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Peasant paintings reflect changing times

07-14-2010 08:46 BJT

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Peasant painting is a unique branch of art born from the vast plains that are home to the bulk of China's farming population. You can see it now at the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou in east China. Over 400 exhibits are there to impress visitors with their bold strokes and strong dashes of color.

These peasant paintings come from twenty-seven provinces and cities, and testify to changing times in the Chinese countryside.

These works of art, with their exaggerated shapes and florid colors, are created by Chinese peasants who have little academic education, and even less in the field of fine arts.

Xu Zhongfang is a fisherman in the outskirts of Zhejiang province. Sometimes,he works in the fields, and takes part-time jobs in the city. Irrelevant as his vocational experience may be, he has never stopped picturing an image in his mind.

Over 400 exhibits are there to impress visitors with their bold strokes and strong dashes of color.
Over 400 exhibits are there to impress visitors with their bold strokes and strong
dashes of color.

Xu Zhongfang said, "My paintings center on my hometown Zhoushan. I feel inspired by the place. Sometimes when I go out fishing and can't come back home, I think about painting. It's a way to release my emotions."

Peasant paintings are original works famous for their rustic charm. Without the professional disciplines, the farmers are able to execute their imagination in a free and less restrained manner. The subject matter comes from ordinary life, with larger-than-life images, and vivid colors. A sense of disproportion also gives the painting an overwhelming visual effect.

Wu Changjiang, Party secretary of China Artists Assoc., said, "The farmers differ from professional painters in every manner. Their work is a brainstorm to those graduating from academic institutions."

A Beijing tour is also planned to spread the art form to more visitors.


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