Chinese Art

By Emma L.

One of the more unique experiences I have had while I’ve been here is the lesson we had on Chinese painting. Yesterday we had a special treat when an art teacher from another college campus came to give us lecture on the differences between Chinese art and Western art. The teacher we had had been a teacher at East China Normal University for more than twenty year and I could tell he had so much experience in analyzing and explaining art work. Even though he couldn’t speak English and we had to use a translator I enjoyed his presentation and all his examples and his power point.

I hadn’t ever really looked at the differences between Chinese and Western artwork. I mean I had seen them both, but never side to side and I had never had to compare and contrast them. I noticed that the Western artwork had so much detail and every piece of the once white canvas was covered with paint. Also the Western work was more focused on people and objects. Next we looked at Chinese artwork: the one thing I noticed about the Chinese art was that it was all very light and flowing. The strokes were all very free and seemingly unplanned. The art was mostly flowers and landscapes painted with colored and black and calligraphy brushes. In contrast to the Western art work that had a variety of hundreds of colors and used oil paints and harsher paint brushes.

Afterwards our teacher demonstrated the techniques of Chinese painting. This sealed my understanding of Chinese art work, the way his hands flowed at different rhythms and varied speeds with more pressure or less pressure was amazing. He painted just like the actually painting looked like. And when we got to try to paint for ourselves I was so excited. I tried a few time and finally got the hang of it; putting more pressure, ink or rhythm into the brush made a huge difference. Our teacher came over to our table and complimented me on my painting which was really awesome because he was such an amazing painter himself. That day I drew at least five paintings of flowers and grass and each time they got a little better. At the end of the day I had a new appreciation for Chinese artwork and a new skill to bring home with me.

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