How a veteran artist innovates with Chinese ink painting

For decades, Chen Jialing has been busy innovating with his brushstrokes.

Provided by CGTN.

At the G20 Summit in 2016, a large-scale work called "Scenery of the West Lake" became the background painting for the group photo of the world leaders. Measuring five by two meters, it helped people around the world appreciate the beauty of modern Chinese ink painting. The creator of the artwork is renowned Chinese artist Chen Jialing.

The panorama conveys the intangible qualities of the West Lake. The imaginative richness and cultural significance accumulated over the centuries seem to come alive through Chen's composition techniques and his perfect use of colors.

For years, Chen Jialing has been known in art circles in China for his desire to "change." Upon the establishment of traditional Chinese ink painting, he worked to innovate and tried to break down boundaries in categories such as figures and landscapes, as well as flower and birds.

Chen Jialing studied the Chinese painting styles of Pan Tianshou and Lu Yanshao at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. Chen said he gained a deeper understanding of traditional theory and traditional techniques from the two painting masters in Chinese fine art history.

Absorbing the creative spirit from the two predecessors, Chen Jialing made a significant change in his painting. He abandoned the standard use of pen and ink and explored the magical effect of the interaction between paper, water, brush pen and color. This led to the birth of his new ink style -- light ink.

Since the 1980s, Chen has been famous for breaking traditional techniques to paint the lotus. He created a series of lotus-themed paintings, forming a unique "Chen-style lotus." Among them, his painting "Untainted" won silver prize at the 7th National Art Exhibition. With the lotus as his signature, the artist created a modern Chinese painting style, combining impressionism, abstraction and expressionism.

In addition, he creatively extended the beauty of Chinese ink painting to other areas of daily life, such as painting the lotus patterns on containers. In Jingdezhen, China's "Porcelain Capital," Chen cooperated with ceramic artists and painted the "lotus" on 40 pieces of large vats, which makes him becoming the first person to paint lotus flowers on large porcelain wares.

As the Chinese painting is becoming more and more recognized, the traditional Chinese art is being shared by people all over the world. For decades, Chen Jialing has been busy sketching and painting Chinese stories with innovative brush strokes. The 85-year-old celebrated painter said he never stopped creating even in senior years, hoping to further showcase the oriental aesthetics to the international stage.

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