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In May 1933, master artist Xu Beihong curated an exhibition of Chinese paintings by prominent artists in Paris, where he studied at the Ecole nationale superieure des beaux-arts more than a decade ago.

Among the featured painters, Xu especially adored Ren Bonian, a 19th-century reformer of traditional Chinese ink art. Xu viewed himself as a committed heir to Ren's vision of modernizing Chinese art.

The Xu Beihong Memorial Hall in Beijing will open an exhibition on Sept 26, showing Ren's paintings that once belonged to Xu that are now in the memorial hall's collection.

The exhibition that runs through Feb 28, 2021, will display the figure paintings and the Chinese flower-and-bird works from Ren's oeuvre, as well as Xu's works on the same subjects, conducting a dialogue between the two artists who never met. Ren died the year Xu was born.