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In modern times, Chinese ink and brush painting isn't just limited to flowers, birds and landscapes. It can also depict modern life with a realistic perspective. Examples of this style are on show at a new exhibition presented by the National Art Museum of China.
Pen and ink paintings contrast modern life
From idyllic rural scenes, to a fast-paced urban life - This exhibition shows the diversity that Chinese ink and brush painting can present.
Entitled "Urban & Rural", the exhibition includes 220 art works created by 60 painters using the medium of ink and brush painting. An art committee composed of 30 renowned painters and critics selected the painters. The artists represent distinctive approaches and styles in their practice of Chinese painting.
Ma Shulin, deputy director of National Art Museum of China, said, "We choose the theme 'Urban & Rural' with the aim to construct a spiritual homeland to modern-day people. The works we selected reflect the spirit of the era, represent the expressive quality of ink painting, and have a creative edge in some way."
The participating artists range from age 30 to over 70. Cui Zhenkuan, 77, from Xi'an, has practised ink painting for fifty-five years. He has three works selected for the exhibition.
Cui Zhenkuan, an artist, said, "I used to portray rural themes, but these works were done when I received the invitation from the museum. I happened to be in Qinghai, and was quite impressed by the construction sites of the city, so I painted one of the works in that kind of setting. I prefer to use thick ink to portray scenes."
And some featured artists are in their early 30s. Yang Liu, 34, from Shenyang, favors the urban theme. This meters-long canvas depicts the hustle and bustle scene of a subway station during peak time. She thinks the free strokes of ink painting are appropriate to depict the quick-pace urban life.
Yang Liu, an artist, said, "I've been living in the city and am familiar with city scenes and people. When I first came to Beijing, I was deeply impressed by the busy scene of subway. So I drew this painting. I use the grey shade to express my feeling towards the fleeting time. "
The exhibition highlights the creative efforts that Chinese artists have made in their exploration of ink painting. Using all nine halls on the first floor of the museum, the National Art Museum of China aims at providing a visual feast for Spring Festival crowds to enjoy.
It's also the first Spring Festival since the museum implemented its free admission policy. So art lovers can appreciate all these works free of charge during the Chinese Lunar New Year. The exhibition opened on Monday and will run until February the 27th.