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Artist's grand views inspire serene nostalgia

By LIN QI | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-30 08:33

Divine Mountains and Auspicious Clouds, a painting by landscape artist Shi Jinwang at the ongoing exhibition Fujian Mountains and Rivers, at the National Art Museum of China, which runs until Dec 6.CHINA DAILY

Growing up in the north and now living in the south, ink artist Shi Jinwang has been nurtured by the glorious landscapes that vary from region to region across the country. He comes from Weinan in Shaanxi province, and studied in Beijing for many years. He is currently based in Xiamen, Fujian province.

No matter how different the scenery he depicts, Shi says he always tries to present "a spirit of forbearance and perseverance "between the clouds and mist, mountains and waters, and rocks and trees that he is portraying.

"The truth of art lies somewhere else, outside the paintings; it is in the effort made to accumulate knowledge and technical ability over time," Shi says.

Shi's ongoing one-man exhibition, Fujian Mountains and Rivers, at the National Art Museum of China, which runs until Dec 6, will appeal to lovers of Chinese landscape painting. On show are more than 60 paintings in the style, testimony to Shi's endeavors in the realm of ink art that span nearly three decades.

The dynamic, varied natural scenery he has been captivated and inspired by in Fujian is one of the main subjects exhibited. Several long scrolls — measuring from 16 to 40 meters in length — of famous landscapes, including the Wuyi Mountains, Taimu Mountain and Gulangyu Island, are on display, inscribed with poems Shi has composed for each.

"Between the hills and rivers in Fujian sit many villages that have thrived for centuries," Shi says of his journeys to the province's hinterlands. "There I find distinctive, age-old civic buildings, lounge bridges, well-preserved ancestral houses and other objects and customs in a close association with the past."

His paintings integrate this nostalgic, poetic feeling to present a spiritual haven of serenity.

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