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Younger Generation Merges Old and New

As traditional Chinese art encounters Western contemporary art, new trends such as "modern calligraphy" and "experimental ink and wash" have emerged.

Gongbi paintings, which mean a "meticulous style," have also had to adapt. The 1,000-year-old art form has traditionally stressed realism, focused on details and therefore fallen out of step with expressionist trends.

Fifteen young artists have come up with their own answers to this dilemma in an exhibition entitled "The Unusual Merge." The show will be held from October 10 to 15 at the International Art Gallery in Wangfujing, downtown Beijing.

"All born in the 1960s and 1970s, these artists had systematic training at Chinese art academies. They are not as revolutionary in their art as the gongbi painters in the 1940s and 1950s, but more natural and individualized," said Yang Weimin, curator of the exhibition.

"Their works combine the traditional and the modern, the Oriental and the Occidental art forms and techniques."

Yang said the artists are improving the status of the gongbi painting, previously on the fringe of the contemporary art world.

(China Daily October 8, 2003)

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