Chinese painting has a rich history as an enduring art form and is well known through the world. Painting in the traditional style is known today in Chinese as guohua, meaning “national” or “native painting”. People especially students nowadays are interested in learning Chinese painting as they consider it a unique art. By considering the students’ interest in this unique art, Shandong University has arranged a Chinese Painting class so international students can be familiar with Chinese Painting.
Traditionally, Chinese painting can be carrying out on rice paper or thin silk using a variety of brushes, Chinese ink and dye. Chinese painting is closely related to Chinese calligraphy and poetry and also covers a variety of subjects: portrait, landscape, flowers, birds, animals and insects.
The first Chinese painting class started at 3:30 p.m. on March 13, 2019. I reached there on time to attend the class as well. Students from countries like Pakistan, Russia, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and China were also there, with desire to learn Chinese painting. After a few introductory lines from the professor, class began and the professor told students how Chinese painting is carried out, what the techniques are to draw the shape and what things are required for painting.
The first thing that students learnt is“mao-bi”, a Chinese word used for brush made up of bamboo and animal hair to draw the painting on paper. Then necessary materials including brush (mao-bi), paper, water and ink were given to students, and the first lesson began. The professor of the class taught students how to hold the brush to draw a perfect shape. The professor draws a few lines on the paper, and told the students how to draw a light color line or a dark line. Students were taking keen interest towards this unique art and started practicing the first task given by the professor.
Guliaeva Lada, a student from Russia told me the difference between Russian traditional painting and Chinese painting. In her point of view, Chinese painting is more popular, interesting and different from Russian cultural painting as Chinese painting has more diversity.
Atiqah Adanan from Malaysia finds Chinese painting as one of best option to learn and explore Chinese culture. Further, she mentioned the beauty of Chinese art shows the delicacy of the culture. Also other students find this class very interesting and a best platform to enhance their painting skills.
The strength of Chinese painting does not lie in its use of color, rather in its use of pen and ink to produce a unique beauty that cannot be compared to any other painting style. The kind of charm the Chinese painting expresses is vivid and poetic, containing all kind of philosophical meaning within it.
At the end, I must appreciate the interest of students towards Chinese painting class and also I want to thank Shandong University’s management for providing such a beautiful platform to learn and explore Chinese culture through this painting class.
Written by: Muhammad Nouman from School of Management
Edited by: Xie Tingting