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Chinese art show opens for summit

By Cecily Liu | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-08 00:27

Chinese art show opens for summit

A German visitor looks at ink paintings portraying Chinese people in their daily lives at the Me Collectors Room Berlin. [Photo by Cecily Liu/China Daily]

More than 70 Chinese ink paintings depicting people from all walks of life will be showcased at the Me Collectors Room Berlin, giving German audiences a unique opportunity to better understand the Chinese people through artworks.

The exhibition, named Experience China - the Most Beautiful Chinese, will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday. It is the largest ever Chinese ink painting exhibition themed on the Chinese people in Germany.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Germany diplomatic relations. President Xi Jinping arrived in Berlin on Tuesday, before traveling to Hamburg to attend the G20 Global Leaders Summit on Friday and Saturday.

Xu Li, secretary-general of the China Artists Association, which hosts the exhibition, said paintings were chosen that depict the hard-working nature, kindness, intelligence and perseverance of the Chinese people, across different ethnic groups and in different professions.

"Paintings in the exhibition follow very traditional ink painting techniques, which are unique to the Chinese culture and steeped in history. Using traditional painting techniques to depict the lives of the Chinese people today also help show continuity in our culture," said Xu.

The exhibition presents portraits of notable figures such as Lei Feng, Qi Baishi and Huang Binhong. Lei is a 20th century soldier known for his kind heart and keenness to help others. Qi and Huang are Chinese 20th century ink painting masters, who revolutionized the practice of Chinese ink painting.

Many paintings in the collection also depict Chinese ethnic people, whose rich clothes and cultural practices have long fascinated foreign visitors. For example, one picture depicts a group of ethnic Miao girls, who wear elaborate headdresses and gowns made from fabric intricately incorporating red, blue, white and black threads. They stand against a background of mountains, because the Miao people mostly lived in Southwest China's mountainous terrains.

Meanwhile, other paintings show many activities common in Chinese culture, such as riding horses in the wild, doing threading work at home, or playing the Chinese instrument erhu. Modern city life is also shown, such as Chinese people practising ballet.

Klaas Ruitenbeek, director of the Asian Art Museum in Berlin, said: "This exhibition plays an important role in building culture bridges, it came at an important time when the German public is increasingly fascinated by Chinese culture, which is so rich and diverse."

The Asian Art Museum in Berlin hosts about 1,000 Chinese ink paintings - the largest collection in Germany. The paintings date from the Song Dynasty (420 to 479) to the present day.

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