Archive for October, 2011

What goes into the signing of a Chinese painting?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I would like to know if the chop marks used in Chinese paintings usually say the same thing as the painting characters near it. For example, if an artists signs his/her name in ink, does their chop say the exact same thing?

I already know that sometimes the characters on the paintings are not signatures, but phrases or quotes instead.

Tha artist will usually sign their name and put a chop mark with their name. Chops can also have phrases or the names of their studios.

What equipment would you need to create your own Chinese brush painting?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

A large horse hair brush (pointed not flat).

Chinese ink (usually comes in a brick and activated with water or you can use standard black indian ink that has been thinned with water)

Rice paper or tracing paper works well. You can do practice drawings on large sheets of newsprint too, but it tends to buckle from the water.

About Fang Lijun – a Chinese Artist

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Fang Lijun was born on 1963 Born in Handan, Hebei province, PR China. The bald headed youth which first appeared in the artist’s paintings in the early 1990s has become Fang Lijun’s characteristic figure and has been widely interpreted as the symbol of disillusion, mockery and rebellion in present Chinese society. Later series include the water series, dreamlike works of swimmers, and gigantic, multi-panel, woodblock prints.

Fang Lijun is the leading protagonist of Cynical Realism, the major movement of the post-1989 era in contemporary Chinese art. Cynical Realism, an urban based movement, developed in the aftermath of the events of 1989 which included not only the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square but the closure earlier that year of the “China Avant Garde” exhibition at the China National Gallery in Beijing by the authorities. Fang’s monumental sized prints revive the ancient Asian practice of woodblock printing — a complicated and exacting process of carving a ‘negative’ image into a panel, coating the surface in ink, and impressing the image onto paper; each different colour and tone requires a separate plate and order of printing. Due to their immense scale, Fang’s images are composed on several adjoined scrolls, Thematically, each of these prints describe the plight of the individual against the ‘mass’, creating a spiritual contemplation of solitude the quest for personal probity in the face of adversity.

Fang’s painting 30th Mary evokes these same sentiments with a humorous effect. Reminiscent of European church ceiling paintings, Fang portrays an order of ascendancy of same-same kewpie figures, each based on his own image. one of the most famous images of contemporary Chinese art is the Fang Lijun painting owned by the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Series 2 – Number 2, 1992. The main figure, a friend of the artist, could be yawning or yelling while the mute, menacing figures in the background bring to mind mindless, manipulated masses. The contrast between the strong individuality of the main figure and the dazed conformity of the four background figures is overwhelming.

The exhibition of their works at the China National Gallery was the culmination of that decade and signalled to the artists that they had been recognised. The dramatic closure of the exhibition soon after its opening marked the destruction of those goals.

Selected Exhibitions-


• Kupferstichkabinett Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany


• National Galerie / China Art Museum,Beijing, China

Art Cologne, Germany


• Fang Lijun, Leben Ist Jetzt, Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin,Beijing,Berlin,Germany


• Fang Lijun, Between Beijing & Dali,Woodcuts & Paintings 1989 – 2002,Ludwig Forum for InternationaleKunst Aachen


• Fang lijun, Asian Fine Art, Berlin

• Prüss + Ochs Gallery Germany


• Fang Lijun, Max Protetch Gallery, New York

• From Beijing to Amsterdam and Back,Stedelijk Museum/Galerie Serieuse Zaken,Amsterdam


• Fang Lijun: Human Images in an Uncertain Age, The Japan Foundation Asia Center,Tokyo

• Fang Lijun, Galerie Bellefroid, Paris

• Fang Lijun, Galerie Serieuse Zaken, Amsterdam


Fang Lijun is the leading protagonist of Cynical Realism, the major movement of the post-1989 era in contemporary Chinese art. Fang Lijun exhibited his works at the China National Gallery which was the culmination of that decade and signalled to the artists that they had been recognised at Chinese art circles.

What to Do Next…

If you want any information about Fang Lijun or looking for his paintings please visit us on


About Li Qing – a Chinese Artist

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Li Qing was born on 1981 in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China. He is a graduate student at China Academy of Art and one of the representatives of this new generation. Over the last few years his art has been included many important exhibitions and rewarded several grants and awards, due to his excellence of performance – the mastery of refined and personal technique, the wide social concerns, and the appropriate representation. Executed in the very traditional medium of oil on canvas, the generally mid-size paintings are usually paired pictures.

In Li Qing’s work juxtaposition usually occurs between two similar subject matters or scenes but in difference chronologically. The tension or relation between the two is usually the resource of concept of the work. In China’s art scene the juxtaposition of old and new, which reflects the remarkable social transition taking place over the last three decades, was/is popular. As the method exactly reflects the current identity of Chinese people who are surrounded by consistent remarkable transitions in a territory where old and new are mixed. The pairs of picture are seemingly the successive snapshots capturing the two moments of a seemingly consecutive event, a body, a face, a place, an object, or a person. There is very little difference between the two pictures at first sight, and there are several minor distinctions between two upon a careful scrutiny.

Li Qing is making a simple and easily accessible visual world where audience may exchange idea and share a common feeling. Many of the prototypes of contemporary Chinese art were heavy in their subject matter in order to express artists’ negative attitude towards the current corruptive system. Li Qing successfully presents a magic pictorial series of contemporary Chinese art. Simultaneously, psychological complexity toward the remarkable social transitions of China is easily understood. His art is a visual game but entwined with social information that reflects the vicissitudes of the society. The subject matter is ordinary, and unnoticed, some are like news photo for a propaganda purpose. He presents a picture that combine with images and reality. Grand rhetoric and heavy theme are non-exist. Li Qing is more interested with an ordinary scene that affects our perception to the world. Li Qing is a great practitioner of oil painter. With his bold brush stroke, exact impasto, and, he smartly turns the visual games and subject matter into his own painterly game, a pictorial world that reflects changing reality.



