Friday, August 30, 2013

Chung Wun, Portrait Painter

The Sun
(New York)
July 29, 1881

The First of His School to Venture to New York.
A Visit to His Studio—Portraits and Sketches
that Adorn the Walls—Not Appreciated,
He Fled to Gotham, and Going to Leave Us.

Fourth avenue, near, thirty-fourth street, has the distinction of harboring the first Chinese artist who ever plied palette and brush in this city. The representative of Chinese art is quartered upon the second floor of a newly-painted and neatly kept flat. Stained glass panes in the lower sashes of the front windows serve as a pleasing contrast to the plain glass in the windows of the other tenants, and temper the light to the shorn and queued artist within. Under the windows is a modest sign, “Chung Wun. Portrait Painter.” A smaller sign of the same purport is on the outer door of the artist’s rooms. In a little obelisk-like column, on either side of the Roman letters of the inscription are the Chinese equivalent.

(click image to enlarge)

(Next post September 6: Fred Eng in Classic Comics)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Kwei Teng in China

China Institute Bulletin
January 1931
Member of the Soochow Fine Arts Society, Soochow; former art instructor and lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle; fellow of the Harvard-Yenching Institute of of the Royal Society of Arts, London. Subjects: —

Introduction to Chinese Painting
A Comparison of the Arts of the East and the West
The Philosophy of Life and Art of the Chinese Painters
The Technique of Chinese Painting, and other technical subjects (upon request)

China at War
Volume 1, Issue 3, 1938
Harvard Man Runs Refugee Factory
Harvard-trained Chinese sculptor Teng Kwei whose works are permanently exhibited in various American museums has turned factory-manager out of patriotism to his country. He is now in Hankow supervising the work of hundreds of refugees who are making socks, fans, straw sandals, and towels for Chinese soldiers at the front.

Mr. Teng, who some time ago taught art in Yenching University, an American institution in Peiping, envisages in his present work an interesting experiment, which if successfully carried out, will go a long way toward rehabilitating China’s thousands of hapless war refugees.

The project of which Mr. Teng is now in charge and upon which he is expending his entire efforts, comes under the New Life Movement Association of which Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek is the chairman.

The refugee-workers, mainly women and girls in their teens, work in two improvised factories which were once schools. They receive from twenty to thirty cents a day, which, while insignificant in amount, represent their net earnings, as their lodging places and meals are provided for by local charity organs.

According to Mr. Teng’s plan, the experiment will be shortly extended to other cities. In addition to the four articles now being produced, the refugees will be instructed to make under-shirts, gauze and absorbent cotton, all for consumption by the Chinese troops.

Magazine of Art
October 1951
Reminiscence and Reverie by Mark Tobey
...I have just had my first lesson in Chinese brush from my friend and artist Teng Kwei. The tree is no more solid in the earth, breaking into lesser solids in the earth, breaking into lesser solids bathed in chiaroscuro. There is pressure and release. Each movement, like tracks in the snow, is recorded and often loved for itself. The Great Dragon is breathing sky, thunder and shadow; wisdom and spirit vitalized.

Chinese Art and Its Encounter With the World
David Clark
Hong Kong University Press, 2011
When American painter Mark Tobey (1890–1976) discussed his artistic development, he emphasized the importance of his study of Chinese brushwork, undertaken in Seattle with a Chinese friend, in liberating him from bondage to the Renaissance heritage and in permitting him to discover the dynamic linearity that became the hallmark of his style. Referred to variously in English as ‘T’eng Kwei’, ‘Teng Kuei’, ‘Teng-Kroei’, ‘Teng Quay’, or even ‘Kwei Dun’, the artist in question was Teng Gui, known to many in China by his pen name Teng Baiye. This chapter attempts to throw more light on that former Seattle resident, tracing his career following his return to China. By putting together information on Teng from Western and Chinese sources, it is possible to suggest that this artist has a greater historical importance—as both a cultural interpreter and as an artistic practitioner—than he has so far been accorded in either China or America.

(Next post August 30: Chung Wun, Portrait Painter)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kwei Teng Exhibitions in New York

Seattle Daily Times
October 17, 1929
(click images to enlarge)

New York Evening Post
October 19, 1929 

At the Weyhe Gallery finger paintings by Kwei Teng form the current attraction. Writing and painting have always been closely allied in China, in fact, considered identical in early times, because of the ideographic character of Chinese letters. Hence, calligraphy was one of the fine arts, as it still is. But interest in technical accomplishment outstripped that in esthetic content in the later work certain artists of the Northern School (as it did in the parallel development of the Kano School in Japan), so that even painting with finger nails had its vogue because of the technical adroitness requires for its execution. Much of this superficial interest in merely technical means is felt in the paintings of Kwei Teng. Occasionally a personal conception seems especially well served by the swift and casual fluency of the technique, but in general the work makes a negligible impression.

