China’s Cezanne

October 15, 2012

If our brains work, we all live and learn daily.

This morning I awoke to discover two books printed in Mandarin, not English, that had been tossed on the floor. It seems my wife read both books in one night and didn’t get much sleep. She reads much faster in Mandarin than in English and can polish off books as if she were eating cookies.

When I asked about the two books, it turned out that one of the books was the biography of Wu Guanzhong (1919 – 2010), the father of Chinese Expressionism. This was the first I’d heard of him.

I learned he is considered the Chinese Cezanne. In fact, he is one of the fathers of expressionism.

Wu was born in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. He was a graduate of the National Art College in 1942, and then studied oil painting in Paris from 1947-1950.

When Wu returned to China in 1950, he taught Western art to his students at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing to 1953. He then taught art at Tsinghua University in Beijing 1953 – 1964.

Due to criticism that Wu had been influenced by Western Bourgeois ideas, in 1966, during the beginning of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Wu was told he could not paint or write about art. To avoid persecution and possibly execution by the rampaging teenage Red Guard, he burned many of his paintings.

In 1970, he was separated from his wife and spent three years working at hard labor in the countryside as part of Mao’s re-education program.

After Mao died in 1976 with China now led by Deng Xiaoping, Wu was allowed to paint again. He had his first professional solo exhibition in 1979, and succeed as a professional artist in the 1980s.

His painting of Shakespeare’s hometown was listed to sell for
RMB: 2 million ($US 318,878) – 2.5 million ($US 398,597).

During his life as an art teacher and a professional artist, his goal was to introduce French modernism to the Chinese world of art while preserving China’s cultural identity.

Wu combined his French training and Chinese background to develop a semiabstract style to depict scenes from the Chinese landscape. Before he died, Wu had solo exhibitions in major art galleries and museums around the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Korea, England and the US.

In 1992, Wu was honored by the French Ministry of Culture. He died at age 90. You may see a sample of his art from the embedded video.

Discover Silence to Beauty


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Power from Hydrogen – Will it be the fuel of the future?

November 9, 2011

Most China watchers know China’s central government plans years ahead, which is why empty cities are being built across China to be ready and waiting when hundreds of millions more rural Chinese migrate to urban China where higher-paying jobs in addition to a better, more modern lifestyle may be found.

In addition, when China decides to move, it moves fast, which is witnessed by China leading the world in solar and wind generated energy manufacturing. China also has about half the world’s hydroelectric power plants and is building safer Thorium and uranium pebble-bed reactors besides replacing old-coal burning power plants with new, modern facilities that reduce carbon emissions dramatically. I wrote about this in Doing Mankind a Favor.

1958 film of the test fuel-cell tractor designed and tested by Allis-Chalmers

In 2001, we saw the beginning of the evolution of hydrogen fuel use in China when the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) announced it intends to make China globally competitive in the field of hydrogen technology.

In 2004, The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (iphe) said, “Promoted and funded by China MOST and Beijing Municipal Government, the construction of Beijing Hydrogen Park was initiated.”

By 2005, Tongji University and SFCV had successfully developed three generations of fuel cell power train-system platforms and 13 prototype fuel cell passenger cars.

December 2007, the Science Channel reports on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell electric bike

Then in 2006, reported, China opened its first hydrogen fueling station, which was operated in a joint venture with British Petroleum (BP). The Chinese partner, SinoHytec, is an enterprise linked to Tsinghua University—which is considered the MIT of China.

In addition, in 2006, three Daimler-Chrysler made fuel cell buses went into trial operation in Beijing and five vehicles made by Tsinghua University were tested.

In 2007, the Anting Hydrogen Refueling Station was co-built by Tongji University, Shanghai Aerospace Energy Co., and Shanghai Sunwise Energy System Co. and the station will be used as part of the Global Environment Facility/United Nations Development Programme Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration Program Phase II.

February 2010, CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout talks to Taras Wankewycz about a new hydrogen fuel cell refueling station for the home.

In 2008, twenty Lingyu fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) were successfully demonstrated at the Beijing Olympic Games.

In 2010, a fleet of more than 50 hydrogen fuel cell shuttle vehicles transported athletes and government officials at the Asian Games and Asian Para Games in Guangzhou City, China.

In fact, May 2011, reported America’s first pipeline-fed, retail hydrogen fueling station opened in Torrance, California, within Los Angeles to provide hydrogen for fuel cell and hybrid vehicles in the area.

A handful of hydrogen fuel cell black cabs have already hit the streets in London. Hydrogen fuel cell forklifts are already widely available, and used in warehouse fleets from Wal-Mart to Whole Foods. Fuel cell cars — promised by manufacturers including Toyota, Daimler, GM, Honda, and Hyundai — not slated for mass-market availability until 2015, though.

