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Village a picturesque offering for students

China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-09 09:24

HEFEI - Despite his early arrival in the morning, Deng Wei, a freshman majoring in art, was surprised to find the river banks already crowded with students.

Holding their palettes and brushes, they were trying to re-create the vision in front of them - unique historic buildings and an idyllic landscape. "The picturesque scenery is perfect for us to draw," Deng said, who will stay in Hongcun village in East China's Anhui province for 10 days.

Deng is among 400,000 students who rush to Yixian county which administers Hongcun each year, an ideal spot for plein air painting.

The county is home to two villages, Xidi and Hongcun, which have been listed as World Heritage sites. With exquisite homes, ancestral halls and memorial archways, Anhui-style dwellings built during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) are widely found.

Most students like Deng live in special art bases, which can provide accommodation and transportation for those who come to paint outdoors. Hu Wanchun, 57, is among the pioneers who opened the first such bases in Yixian county. He has cooperated with around 100 art colleges and receives some 7,000 students each year, earning more than 2 million yuan ($285,900) annually. Hu also opened a museum to showcase the paintings of the students and Hui-style wood carvings. "I hope to create a platform for young painters to display their works," he said.


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