Putting Through Western Poem in Chinese Painting

"Black coffins line silently on the float bridge spanning across the dark blue lake, reflecting faint moonlight..."

A Chinese painting describes the well-known Australian anti-Vietnamese War poem titled "Going Back Home." Those Australians who have seen the painting believe the painter, Wang Tao, 58, did an excellent job in making the words come to life through his painting.

The painting displays a sense of pity for the soldiers who fought and died fighting in Vietnam.

A professional painter in Anqing, east China's Anhui province, Wang always believed that there were certain similarities and links between Chinese painting and western poems, but never had been able to foresee his later success in interpreting western poems through Chinese paintings.

The Australian embassy recently held a show in Shanghai and Beijing displaying Wang's 51 paintings which represent the literary works of 43 Australian poets.

Another show displayed paintings interpreting 53 poems by 34 poets in New Zealand, later held in Wellington, also evoked much surprise and applause.

A New Zealand poet said with surprise that "Wang understood so deeply about the theme of my poem," and concluded that "it is the magic of Chinese painting that works."

Wang, surprised and encouraged by his initiative, continued to interpret through paintings poems from Japan, Germany, and the United States.

"It's my lifetime pursuit to bridge the gap between the Oriental and Western culture," he said.

(Xinhua 11/19/2000)

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