Boston Herald
January 12, 1930
last paragraph

(Tomorrow: Kwei Teng in China)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kwei Dun / Kwei Teng at Harvard

Seattle Daily Times
August 23, 1929

Plain Dealer
(Cleveland, Ohio)
December 9, 1929

Richmond Times Dispatch
December 29, 1929
(click image to enlarge)

Report of the President of Harvard College
and Reports of Departments
Kwei Teng, Fellow of the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
Fine Arts. Fellow of the Harvard- Yenching Institute, in Paris.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kwei Dun a.k.a. Kwei Teng at the Brooklyn Museum

The Rockford Morning Star
May 12, 1929

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
(New York)
May 26, 1929

Group Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings
by American and Foreign Artists
June 1, 1929 through October 1, 1929

Kwei Teng
An unusual group of works are those of Kwei Teng who was born in Soochow, China, 1902. Mr. Teng has applied himself very seriously to the study of painting which included ten years of self-study in Chinese painting and ten years of self-training in the old Chinese art of finger painting, in which technique he has established his own method and style.

He continued his education at the University of Washington, where he majored in painting and sculpture and after graduation lectured on Oriental culture and taught painting to American students.

By his understanding of Oriental and Western education he hopes to be “one of the builders of the bridge between Western and Eastern civilizations”.

His painting is in the pure Chinese manner but he is fully aware of the accomplishment and aims of the art of the West. Teng has exhibited in his native city in San Francisco, Rockford, Ill., and Seattle Wash. One of his bas-reliefs is permanently installed in the College of Mines Building, University of Washington.

The New York Times
June 9, 1929
...There are Chinese paintings by Kwei Teng—“in the Old Manner”—yet with surplusage eloquent of the number of things unloaded by the Western world upon Chinese reticence....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kwei Dun Exhibition in San Francisco

Oakland Tribune
June 24, 1928

The San Mateo Times and Daily News Leader
June 26, 1928

The Argus
July/August 1928
column three, next to last paragraph
(click images to enlarge)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kwei Dun in Seattle Passenger List

Name: Kwei Dun
Gender: Male, Single
Age: 23
Calling or Occupation: Student
Language: English, Chinese
Race/Nationality: Chinese
Last Residence: Shanghai, China
Name and complete address of nearest relative
or friend in country whence alien came:
Dun Tsun, Nan Kao Chiao, Pootung, Shanghai

Purpose of coming to United States:
To study at the University of Washington,
Seattle, Washington
Length of stay: 2 Yrs
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Complexion: Yel
Hair: Blk
Eyes: Brn
Birthplace: Pootung, Shanghai, China

Ship Name: President Jackson
Port of Departure: Shanghai, China
Departure Date: December 9, 1924
Port of Arrival: Seattle, Washington
Arrival Date: December 23, 1924
(click images to enlarge)

Seattle Daily Times
December 25, 1924

January 23, 1925
To Demonstrate Finger Painting.
Members of the Commonwealth Club at their meeting next Monday evening will be entertained by B. Dun, Chinese finger artist. Mr. Dun will give an illustrated talk and demonstration of his finger painting art. The club meets at Meves Cafeteria at 6 p.m.

March 1, 1925
His English name was Benjamin.

March 6, 1925
Vaudeville to Be Presented by Church Organization.
In the auditorium of the Women’s University Club tomorrow evening the Pep Class of the First Baptist Church will present a vaudeville program, with Salvatore Santaella, pianist and orchestra director, and Mr. K.K. Dun, Chinese finger artist, as the main attractions. The program will open at 8:15 o’clock.

Seattle City Directory 1926
(second column)
Name: Kwei Dunn
Street Address: 4546 15th av NE
Occupation: Student

August 22, 1927

May 18, 1928
Artist Mark Tobey is mentioned.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sun Yow Pang in Tampa, Florida

Tampa Tribune
January 19, 1930
(click image to enlarge)

February 11, 1930

March 2, 1930

March 16, 1930

(Next post August 16: Kwei Dun in Seattle)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sun Yow Pang’s The Red Cord

The Red Cord
Thomas Grant Springer
Brentano’s, 1925
Illustrations by S.Y. Pang
(click images to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sun Yow Pang in Everyland Magazine

March 1914
“The Completion of the Moon”
(click images to enlarge)

“My Experiences in America”

“The Colored Glasses”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sun Yow Pang in The Forum

The Forum
January 1902
“The Chinese in America’
(click images to enlarge)

The Sun
(New York)
December 30, 1901
“The Chinaman in This
Country as He Actually Is.”