xi's moments
Home | Music & Theater

Photo inspires focus on artist

By CHEN NAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-23 09:41

One of Qi Baishi's paintings is displayed during the Peking Opera production. CHINA DAILY

"Qi Baishi and Mei Lanfang were close friends. They appreciated each other's art. When we prepared for the celebration of the 160th anniversary of Qi's birth, we wanted to commemorate the artist from a new perspective. The photo inspired us," says Wang Ya'nan, director of the art museum of the Beijing Fine Art Academy, adding that the project started in 2020.

The Peking Opera production follows Qi's life between 1919 and 1929, which was a critical period of time of the artist's career. Peking Opera actors Zhang Jianfeng and Li Hongtu play the roles of Qi and Mei, respectively.

Born in Xiangtan, Hunan province, to a farmer's family, Qi began a career as a carpenter. Despite his humble beginnings, Qi learned painting and poetry. Between 1902 and 1909, on the invitation of friends, he traveled around China, visiting famous scenic spots and was inspired by nature and landscapes. He also met more Chinese artists and appreciated great works of art. That experience widely broadened his horizons and, after that, he devoted himself entirely to painting.

In 1919, Qi settled down in Beijing for the rest of his long life of 93 years.

"With this Peking Opera production, we tell Qi's story from 1919 to 1929. One reason is that around 1920, Qi met Mei, beginning their long friendship," says scriptwriter Ren Yongxin.

"Another reason is that, during that period of time, Qi slowly shifted his artistic focus to his own style, as advised by his artist friend Chen Shizeng. He moved away from gongbi style painting, which he learned in his early artistic career, and worked on a more unique, xieyi type of painting."

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349