April 2011, China welcomes the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell World Drive

Supergen Fuel Cells Consortium says by 2015, production from top automakers will likely reach just under 58,000 units in that year and accelerate rapidly from there. Early sales will be focused on areas where infrastructure investments have been or are being made, such as the United States (primarily California and the New York City region); Germany; Scandinavia; Japan (mainly Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka); South Korea (primarily around Seoul); and Shanghai, China.

According to a report from Pike Research, more than 5,200 hydrogen-fueling stations will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 in 2010, and estimates the market for fuel-cell technology in the Asia-Pacific region will reach $6.7 billion by 2017. Japan, South Korea and China are quickly becoming leaders in the fuel cell industry through their investments in and adoption of the technology.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Doing Mankind a Favor – Part 1/2

August 23, 2011

Recently, I learned something new from a comment left by Xiaohu Liu for a post called China’s Goals for going Green.

Liu wrote, “More likely China will go more nuclear before it goes green … (there are) two types of nuclear technology that could revolutionized the world as much as the steam power or petrol power did in the 19th and 20th century.”

Until Liu left that comment, I was unaware of the types of nuclear power China is developing.

The (UK) Telegraph says, “Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium.”

I discovered the Chinese are investing millions in research into reactors powered by thorium, a metal, supporters say, that is as common as lead (which means it would be cheap and easy to find), and one, which, despite some concerns, would lead to power plants with fewer safety issues as well as other benefits.

“Thorium-based reactors certainly have advantages,” says Wang Kan, leader of the Tsinghua University Thorium Research Team. “The energy release from Thorium is greater than from Uranium, the by-products from using Thorium are less toxic than from Uranium, and it’s much harder to make weapons from those by-products.”

However, China was not the first nation to research the use of Thorium. In the late 1940s, US physicists were exploring the use of thorium as fuel to generate power but dangerous and dirty uranium won since the US and the USSR were fighting the Cold War and building thousands of nuclear weapons.

Continued on August 24, 2011 in Doing Mankind a Favor – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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High-Tech Entrepreneurs Thrive in China

January 22, 2011

This post is taken from China’s 360 Series and is about Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, which is located in Beijing’s Haidian District and was first developed in the late 1990s.

Here are a few pictures of the concrete, glass and steel canyons of Zhongguancun taken by Steve Hsu, a professor of physics at the University of Oregon.

Prior to this post, I’ve read several times in the Western media that China doesn’t have a chance to match California’s Silicon Valley because China lacks freedom. This is simplistic thinking.

The Chinese have every economic freedom that many Americans do except two — total freedom of religion and limited political expression if it is considered a threat to the central government and the stability of China’s economic progress.

It isn’t as if these few limits to freedom are a secret since they are part of China’s Constitution, which is taught in the public schools.

Other than that, since money and freedom are linked, the growing Chinese middle class has as much freedom to live the same consumer lifestyle many Americans do.

In fact, a 2010 survey by the California Voter Foundation found that 51 percent of nonvoters (in the US) grew up in families that did not often discuss political issues and candidates.

This is evidence that total freedom of religion and/or political expression is not necessary for entrepreneurial innovation to improve lifestyles and consumer freedom.

If you still doubt that China can compete with America, I remind you of the recent PISA results where China’s Shanghai teens earned first place in every category tested while the US ranked 23rd of about 65 nations tested.

Time magazine reported, “Chinese classrooms have more students, but teachers make more money than in the United States and there is a huge emphasis on problem-solving skills.”

This 2008 video takes us to a lab in Tsinghua University in Beijing where students are discussing solar technology.

Ye Yuming, an award-winning student at Tsinghua University said, “China lags behind other countries in the solar power industry. The solar PV will help us improve and break the monopoly held by foreign businesses. The solar PV has great market potential, especially in China. The market size is huge.”

What Ye Yuming said was true at the time but two years after he made that statement, China became the world’s largest solar power manufacturer.

Feng Jun, a Chinese entrepreneur, set up one of China’s first private high-tech companies. Today he is president of AIGO. He says, “1992 was the year the real reform of China began.” By 2008, AIGO was one of the top ten camera manufacturers in China. He says that 20% of profits go to profit sharing and the other 80% goes into research and development.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Investing BIG in Education

April 21, 2010

China is making HUGE investments in education. In 1998, then-President Jiang Zemin called for a massive increase in enrollment in higher education. Since then, high school and college enrollments in China grew. Source: FP-Foreign Policy, April 14, 2010

Tsinghua University's east gate

In China, more than thirty percent graduate with degrees in engineering or technology. In the United States, only five percent of university students graduate in these fields, while U.S. universities produce more psychologists.

That is why President Obama has encouraged American students to study science. Source: White House

What’s going to happen if American students do not start working hard to become engineers and scientists?

Tsinghua University

In 2040, the Chinese economy will reach $123 trillion, or nearly three times the economic output of the entire globe in 2000.  It’s a fact that people with an education in engineering and science earn more and are more productive.  China and India combined are turning out more than 600,000 engineers a year—ten times that of the United States. Source: Rocketry Planet

To see the results of this push in education, discover Adding to Honor in One Lunar Leap


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.