|Tiger paintings on display at the exhibition hall.(chinadaily.com.cn)|
An exhibition of tiger paintings debuted on Jan 19 in the Art Treasures Museum of the Chinese Nation, and will be open until Jan 28. Over 80 tiger paintings are on display, created by peasant artists from the China Arts Calligraphy and Painting Academy.
The academy is based in Wanggongzhuang village, widely known as the Number 1 village for Tiger Paintings in China, nestled in the Minquan county of Henan province. The works on show belong to four peasant artists Ren Wei, Wang Jianmin, Xin Yonghong and Wang Jianfeng.
Ren Wei, head of the China Arts Calligraphy and Painting Academy, and one of the four tiger painting masters, said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, "We come from China's countryside, and we want to show the beauty of China's villages to the world."
"As we are peasant painters, we want to show that artists should not necessarily be a professor or have a high diploma," Ren told the reporter.
Wei Yuncheng, a senior staffer from the academy and the host of the opening ceremony，also said that the exhibition highlights the spirit of peasant artists who are pursuing their artistic dreams. Growing up in the remote countryside, they are stepping out to big cities in China and the whole world.
Ren fell in love with painting in his early childhood, as his grandfather and father were both wood engravers in his village. He was born in the year of the tiger, and especially loves drawing tigers.
"Each painting is reflecting the author's outlook on life and expressing the author's mood, so you have to feel it from the bottom of your heart, and try to understand what the painter wants to say," Ren said.
The Wanggongzhuang village has a population of roughly 1,400, with more than half of the residents making a living by drawing tigers. Their drawings have been sold to other cities in China, and even foreign countries. The village has driven the economic growth in the adjacent villages and counties with its painting business.
The exhibition is co-hosted by the Art Treasures Museum of the Chinese Nation and the China Arts Calligraphy and Painting Academy. These tiger paintings will be exhibited nationwide eventually, as well as in America and Germany, according to Ren Wei.
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