Chinese farmers' art paintings score at UN
Updated: 2014-05-22 11:18
By Hu Haidan at the United Nations (China Daily USA)
From left: Bi Mingxin, executive vice-president of the Chinese Peasants Calligraphy and Painting Research Association; Zheng Yiming, head of Dongfeng county, Jilin province; Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, under-secretary-general for communications and public information; Wang Min, Chinese deputy permanent representative to the UN; and Wang Linxu, president of the Chinese Peasants Calligraphy and Painting Research Association, pose for a photo at the exhibition opening ceremony on Wednesday at the UN. Hu Haidan / China Daily
Li Junmin, a 64 year-old farmer from Dongfeng county, Jilin province in China, never thought his painting would be on display at the United Nations.
The Chinese Peasants Calligraphy and Painting Research Association (CPCPRA) collected a total of 108 paintings by 108 farmers from 35 counties for the show, which runs May 21-23 at the UN.
Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN Wang Min, CPCPRA president Wang Linxu and Bi Mingxin, executive vice-president of CPCPRA, were present at the exhibition opening ceremony on Wednesday at the UN.
Launsky-Tieffenthal passed along UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's best wishes on the exhibition.
"Thank you for bringing such a distinguished exhibition to the UN," Launsky-Tieffenthal said.
Wang said the exhibition would help Western people understand China better.
"This exhibition is not only a showcase of talented contemporary Chinese farmer's paintings, but also tells the world of their Chinese dream and their love of the work," Wang said.
Wang Linxu, president of CPCPRA, a painter himself whose paintings have been on permanent display at the UN since 2013, said it was amazing to see how talented and creative Chinese farmers are.
"Chinese farmers' painting has a long history. It can be summarized as 'painting the sky, painting the land, and painting your daily life'. They are the simplest way to show a painter's expression," said Wang.
"In the past, the paintings mainly focused on farmers' daily routine, including harvest, holiday celebration and farming," said Wang. "In recent years, along with economy and technological development, farmers see more of the outside world and that experience is reflected in their paintings."
Wang introduced Li's painting entitled Conversation between China and Africa to China Daily. The painting portrayed friendship between the two peoples.
"Li is bold in choosing color and depicting characters. Also the profound meaning of this painting makes it hard for audiences to believe it's from a Chinese farmer," Wang said.
Li said the idea for the painting came from watching the news on TV. "It was so exciting to know there are a number of people who enjoy my painting."
Zheng Yiming, the head of Dongfeng county, said: "Before painting, a farmer can make around $50 a month. By selling paintings, his incomes can reach about $410."
"Some farmers' paintings are not as sophisticated as the artwork from professional painters, but they portray real life," said Zheng. "People are big fans of the 'real' in today's society."
According to Zheng, in Dongfeng County, there are about 50,000 farmers trained in art.
Dan Tuohy, a retired UN employee said he enjoyed the exhibition. "They (the paintings) are very easy to identify with, and very colorful. I can see the Chinese culture in those paintings," he said.
(China Daily USA 05/22/2014 page2)