Master Qi Baishi's disciple Guo Xiuyi was born in Shanghai into a family originally from Zhongshan, Guangdong province of China.
In 1934 Guo married Huang Qixiang (Huang Chi-hsiang), a hero of the Chinese Northern Expedition and renowned patriotic general against the Japanese invasion. General Huang Qixiang fought with the American alliance in the war and Guo Xiuyi was with her husband at the front of the battle. Guo was a member of the Standing Committee of the China War Time Children Care Association, which rescued, cared and educated for more than 30,000 orphans of the War.
With a Chinese victory after eight years of hard war, Guo Xiuyi, together with her husband, were recognized for their dedication and outstanding contributions. Each of them were awarded Medals of Victory. Husband Huang Qixiang was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the American President Harry Truman.
After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Guo Xiuyi subsequently served as a Member of the Standing Committee of the National Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and as Honorary Deputy Chairwoman of the Central Consultative and Control Committee of Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party. Guo Xiuyi also served as the Vice President of The Beijing Research Society of Qi Baishi's Artistic Works.
Guo Xiuyi was apprenticed to Master Qi Baishi in 1951 and studied with the Master for six years. Guo bore the master's teachings in mind, devoting all of her energy to diligent study. As a result, she made marvelous progress and gradually brought into full play all of her talent in the art of painting. Master Qi Baishi was overjoyed to see his disciple's success.
Besides concentrating her effort on grasping the quintessence of the Qi School, Guo also learned and integrated the merits of other schools of painting: learning the style of Master Pu Xuezhai for rocks, orchids and bamboo; how to paint flowers and plants from Master Wang Xuetao. Studying and contrasting the styles and methods of the various schools of painting, Guo was able to bring them together in a comprehensive manner for her own use, thus forming her unique style. Everything painted by Guo seems alive on paper: human figures, landscapes, birds, and other animals, fish and shrimp, plants and flowers. All her paintings are true to life, full of vitality, showing inspiration and creativity.
There are 120 paintings in the album, including 66 paintings with inscriptions by Qi Baishi, five paintings with inscriptions by Huang Miaozi, and paintings with inscriptions from Chen Lifu and Zhang Ding. There is one painting co-painted by Guo Xiuyi, He Xiangning, Hu Jieqing, Tong Ruolan, and Guo Feng Hui. There are five paintings of Guo with Pu Xuezhai and six paintings of Guo with Lou Shibai. The painting album collects several precious history photos, including Guo with Qi Baishi, Song Meiling (Soong May-ling), Deng Yingchao, and Hu Jieqing. The album also exhibits Qi Baishi's, Lou Shibai's, and Guo Xiuyi's engraved seals.
While enjoying the paintings in the album, readers may study Master Qi's inscriptions and appreciate the witty humor of the master. In the album readers may also see Master Qi's praise of his students and understand his teaching style.