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Chinese artist exhibits G20 leaders' portraits in Beijing, London
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19:37, April 02, 2009

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While people around the world wait to see if the Group of 20 London Summit finds a remedy for the global financial crisis, Chinese artist Yu Chengsong is holding simultaneous exhibits of the portraits of 23 leaders attending the summit in Beijing and London.

The exhibits, which opened Thursday, features original portraits sized 165 cm by 245 cm. They can be seen at the Beijing Bridge Art Center (BAC), on eastern Chang'an Avenue, in central Beijing.

Copies of the portraits, one fourth the originals' size, are on show outside the British Parliament.

The Beijing show is to last for one month, while the one in London will move after a day or two to a local university.

Yu, 51, began working on the portraits in November when the first G20 summit was held in Washington and finished them just a few days ago.

Yu is a productive oil painter known for his Chinese landscapes, but this time, he used water and ink, which is traditional for Chinese art.

"I added lots of ideas from Western oil painting," he said.

Yu has never met any of these leaders but sought a glimpse of their inner world with photos, film footage and books about them.

"Yu has expressed the common aspiration of the Chinese people -- join hands to combat the crisis," said Ma Zhenxuan, president of the BAC.

The Beijing Olympic Committee gave Yu's landscapes as official presents to important visitors to the Games, which made him the first Chinese artist to have his works chosen as official Olympic presents.

Yu is now preparing for a world series of landscapes. He has written to leaders of countries and regions to seek for their support to help him complete the task, which may take 10 to 15 years. Britain will be the first leg of his artistic long march.

Source: Xinhua

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