Paintings offer a glimpse into Chinese artists’ view of life

03:07

The Chinese capital Beijing now hosts a calligraphy and painting exhibition centered around the theme of Chinese painter Liu Wanming’s love for life and nature, featuring more than 100 works of art by the artist.

These pieces that make up the exhibition, both large-scale paintings and smaller sketches, mainly portray flowers, birds and land animals. They embody the artist’s meticulous observation and depiction of the natural world.

The flower-and-bird genre is one of the three main categories in Chinese ink painting. Such works are often well received by the public for the vivid scenes they portray filled with different animals and flowers in different palettes. Many of these paintings in the exhibition are also welcomed by industry experts. One of the most popular works, “Light Rain Washes the Forest and Birds Chirp in an Icy Breeze,” perfectly captures the barren landscapes as lovebirds perch on wintry grasshoppers in northern China.

Liu Wanming’s work titled “Light rain washes the forest and birds chirp in an icy breeze” is now on display in Beijing. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Liu Wanming’s work titled “Light rain washes the forest and birds chirp in an icy breeze” is now on display in Beijing. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Liu has studied the traditional art of Chinese painting in depth in recent decades, and has formed a solid foundation of skills and a unique style. By portraying figures, landscapes, flowers and birds, he expresses the harmony between man and nature in artistic terms. His works have an elegant and fresh style, emphasizing the importance of preserving traditions, while also experimenting with innovative blooms to enrich the country’s cultural output.

Liu Wanming’s paintings. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Liu Wanming’s paintings. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Many of Liu’s paintings are inspired by everyday life and scenes from nature, but they artfully convey a sense of poetic serenity. Most of the works in the exhibition were created during or after Liu’s visits to ordinary people living in urban and rural areas, as he absorbed the local cultures and bonded with the people he met there. The artist believes that one’s life experiences are the best source of inspiration for any creative output worth its salt.

Sketches of figures by Liu Wanming during his trip to Inner Mongolia in 2018. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Sketches of figures by Liu Wanming during his trip to Inner Mongolia in 2018. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

Liu says that life experience is the source and foundation of an artist’s creative output. He sees the two as inseparable. “Only when you join the grassroots and connect with the locals can the works you create have feelings and touch the audience. When people see your works, they will empathize with them. They provide a kind of emotional nourishment and aesthetic pleasure,” said Liu.

File photos by Chinese artist Liu Wanming. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

File photos by Chinese artist Liu Wanming. /Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum

The exhibition is on view at the Painting and Calligraphy Channel Art Museum in Beijing until July 15.

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