Kuiyi SHEN

Wang Yiting was a businessman, painter, patron, and devout Buddhist who helped found numerous art societies throughout Shanghai and was active in the relief efforts of a disastrous 1923 earthquake in Japan.

Wang Yiting was born in Shanghai and began work as an apprentice in a picture-mounting shop, later becoming a comprador (intermediary) for a Japanese company. He was successful in his business career and served as chairman of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce.

Wang Yiting was also a generous supporter of artists and helped to found many art societies in Shanghai. He was proficient in painting historical figures, folk legends, birds with flowers, animals, and landscapes and was renowned for his Buddhist figures and dragons.

In addition to his skill and participation in China’s artistic scene, Wang Yiting also volunteered his services when an earthquake on 1 September 1923 struck the region of Kanto on the Japanese island of Honshu and devastated the city of Tokyo. Leading a relief effort that involved shipping much needed materials and organizing Buddhist prayer services, Wang was a huge asset to the Japanese during the tragic event and strengthened his connections with Japan.

In later life Wang became a devout Buddhist and once was president of the Chinese Buddhist Association.

Further Reading

Andrews, J., Brown, C., Fraser, D., & Shen Kuiyi. (2000). Between the thunder and the rain: Chinese paintings from the Opium War through the Cultural Revolution, 1840-1979. San Francisco: Echo Rock Ventures and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Katz, P. R. (n. d.). The Religious Life of a Renowned Shanghai Businessman and Philanthropist, Wang Yiting Abstract retrieved February 9, 2009, from http://www.mh.sinica.edu.tw/k/urban_history/conference/pdf/abstract09.pdf

Tsao Hsing-yuan. (1998). A forgotten celebrity: Wang Zhen (1867-1938), businessman, philanthropist, and artist. In Ju-hsi Chou (Ed.), Art at the close of China’s empire (pp. 94–109). Phoenix, AZ: Phoebus Occasional Papers in Art History.

Source: Shen, Kuiyi. (2009). WANG Yiting. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 2415–2415. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.

WANG Yiting (Wáng Yītíng 王一亭)|Wáng Yītíng 王一亭 (WANG Yiting)

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