MA WENXI, Professor of GUANGZHOU Academy of Fine Arts

I am fond of Chinese Traditional Painting. To learn from it I have appreciated a great number of Chinese Traditional Paintings. As for great master HUANG BINGHONG of SHE County, every stroke and every spot applied in his works is so natural and connotative and as for Mr. YAN MING of NANCHANG, a simple perpendicular stroke applied in his painting of mountains and waters can arouse the viewers' feeling of a vigorous peak of a thousand yards high, refined and wonderful. After graduation from studying abroad, I came back to China and has worked as a lecturer at GUANGZHOU Academy of Find Arts for almost a decade so I have the chance to be a colleague of teacher YAN LING, daughter of Mr. YAN MING, in the same teaching and researching office. Teacher YAN LING has presented me a copy of the selected works of her father. I was greatly surprised when I opened the book to appreciate the paintings in it. Lost in wonder, I began to realize Mr. YAN's art I have placed his “Selected works”on a striking spot in my bookshelf as a reminder to warn myself not to idle away the precious time but to work hard. Later in the studio of teacher YAN LING, I even had the chance to appreciate many originals of her father's works. Take his flower-and-bird painting, “Welcoming the Spring”for example. The brushwork applied is simple and refined but the vivacity and innocency of the bady birds are vividly conveyed, full of vitality. The colour applied are very bright but elegant. The dyeing seems to be so random but fully and accurately depiets the likness of the objects and their inner spirit as well. I am in more admiration of his mountain-and-water painting, “Sunrise at Hanbo”, in which the viewers can feel the world-shaking strength of the nature, a magnificant and vigorous atmosphere, full of energy. Confronted with such a painting one will feel that there is nothing in ones life that cannot be overcome and life becomes sweet and enjoyable. Nothing of the feelings of distress can be felt in the painting. If there had not been the Cultural Revolution during which his artistic talent was greatly restricted and his precious time was idled, I think his achievements would have been much greater. Teacher YAN LING told me, “Both my father and mother were schoolmates at college, They were the happiest couple in the world. They were then members of the singing group of HANG-ZHOU Public Art College. They were the best couple in duo. For several decades they had loved each other and had been inseparable like the body and the shadow. Without the cooperation and assistance, my father would not have been so successful. Nowadays, marriage are always made on the base of money. How many couples can be found that they have their marriages of painting and poetry and love each other forever ? When my mother died, my father created the painting,” Under the Pine Tree in the moonlight “ to express his hone for her. On the painting he inscribed:‘The Clouds end at the Top of the mountain and the fresh breeze rests under the Pine tree. How mournful I am to have my partner gone. Only the moon can see how lonely I am!’From this inscription we can see how deep they love for each other.” Many great masters of contemporary art are from JIANGSU and ZHEJIANG. Inheriting masters PAN TIANSHOU, WU FUZHI, WANG YACHEN, etc. Mr. YAN was able to set a new look of his own. Besides, There were his peers, great painters LI KERAN and WU GUANZHONG. Their achievements prove that the contemporary art education at college has its sound ways to bring up talents who are able to inherit the old and inaugurate the new by means of inheriting and transforming the old traditional education system. Mr. PAN TIANSHOU's idea of “paying equal attention to poetry, calligraphy, painting and sealing and theory combining with practical techniques in teaching program”is still available in Chinese traditional painting department in Fine Art Colleges in China today. Nowadays, nevertheless, there is always the opinion, “Ours is an age in which there is no great master!” Under the guidance of the Open and Reform Policy, we are living in a stable and developing situation. Although there are still some unfair events in the society, we are in fact in a properous age that has never been met for over three hundred years. Mr. HUANG BINHONG became really mature in painting when he was already fifty in age. As the saying goes, “A sharp sword is got after it has been ground for ten years.” Mr. YAN had set us a model. Perhaps on the base he founded,we can inherit the tradition of our predecessors, following our masters and inaugurate something new of our own. I think we are able to do so. We should not look down upon ourselves. We should stir ourselves to struggle hard to succeed in new achievements. Only then won't we be ashamed of ourselves facing our predecessors. MA WENXI 2009, Autumn. Professor of GUANGZHOU Academy of Fine Arts.