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Chinese fine arts flourishing in Beijing

10-08-2012 15:26 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent Julian Waghann

Chinese fine arts have long been fascinating to many all over the world. In China nowadays they are not only embodiments of sublime skill and deep philosophical thought, but also a form of recreation for the average Chinese.

Every weekend, enthusiasts of Chinese fine arts gather at the Sinology learning center on Guangwai street in Beijing.

During the gathering, I couldn’t help being captivated by the heated discussion fueled by their passion for the art.

What also caught my eye was the decoration of the entire center, everything from books, to paintings and even furniture. Everything about it is rooted in tradition.

On that thought, I feel compelled to join and get a taste of this ancient heritage.

Julian Waghann said, "Well I’m trying to start from the basics here, so I’m going to get a few tips from Mr. Wang here."

Mr. Wang is the teacher and senior artist at the center. He has been painting since he was 16 years old and is now an enthusiastic volunteer with a dual goal in mind.

Wang Yongzhi, a teacher, said, "First of all, we ’re here simply because its fun learning together. We help each other out and improve our skills together. Second, we believe by learning and teaching here, we are actually serving a larger purpose of passing on our heritage. I’m proud of my students, they say they are here to have fun but when they actually start learning and painting, you know they’ve got passion, you know that they mean business."

Yin Baoxiang, a pupil, said, "This class has been going on for 5 years, and it greatly enriched my life. I’ve actually been wanting to paint since I was a boy. Chinese fine arts is my passion."

Some of Mr Wang’s pupils here are already teaching others.

Wang Jixiang, a pupil, said, "I’ve only been here for a year, and now I’m encouraging my granddaughter to learn painting. I think I’m helping her improve, while improving myself under the scrupulous instruction of Mr Wang. He really gave us more discipline. "

But Mr.Wang is not a pure traditionalist. He’s also very open to adopting western techniques in his paintings to create one of a kind works.

Wang Yongzhi said, "Sometimes we use techniques alien to traditional methods to bring more sense of dimensions to our paintings. A few dabs of ink does have some depth, but very often its not enough. For example, I did some sketching on this work to give the building more depth. "

The learning center is also well-known for its expertise in calligraphy. In fact it has just held a calligraphy contest. We were lucky enough to see up close the diverse forms of calligraphy works. So of them even had the audacity to imitate the works of Wang Xizhi, a calligrapher from more than 1500 years ago, who is hailed as perhaps the greatest calligrapher of all time.

Julian Waghann said, "These are the works. Chinese fine arts will live on for a very long time."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CCTV.com

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