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Chinese Painting
Chinese Painting
Chinese Painting
China Information - China Folk Culture and Art
Chinese Painting

Chinese Painting

Chinese traditional painting dated back to the Neolithic Period about eight thousand years ago. The colored pottery with painted animals, fish,
deer and frogs excavated in the 1920's indicated that during the Neolithic Period the Chinese had already started to use brushes to paint.

Chinese traditional painting is highly regarded throughout the world for its theory, expression, and techniques. Different from Western painting, a
Chinese painting is not restricted by the focal point in its perspective. The artist may paint on a long and narrow piece of paper or silk all the
scenes along the Yangtze River. The picture Mulan Returns Home provides an example. It is based on an old story in which Mulan disguised as a
boy, joint the army in her father's stead and returned home after the war was won. In the picture one can see what people are doing both outside
and inside the courtyard and the house. It can be said that the adoption of shifting perspective is one of the characteristics of Chinese painting.
Why do the Chinese artists emphasize the shifting perspective? They want to break away from the restriction of time and space and include in their
pictures both things which are far and things which are near. Also, the artist found that in life people view their surroundings from a mobile focal
point. The shifting perspective enables the artists to express freely what he wants.
Chinese paintings are divided into two major categories: free hand brushwork (xieyi) and detailed brushwork (gongbi). The former is characterized
by simple and bold strokes intended to represent the exaggerated likenesses of the objects, while the latter by fine brushwork and close attention
to detail. Employing different techniques, the two schools try to achieve the same end, the creation of beauty.
Traditional Chinese painting is a combination in the same picture of the arts of poetry, calligraphy, painting and seal engraving. To the Chinese,
"painting in poetry and poetry in painting" has been one of the criteria for excellent works of art. Inscription and seal impressions help to explain the
painter's ideas and sentiments and also add decorative beauty to the painting.


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