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Artist paints a picture of his times

By Lin Qi | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-21 08:01


Model Breeder. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Retrospective of Wei Qimei examines how his realist style was shaped by changing tastes.

Yu Ding, a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, recalls his first task after enrolling to study art history at the academy decades ago — he was assigned to interview Wei Qimei, an oil painter and professor of prominence at the school.

Entering Wei's home and studio, Yu says he was surprised to find that besides paintings, tools and books about art, the eminent artist also had newspapers and various publications related to other subjects.

"I remembered that he read a journal called Public Health and Well-being, and another one called Science Bulletin," Yu says.

"I asked him why he read so much, and why he was interested in information that seemed totally unrelated to art, to the work he was doing.

"He replied that as an artist, one should at first try to know about the world, to understand what and why the world is going on the way it is, and then he or she is able to show it in their work.

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