Lifelong friendship between teacher and students marked at Beijing exhibition

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Dozens of ink-color paintings by Qi Baishi and two of his most accomplished disciples Wang Xuetao and Yu Fei'an are now on display at the Beijing Fine Art Academy. [Photo/VCG]

Qi Baishi, a prominent Chinese artist of the 20th century, once said, "Painting is a course of loneliness."

He valued people with whom he could enjoy exchanges on art and life, and made some lifelong friends. He taught his students art techniques and cultivated them in terms of cultural accumulation and morality, and advised them on their career paths.

Qi set a good example of maintaining such relations with Wang Xuetao and Yu Fei'an, two of his most accomplished disciples.

Dozens of ink-color paintings by the trio are now on display at the Beijing Fine Art Academy, where they all once worked as resident painters. It's a celebration of their closeness and mutual understanding, as well as their contribution to the flower-and-bird genre of classic Chinese painting.

Of all his works, Qi is most popular for his depictions of plants, flowers and small animals, which reflect his open outlook on the world. Qi emphasized studies of ancient artists and learning from different living things that was inherited by his two students but with different approaches.

Wang is known as a master of the gongbi technique characterized by precise delimitation and vibrant colors. Yu was dedicated to reviving the temperament of grace and serenity of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) paintings.

The exhibition runs through to Sept 18.

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