Artist captures Beijing's hutong in ink

Updated: 2014-05-21 15:13

By Deng Zhangyu (

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Artist captures Beijing's hutong in ink

A painting by artist Bian Guoqiang. Photos provided to China Daily

Artist Bian Guoqiang has spent 20 years painting Beijing's courtyard houses in Chinese ink, framing the cultural landmark of Beijing as permanent scenes.

Bian's ongoing show at Tianjin Art Museum, Life in Hutong and Courtyards, displays more than 160 traditional Chinese paintings from the artist, mainly of Beijng courtyard houses and the daily lives of their inhabitants.

Moonlight against grey bricks, snow-covered roads, red wooden doors and trees without leaves — all are common subjects for Bian's brushes. Bian was born in Tianjin and moved to Beijing to work in the 1980s. He loved walking in the city's hutong, or alleyways, enjoying their quietness. But with the quick development of the city's economy, many hutong were demolished and were replaced by modern buildings.

Bian said he had a strong desire to record the disappearing hutong via his paintings. His portrayal of the tiled walls, old trees and wooden doors in faded colors tell the changing story of the old city.

The show will run through May 25.

Artist captures Beijing's hutong in ink

Artist captures Beijing's hutong in ink

Chinese oil paintings on display in Beijing 

Outdoor exhibition shows latest from Zeng Mi 

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