Pinnacle of talent

By Li Fusheng and Li Jin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-05-10 11:16:56

 Pinnacle of talent

Yang Yan. Photo provided to China Daily

Born in Qinghai, painter Yang Yan finds the essence of life in mountains and nature, Li Fusheng and Li Jin report.

Yang Yan travels a great deal as he believes that nature is a good teacher for painters.

Pinnacle of talent

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"Barren mountains along State Highway 212 are a stark contrast to the luxuriant ones south of the Yangtze River," said the 56-year old painter.

"Without vegetation, their structure and relationship with one and another are clear at first sight."

The experience has been helping since the 1980s when he started his serial work The Call of Faraway Mountains.

Instead of specific peaks, what Yang portrays is something abstract, some ideal place for the soul. 

"So I represent them with the simplest mountain-like forms, just as our ancestors carved on the animal bones and turtle shells," said Yang.

"At the start I painted three, sometimes one and sometimes two like the breasts of our Mother Earth."

It might seem easy to replicate the same forms but in fact great skills are required, said Yang.

"Despite the same shapes, they are connected in different ways and have different meanings.

"I also paint the sun, the moon and the mist as well as the lake, the grassland, the river at their foot."

The series took Yang a long, long time, which he interpreted as a faithful pursuit of art and life.

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