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Chinese farmers' art works on display
Updated: 2008-07-04 17:04

The Beijing Olympics isn't just about sports. It's also a celebration of the human spirit. And one of the major activities of the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival is the Chinese Farmer Art Show which opened on July 2.

[VOICEOVER] Co-presented by the China Agricultural Museum, the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society, and Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, the exhibition occupies two major halls at the National agriculture Exhibition Centre.

Farmers from across the country use art to depict their daily life and folk customs. They have made many pieces, including paintings, prints, sculptures, paper-cuttings, and cloth art. And all of them are created by villagers' own hands.

One artist is farmer Qiu Kuixun from Xuzhou who paints on his folk prints.

[QUOTE OF QIU KUIXUN] My folk prints have two themes. One is about folk customs. What I paint depicts the most traditional way of life in the countryside which isn't very sophisticated. The other is writing Chinese characters and illustrating them with pictures. I use my own understanding of the words to explain them one by one.

[VOICEOVER] Although rural life is the main theme of farmer art, a lot of the artists expressed their excitement about the upcoming Olympics through their handicrafts.

This is a clay figurine of a man drinking wine to celebrate Beijing holding the Games. And this one is the cheering squad for the players. Although the style looks rough, the artwork breathes life into the clay characters.

Among all the Olympic-related art, a wooden screen made by Cheng Guomin is an overwhelming sight. It took him five years to complete the work, which has over 700 Olympic athletes who have competed in both the summer and winter Games.

[QUOTE OF CHENG GUOMIN] This is (hurdler) Liu Xiang. Look at his posture and expression. And this is (runner) Wang Junxia. Along the base are the mascots of every Olympics Games. On top are the pigeons and the lucky clouds representing friendship and peace.

[VOICEOVER] The Mianzhu New Year Picture Museum also presents work at the show. It was severely damaged in the May 12 earthquake. But Hu Guangkui, director of the museum, said they are determined to rebuild it on the original spot. They have even made special T-shirts to keep their spirits high.

[QUOTE OF HU GUANGKUI EXPLAINING THE T-SHIRT] This is Zhao Gong. He guards homes. Zhao Gong is a typical character in New Year paintings. I hope this god will guard our homes and won't let them collapse again.

[VOICEOVER] Apart from all these unique artworks, some famer artists make handicrafts at the show. And you can even enjoy shadow plays there too. Admission to the Farmer Art Show is free and will run until July 8.