• See the luck when raise head, Hangzhou 2006 Contemporary Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China See the luck when open the door, Wuxi Contemporary Art Exhibition tour, Wuxi, China

• Body on the Site, The Third Beijing International Gallery Exposition,Beijing, China

• Tu Hongtao, Li Qing two persons’ show, Line Gallery, Yan Huang Museum,Beijing,china

• 10+10, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China Chinese contemporary Paintings, Nanjing Square Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China.


• Double reading photography exhibition, Hangzhou, China

• Let some ideas be seen, Modern art gallery of Art Academy of Hangzhou Teachers University, Hangzhou, China

• The spring of Vizcaya exhibition of paintings and sculptures of Chinese and French artists, Shanghai, China

• Archaeology of the Future, the second triennial of Chinese art, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China

• Rule-Possible young artists exhibition, Zhejiang exhibition centre,Hangzhhou, China

• First China Green Exhibition Exploration, Ag-Art Loft, Hangzhou,China Young Chinese Contemporary Art, Hangar-7, Salzburg, Austria

• 2005 Zhejiang Oil-painting exhibition & awarded the Gold Prize, Ningbo Art Museum, Ningbo, China

• It’s true, The Artistic Island, Beijing, China


• Concrete, Hangzhou, China

• Art Shanghai 2004-Exhibition of works of young artists in China Academy of Art, International exhibition centre, Shanghai, China

• Layer after layer contemporary painting in Shanghai in Zhejiang art exhibition, Zhejiang exhibition centre, Hangzhou, China


• Do we need to rebuild a Leifeng Tower? China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

Awarded Wu Fuzhi Prize


Li Qing is among those group younger artists. Their emergence in the art scene will be symbolic to Chinese art world and the entire society at large. For the artist his visual game is perhaps a play of pigment and stroke, but his audience there is something significant behind the game.

What to Do Next…

If you want any information about Li Qing or looking for his paintings please visit us on


How to Paint Trees in Chinese Brush Painting with Watercolor and Sumi Ink

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

chinese painting ink This video in an new interpretation of the basic “four branches” concept of traditional Chinese brush painting in painting trees. You may search Youtube to find many computer generated trees and landscapes based on a very simple fractal element. In my view traditional Chinese painting is the prototype of fractal design, which emphasized on training of some simple “fractal” sets to achieve spontaneous artistic creation. Please see this Youtube video about our fractal universe:

Those fractal sets or elements of traditional Chinese landscape painting has been passed down from master to students and practiced generation after generation. You can find these painting rules and principles in the classic text Musdard Seed Garden Manual of Painting.

If you want to achieve the freedom of creation like ancient and modern Chinese artists you need to learn the basic rules first then vary them. Like for example in painting trees, you need to know how to draw the basic four branches first. Then try to express your own mood with seasonal asspect so to give your painting “breath resonance and life movement.”

I wish you not only could learn the Chinese way of painting trees through this lesson, but the importance of fractal design concepts. That is why I strongly recommend the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. As you can see this was how I learned Chinese painting from my teacher.

Thanks for watching!

Happy Holidays!


Duration : 0:25:7


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Book Fair: Chinese calligraphy painting various Xuan paper (2008 Part 2)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

chines painting supplies Sized Xuan paper is not necessarily easier to use or more “forgiving” without considering ink and brush qualities.

Popular items at below market prices as of 2008:
Vintage ink sticks by Old Hu Kaiwen
Chinese painting watercolor sets starting from $4 per pack
Chinese calligraphy / painting VCD ($3 to $5 each as of 2008) and DVD
“Extra thin” sized paper, coated with alum
Old Hu Kaiwen ink sticks at $2 each

The sponsor of the annual Chinese book fair in Dallas Chinese Commnunity Center, Texas:
World Journal Bookstore ( 世界書局 ), a major distributor of Chinese books in the United States
Mr. Hou Chang
San Jose, California, USA
Cell: 408-472-1827
Website: currently N/A

Mr. Chang travels to China and distributes Chinese calligraphy, painting books, seal stones, supplies, tools, inkstones, brushes, Xuan paper, and various Four Treasures at very reasonable prices.

Technical questions about Chinese brushes:

Shopping for Four Treasures:

Joshua Hough’s Disclaimer:
1. I do not guarantee the quality of EACH individual brush, nor the price changes and availability. I am not responding to any availability and price issues.
2. I do not sell any of those items (as of 2008).
3. I do not take commissions.

I provide the information in this video solely for practitioners of Chinese calligraphy and painting to compare the selection and shopping of the supplies and tools.

Duration : 0:6:45


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Bamboo Chinese Brush Painting (“Sumi-e” in Japanese)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

chinese painting brush Waterbrush is available at our online store:

How to draw bamboo “knot by knot”(Step by Step) in the principle of “笔断意联” (idea completes with the absence of stroke).

Duration : 0:5:53


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How do I get the color from my Chinese ink stick set?

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I bought I Chinese ink stick set with five colors of ink in it from Hobby Lobby. but I can’t get them to change the color of the water? I painted with black ink stick before with no problem at all but these will just not work.

Maybe they are oil-based, try a little olive or vegetable oil.

Does anyone know a website where i can learn chinese brush painting online?

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

I searched for it, but i cant find one.

you can search some Chinese video sharing website for Chinese brush painting tutorials. Two popular sites:

You can search with the following Chinese terms that mean Chinese painting skills and Chinese painting tutorial respectively:

Result pages I got:

chinese lotus ink painting

Friday, October 28th, 2011

chinese painting ink painting a chinese lotus using chinese ink and watercolour

Duration : 0:10:57


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