and Zhao Shaoang, 1941
A group photo of Zheng Jin, Bao Shaoyou and others, 1941
1941 “Zheng Jiongchang’s Painting Exhibition” was held in No.32, Avenida do Ouvidor Arriaga, in Macao. “Zheng Jiongchang’s Charity Exhibition” was opened at Macao Chamber of Commerce. He created “Washing” and “Picking Chrysanthemums under the Eastern Fence”.
1943 In Winter, he began to collect pictures of horses for the creation of “Spring Returning to the Earth”.
1944 He moved to Zheng Huixi House, near Puji Temple to paint, and because the picture was too large, he returned to Ren Xinan’s place in Erlonghou to frame “Spring Returning to the Earth”.
1945 “Zheng Jiongchang Exhibition” was held at Macao Rio Hotel. He created “Peach-blossom Face”, “Bouncy Deers in Spring”, “The Old Tree Greeting the Spring”, “Swan on Autumn Water”, “Spring in the Southern Area”. He moved to Qingzhou.
1946 After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, he returned to Zhongshan and served as head of Sanzhou township and principal of Central National School.
1948 He resigned as head of the township and painted at home.
1949 He resigned as principal of Central National School.
1952 He was issued with a Macao identity card and signed as Zheng Yunquan.
1955 He created “Beautiful Peacocks in the Pine Forest”.
1956 He participated in “Macao Art Research Association”.
1957 He painted “White Chicken in Spring Garden”, “Comb of Meleagrididae”, etc.
1958 He made “Contending in Beauty”, “Two Cranes in the Morning”, “Stop Playing Music in the Pavilion”, “Two Standing Kings”, “Beautiful Peacocks in Autumn Garden”, “Swimming Fishes and Singing Birds”, “Picking Lychee”, etc.
Exhibition site of Zheng Jin’ final works after his death. From left to right: Luo Xiandu, Luo Deji, Madame Bao, Zheng Meicheng, Huo Baocai, Bao Shaoyou, Fang Shouhong, Miss Bao, Miss Bao, Bao Huixian.
1959 On March 28, he died in Macao Jinghu Hospital. On June 15, an exhibition of Zheng Jiongchang’s works was held at St. John Church in Hong Kong.
1997 His third daughter Zheng Meicheng donated his father’s collection of famous paintings and calligraphy, a total of 13 pieces, to the Taipei Palace Museum.
2001 The Department of Culture and Sports of Macao Provisional Municipal Council organized “A Memory Exhibition of Zheng Jiongchang” in Macao.
Excerpt from: Chen Jichun, Zheng Jin Art Research