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China's peasant Van Gogh creates nostalgia

By Lin Qi (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-08-15 11:28 Comments

China's peasant Van Gogh creates nostalgia

Xiong Qinghua's oil painting work. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Xiong Qinghua, 40, is seen as a bit of a weirdo in his native Changhe Village, near the city of Xiantao in Central China’s Hubei province.

He taught himself oil painting at 14 years of age, and two years later, he dropped out of middle school to commit fully to painting while farming at home.

In tough times, he took up many different jobs to support his dream to be a painter, including working at the village’s hardware shops and delivering milk to households.

When his fellow villagers migrated to cities for better employment, he stayed behind depicting the dramatic changes in the countryside and people's mindsets.

He hadn’t sold any work until 2010 when his highly-expressive paintings went viral.

People are amazed by the raw, unsophisticated style of Xiong’s brushwork. The complicated realities of the countryside, which he portrays with forces and tension, have aroused people's nostalgia for the peaceful, idyllic rural life pace that is disappearing amid industrialization and urbanization.

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