Nov 8, 2019 in Culture

Chinese Painting

The art in history depicts a lot about the Chinese ancient involvement with painting. The today’s modernity in painting coins their reference to the ancient Chinese painting.  Shitao explores the various versions of the Chinese ancient artistic painting. He was an early Qing painter with his actual names being Daoji, Yuanji and Kugua Heshang. He happened to be a successful painter by twentieth century and the most popular Chinese artist. His book: Painting and Modernity in Early Qing China, published in English provides theories on ancient Chinese painting. He does these by focusing on the social, economic, political, and religious and the aesthetic issues that revolve on the world of painting. He visualizes the complexities in painting, especially in the socio-economic aspects. Shitao created a series of cultural heroes through his paints. Amongst them included Qu Yuan, Tao Yuanming, Li Bai and Su Shi. Themes and literary endeavors constituted most of these artistic designs. In order to explore the context of the painting by Shitao, a set of questions explores the context of paint. The subsequent discussions re-examine these questions and provide relevant answers as about the painting discussion. 

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What Shitao wants painters to do?

In his book, Shitao emphasizes on many principles to successful painting. The modern painters refer to his theories to perfect on their artistically works.  In his description of the Most Spectacular Peaks, Shitaos explores his painting prowess through drawing of the various mountains in China. It happened to be his own creation to draw the drafts of these mountains and then blends the magnifiscent outlook through spectacular painting. His moral lesson to painters rolls on the pursuit of originality.  His principles state that to “neither set up nor illuminate any method”. Here, he stresses on upholding painting integrity through creating original paint rather than imitating an already established painting style. Moreover, the current and emerging painters ought to learn from nature and need to embrace realism in their artistic work.

In his book, he defines painting based on techniques in application. He explores the ink-application techniques that painters need to embrace. He emphasizes on variations in the ink paints for the art to appear elegant. However, he readily condemns the use of silk as painting surface as the final quality of the paint becomes compromised hence losing the demand in the product market. Therefore, painters with this as a career risks monetary gain as no consumers would buy their products

He advises painters to maintain the painting value as they traverse in the artistic industry. The value must enshrine by a passion for posterity. In his description, the art of painting demand prior thought and comprehension on the outcome of the paint just before placing a paint and brush on piece of paper or board. In essence, painters must be willing to invoke critical and creative thinking for successful painting. He also advice painters to do a quality painting that shall build commemoration in the future work. Moreover, painting must emulate a sense of self-cultivation for it to draw a wider audience.

As new entrance in the artistic painting field, Shitao encourages the aspiring paint artist to identify an already established artist and work with them. These are already people with vast artistic knowledge and, therefore, working with them helps fine tune knowledge on painting. 

He emerged to be outstanding in his art particularly in the paintings of bamboo, rocks and landscapes. Shitao posits that in the artistic industry, the aspect of self-plays key role. In as much as the artist ought to emulate their predecessors, coining an individual artistic idea forms an important point in defining the artistic world. One must think in their way on the best artistic painting comply with the demand market. In his message, he emphasizes on self-driven painting such that the inner feelings of self-motivates the art of painting. The outcome would result in marvelous paints that attract a wider audience.

Benefits of following Shitao’s directions

Shitao highlight numerous principals to successful painting. As a master in painting, he draws a wider audience particularly the aspiring painters. Benefits accrue in emulating his artistic path. In particular, commemorative painting provides a visual record to persons on the past occasions. The idea on self-creation points out clearly as a very important aspect of the literary world. His idea on self-creation as one designs paints will help to curb the possibility of copy writes and hence infringes on the intellectual property rights. His ways also remind the artists to formulate paints with aesthetic taste, and this means that the paints would attract a wider market.

The culminating effort in creating quality paints would draw the conclusion from the reference in nature. The artists draw and paint what nature provides. For example, landscape painting, tree, rocks and animal painting. These form familiar materials in that require little or no explanation to the recipients of the paints. Shitao provides guidelines to aspiring paint artists to make prints of familiar objects then later to unfamiliar. This assists in learning from the known to unknown.

Do you agree with Shitao that his directions are a good way to paint?

The answer varies based on the conclusions drawn from his principles. I would agree with his direction on embracing freedom in style and brushwork. It also creates originality. The painting world has shown the dynamic trait. The aspiring painters may emulate his work but not necessarily copy the entire hypothesis he postulates. Remember that painting as an art demand active critical and creative thinking. To be innovative in this field, then the painter must invoke a dynamic thought as a way to bring forth a perfect artistic work not ordinary to the preexisting artistic arts. This will provide a more elusive outcome of the individual artistic designs. 

The upcoming painters must never emulate Shitao involvement with the politics along his professional work. He made portraits and pictorial images of the ancient Chinese rulers. His political inclination jeopardized his artistic production. Therefore, the modern painters should learn to maintain work ethic to save their future profession. 

Can you relate Shitao’s ideas to actual examples of Chinese painting, his own and others?

The answer to this question maintains a Yes as the works of Shitao has formed the basis for the modern painting.  Early in 1662, Shitao emerged to as Chan Monk with tittle name of Yuanji. As a monk, he made numerous strides in painting and sale of his artistic work. Besides, he also wrote poems that people commemorate in the modern China. He has specialized in portrait and other paintings that the painters of the modern world have tried to emulate. Shitao maintained an iconic stature as he ventured in the painting enterprise. Particularly, his elusive portrait painting has tremendously remained a legacy emulated by the aspiring paint artists. These paintings of the heroic leaders have remained permanent materials in the Chinese National Archives that assists the modern paint learners of today. He made a perfect portrait of Hong Zhengzhi giving him the picture of an aspiring official in Huangshan setting. He made the portrait of Huang You visualizing him as a heroic traveler as he crossed a mountain pass.  In further examples, Shitao made portraits of Wu Yuqiao revealing him as an angler.  Also, he also made portraits of Zhang Jing as the head of the Lotus Bank. He painted the figures of the Chinese icons providing their identities in the society.

To conclude, Shitao explored the artistic painting by offering the incisive and unusual observations on various techniques in painting, the artistic design of painting forms of the crucial points in the Chinese media industry. As Shitao points, the art and design of painting must follow a certain approach to drawing a wider audience. The does and the don’ts as highlighted in the questions for a successful paint career defines the guidelines that prompt excellence in the paint field.

His work explores the modernity of the Chinese Paint Industry. However, the Shitao’s painting was lodged on the socioeconomic impacts with the clear definition of the subjectivity context. This means that the socio-economic factors affect the painting field. These paints of the cultural heroes created a platform for the new People’s Republic of China. Moreover, the paint industry in China has witnessed vast growth as evidenced by numerous colorful and spectacular images of paints in various fields. In addition, the modernity in the artistic design have been embraced through liberalization, and this has seen artists emerge with various artistic designs. 

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