Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database


About the item

CUI RUZHOU (BORN 1944)\nFinger Paintings of Landscape Album\nA set of 100 loose leaves, ink and colour on paper\n48 x 36.5 cm. (18 7/8 x 14 3/8 in.)\n20th Century




A set of 100 loose leaves, ink and colour on paper


Cui Ruzuo's Finger Paintings of Landscape Album

-by Zhu Liangzhi

Finger Paintings of Landscape Album was created by contemporary chinese artist Cui Ruzuo's. Each page filled with unique visions of landscape, each one different and each representing the world through a fusion of reality and the artist's imagination.

As much as this work stands as a tour de force for the artist, it is also representative of Cui's contribution to the overall Chinese modern painting genre. Finger painting was a unique mode of sketching and painting in traditional Chinese painting, and appeared around the time of ink painting in the Tang Dynasty, gaining momentum and continually developing until the Qing dynasty and later, employed by other modern artists such as Pan Tianshou. Having studied ink painting for over fifty years, Cui concentrated on finger painting in the last five years - having fifty odd years in the foundation of ink painting under his belt, Cui's deployment of ink and assuredness in the application of water allowed him to use the same technique in handling the difficulties of finger painting, thus creating a new platform for Cui to experiment and challenge himself with. These hundred pages of landscape by finger painting is the result of his hard work. The use of brush is common and dictates a certain generic function, yet the use of fingers is unique and also allows for much change. By releasing the constraints of the brush and turning to the use of fingers, Cui heeds to the need for change and transformation - though different, Cui never departs from connecting to the heart of traditional Chinese painting, absorbing thousands of years of tradition to inspire his new direction. Using the different parts of his fingers, Cui manages to express the ebbs and flows of rivers, the grandeur of mountains, the unruliness of forests, all the while maintaining the distinctive use of fingers for a cacophony of shapes. Cui fully utilizes the narrowness of his little finger to create jagged, abrupt strokes, while he employs the roundness of his thumb to infuse the paper with ink and moisture.

Though the fingers cannot fully represent the variations of a brush, it does not lack the sharpness the brush can achieve. Many of the paintings within this collection see Cui using the edges of his fingers to carefully create ridges and cliffs, delicate flowers and blossoming trees. To a certain extent, the success of his finger painting lies in the fact many viewers don't recognize, or forget, that all these hundred paintings were created without the use of a brush! Cui manages to create painting after painting of individualistic landscapes, from spring to winter, snow to rain, sunny warm to blistering cold days, from small cottages to magnificent mountains, layers of clouds stacked above seasK for all that he creates, each highlights Cui's distinctive artistic style, his limitless imagination and ability to create a continuous narrative amongst a hundred landscapes. Cui borrows the lines from famous poet Du Fu in one of his pieces Qing Jiang, to express his free spirit. Though his pieces are simply composed, it is imbued with deep meaning and the symbolism is rich with his love towards his family and homeland.

Finger painting goes back to the roots and allows the artist to 'feel' their creation, to connect one's heart with their mind, translating it into their fingers and expressing it onto paper. The connectedness this art form is able to achieve reinforces the idea that the artist can truly create their world and not be held back by anything. Finger painting adheres to the zen notion and chinese philosophy of direct thought and accuracy of expression. Cui harkens back to this basic mode of expressionism and awakens the viewers with a transformed type of finger painting, introducing us to a world of limitless imagination and closeness with nature.


20th Century, Paintings, ink, paper, China, Modern, figures, flowers & plants, landscape




48 x 36.5 cm. (18 7/8 x 14 3/8 in.)


Cui Ruzhou, Finger Paintings of Landscape Album, Rongbao Zhai Publishing, 2011

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.