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Beijing exhibition marks annual Pujiang festival

China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-17 10:06
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A visitor to the exhibition sits down to learn from a painting. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Paintings and calligraphy from Pujiang county are being exhibited at the National Art Museum of China for the first time, with experts describing it as a significant achievement in the realm of the arts.

Located in the center of Zhejiang province and known for its abundance of talent, Pujiang is the site of the Neolithic Shangshan Culture, which dates to between 11,000 and 8,500 years ago, and is reputed to be something of a cultural epicenter. It bears the honor of being the home of poetry, painting and calligraphy in China.

Marking the 16th Pujiang China Painting and Calligraphy Festival, the Beijing exhibition displays 151 pieces by 148 calligraphers and painters from Pujiang, from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to the present day. They depict landscapes, villagers and changing lives in the county.

"It's very difficult for a county-level unit to hold an exhibition in China's top palace of culture and arts," said Fan Di'an, chairman of the China Artists Association at the launch ceremony on Monday. "This exhibition not only showcases the achievements of Pujiang painting and calligraphy over the past 100 years, but also represents an important symbol in the development of the fine arts in China."

The chairman of the county's artists association, Sheng Danping — whose painting of bamboo is among those on display at the National Art Museum of China — grew to love painting, and taught himself to paint while studying chemistry in college. He attributes his success to the artistic atmosphere of the county and says that he is proud that about 40 members of the China Artists Association are from Pujiang.

Another Pujiang artist, Chen Qi, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Artists Association and a council member of the China Artists Association, has participated in all the Pujiang China Painting and Calligraphy Festival events. He said that this year's exhibition is of a high artistic standard, as paintings by famous, late painters like Wu Fuzhi, Zhang Yuejian and Zhang Zhenduo are on display.

The exhibition opened on Saturday and is scheduled to close on Nov 21.

Li Menghan contributed to this story.

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