A gender-sensitive artistic panorama is exhibiting nearly 70
contemporary compositions in water colour, ink, pastel and thread
by 10 eminent Chinese women artists to celebrate six decades of
diplomatic ties between India and China.
"Famous Chinese Female Artists in India" at the Lalit Kala Akademi
here Dec 6-12 is brought to India by the Chinese embassy and the
China Cultural Heritage Foundation.
The Foundation constituted in 2007 promotes China's traditional
and contemporary culture and heritage worldwide - and also within
The exhibition is a reciprocation for the year-long Festival of
India in China inaugurated in April and part of a greater
Sino-Indian cultural showcase to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic
ties between the two nations, a spokesperson for the Chinese
For most Chinese artists, India is a new experience with diverse
"Both countries are in Asia, closely related with vast land, large
population and history and yet for a long time, we have not been
communicating at the level where we should have," artist Geng Ming
said at the exhibition.
"On the way to friendship paved by our forefathers, we will
connect people via cultural exchange and will build a beautiful
rainbow bridge to celebrate the 60th anniversary (of diplomatic
ties)," she said.
Geng's delicate brush paintings of Chinese village life --
"Leisure at a Farm Home", "Bodhisattva at Ease" (a mother and
child composition with Chinese accompanying inscriptions) and "Meng
Haoran" -- captivated viewers with their deft strokes in
traditional Chinese brush painting, serigraphy (silk screen
printing) styles and pastel colour palette.
Artist Cao Ailin is a silk thread artist. Her paintings - "5
Blessings" - a composition of five tigers is embroidered in silk
thread on a special transparent tissue paper surface. The thread
work is so delicate that the pelt of the tigers shimmers with a
three-dimensional source of light.
The Qingcheng-born Chinese folk artist was honoured with the
"Master of China Folk Arts" in 2005.
Au Huilin is a folk paper cut artist. Born in Gansu province, she
imbibed the tradition of paper cut art from her mother Wang
Jinlang. Her detailed cut art in red paper, "The Tree of Life" and
"Harmony of the Heaven, Art and Man" was a fusion of traditional
Chinese styles and contemporary ideas rooted in reality.
A panel of six large-format vertical paintings of the goddess Kwai-Yin
in six ornamental avatars symbolising peace, passion, virtues,
beneficence and mercy were examples of the mastery that the artist
Xiu wielded on traditional techniques, paints and compositions.
The art works on display are inspired by ancient style of Chinese
brush paintings that developed around 4,000 BC and flourished for
more than 6,000 years without a break.
After Buddhism came to China from India in the first century AD,
murals as an artistic exposition became popular on grotto and
Landscape paintings, which had established itself as genre in the
4th century, gradually split into two styles -- "the
blue-and-green landscapes" and the "ink-and-wash gain".
Flower-and-bird paintings separated from decorative art to form a
Figure drawings emerged from the religious confines of Buddhism
and the goddess cults to span a gamut of new subjects in the 10th
The three main kinds of brushes used for Chinese brush paintings
are Hsieh Chao Pi - crab claw brush, Hua Jan Pi - flower painting
brush and Lan Yu Chu Pi - brush for paintings orchids and bamboo.
"The women artists showcasing in India are unique in China's art
arena. They have been pursuing excellence and carrying forward
their heritage for the last several decades," Geng said.
"They have been painting their lives with brushes and ink. They
are like the cross ties who contribute silently without being
noticed. They have never been in highlight but have still
contributed to the society with their work and to the later
generations," she added.
Contemporary art in China was a man's world till the turn of the
last decade of 1990s. Though the country became a power house art
industry more in the mid-90s, the list of celebrity Chinese
artist-billionaires boasted of few women.
But the last decade has witnessed a slow shift in the gender
balance in Chinese art. Contemporary art is showing a delicately
feminine face in China with a new generation of women artists
making their presence felt in the country's artistic landscape.