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Chinese Man Uses Tongue to Paint

A reclusive Chinese painter stunned audiences with paintings made with his tongue, according to Chengdu Evening News.

Wang Yide, aged about 50, lives in a small town in Jianyan city, southwest China. He runs a small photo shop and goes fishing with his father in leisure time.

Wang agreed to do two paintings upon the request of the reporter. Prior to his work, Wang drank a little liquor, which he claimed was a tradition in tongue painting.

With the ink made ready, the painter dipped his tongue in it and brushed a few black spots on the paper, which were unrecognizable initially but turned out to be a lotus, a favorite subject in traditional Chinese paintings.

He was somewhat embarrassed when he slurped and drooled ink during his painting.

For the second painting, of a laughing Buddha, Wang used his finger to draw a sketch first and colored it up with pigment using the tongue.

Wang learned the skill from his master, who was a student of Huang Ernan, said to be the inventor of tongue painting in the early last century, according to Wang. As far as he knew, no others could do tongue painting since his master died by the end of the last century, Wang said.

Wang warned against imitating his tongue painting without proper guidance, as the tongue came in contact with ink and pigment that could be poisonous. He said tongue painting was unable to do delicate lines and its subjects were therefore limited. These limitations identify it just a "minor skill" in traditional Chinese painting, Wang added.

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2005)

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