Let me begin by explaining how it was that I came to write this book. Forty or fifty years ago reproductions of Western paintings began to filter into China. At the outset, for one reason or another, we Chinese found them very difficult to appreciate, or even to understand. Most of us were not very familiar with the religion and cultural bases of the West, and so the real significance of the subject-matter escaped us. About the same time, photographs of Western life and scenes were introduced into our country. Up till then our ideas on these things had been hazy and unsubstantial. Now, from a selection of photographs and works of art, we hoped to draw up a picture of life as it went on outside the borders of Asia. Naturally there were misconceptions. Since those days, communications have gradually opened up, and we ourselves have travelled into Europe and America to learn the theories, thought, literature, art, ideals of those great continents, and we have carried back our gleanings to China. Eventually, besides familiarising themselves with the artistic theories of the West, our painters 2learnt themselves to paint in your way, adopting your instruments and methods. Nowadays it is not uncommon to see Exhibitions in our chief cities of what are termed “New School” and “Western” paintings, executed by our own artists.