xi's moments
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Photo inspires focus on artist

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

Peking Opera actor Zhang Jianfeng (center) plays the lead role. CHINA DAILY

Gongbi is where details of the subject are captured by brush-strokes and very precisely delineated, without independent or expressive variation. Xieyi, on the other hand, is a technique that features a reduction in detailed brush-strokes and is an expressive style where artists find more freedom to paint. Xieyi captures the spirit of the subject spontaneously, which requires great experience to execute well.

"It's called 'later-year innovations' to describe Qi's transition of art style. He was in his 50s, when it was not easy for a mature artist to do so," the scriptwriter says. Since 2020, Ren has revised the script about seven times.

Fish, shrimp, crabs, and plants were among Qi's favorite subjects. He created works in a fresh and lively style that expressed his love of nature and life. In 1953, he was awarded the title of Outstanding Artist of the Chinese People by the government. In 1956, the World Peace Council gave the International Peace Award to Qi.

"Peking Opera is also an art form of xieyi because it's simplistic and expressive just like the xieyi approach of painting," says Fu Yongfan, the Peking Opera production's director. "On the stage, which usually has a minimalist set, Peking Opera performers use their techniques, such as singing, dancing and body language, to attract audiences with an aesthetic between the real and imaginary."

Peking Opera was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. It brings together art forms such as singing, dancing, martial arts and acrobatics.

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