Xu Jiang's largest show of sunflower works in Shanghai

Updated: 2015-12-04 08:16

By Deng Zhangyu(China Daily)

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Xu Jiang's largest show of sunflower works in Shanghai

Xu Jiang is showing his paintings and sculptures of sunflowers in Shanghai.

He says that when he found a sun-flower garden on a snowy day in Inner Mongolia, local farmers told him that the flower tends to improve the soil. That was when he began to attribute the "powerful" trait to the plant in his works.

Xu noticed the flower's toughness in rural Zhejiang after a typhoon, he says.

As a fan of the NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant, Xu describes the iconic player as a "sunflower who never gives up" in the field.

Born in eastern Fujian province, Xu worked in a factory when he was 20, and later studied oil painting in college in Germany. He returned to China to teach at the China Academy of Art in 1992.

Xu was among prominent artists to attend a seminar addressed by President Xi Jinping in Beijing last year.

Xu says that he agrees with Xi's words that art should inspire minds and cultivate taste.

"Good taste can be derived from our traditional arts. We should respect and create new things from our culture like ink-and-water paintings and tea art," Xu adds.

He gives the example of olden-day Chinese ink painters who usually stayed at the base of a mountain for a few days while painting a picture, and then moved to the top for a holistic view.