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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]

Traditional New Year paintings, or nianhua, and picture-story books ignited Xiong's interest to draw. When growing older, he cycled several hours to the city to buy painting books and catalogs. He read through the materials he couldn't afford, until closing time. He learnt about sketching, watercolors and traditional ink paintings. But it was Pablo Picasso's cubist works that captured him, making him concentrate on oil painting. He also studied the works of Marc Chagall and other master painters.

He says learning from great painters is to ultimately get rid of their influence and to embark upon a painful journey to establish your own style.

"From the very beginning I've never painted to please anyone else. Otherwise I would have been a common rustic landscape painter today. People call me a peasant painter. I'd rather say I'm surrealistic," Xiong said.

In his paintings, imagination flourishes and mingles with childhood memories to show half-real, half-magical scenes of the village where Xiong was born, raised and will live for the rest of his life.

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