Early this year on Jan 4th, 2020, a team of scholars led by Professor Tansen Sen, Director of the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai visited Pondicherry to study the paintings of Chinese artist, Professor XuFancheng. The group, which also included two Chinese scholars, spent few days examining a collection of Professor Xu’s work, which is housed at the Sri Aurobindo ashram studio.
The visit was organized by “Pondicherry India-China friendship association” as part of a larger effort to promote cultural exchange between India and China, and to increase awareness of the work of Chinese artist Prof. Xu Fancheng in India. Professor Sen, who is an expert on Chinese art and culture, was excited to have the opportunity to study the paintings of Professor Xu, who is considered to be the modern-day Xuan Zang.
The team spent few days at the studio, carefully analyzing the paintings and discussing their meaning and significance with the studio’s curators. They also had the opportunity to see the original paintings and a few letters from Prof. Xu from the Ashram archives.
The visit was a great success, with the team praising the quality of the paintings and the helpfulness of the ashram staff. Professor Sen noted that the trip was an “amazing opportunity” to study the work of a truly great artist, and that it had greatly enhanced his understanding of Chinese art and culture.
Professor Sen also noted that the paper used was from China and that the paintings were deteriorating due to fogging and age, requiring urgent expert curation.Overall, the visit of Prof. Tansen Sen and 2 Chinese scholars to Pondicherry to study the paintings of Professor Xu Fancheng was a great success. It not only promotes the cultural exchange between India and China but also highlights the importance of contemporary Chinese artists and their works.