Plum Blossoms was painted in 1973. At the time, Wu Guanzhong had just returned from to Beijing from Li Village. The universities were closed, so Wu, unhindered by teaching responsibilities, travelled to the outskirts of Beijing in order to paint from life.
Plum Blossoms reflects the artist's state of complete creative absorption at the time of its creation. Its dominant colour is a resplendent, eye-catching pink. The picture plane presents a plum tree in full bloom, its trunk strong and sturdy, its branches proudly stretching toward the sky like golden threads and iron wires. Their delicate fragrance attracts circling butterflies, symbolizing the end of winter and the arrival of spring: the renewal of the myriad things. The effect, in addition to being visually pleasing, delivers a message of inspiration straight into the viewer's heart.