Octogenarian artist in NW China's Xinjiang uses new material to help paintings retain luster

(People's Daily Online) 10:53, April 07, 2023

Lin Lie draws an outline for his painting. (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

Lin Lie, an 82-year-old inheritor of banke xianhua, a form of painting and also an intangible cultural heritage in Urumqi, capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has spent over 30 years enhancing his artistic ability.

To create a piece of banke xianhua, the artist first draws a picture, then uses a knife to carve the picture onto a board, and finally colors the carved work.

Lin drops water on his work to show that it is waterproof. (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

Banke xianhua incorporates skills used in various types of the painting art, including traditional Chinese realistic painting, mural painting, oil painting and wood lock painting, being able to convey the charm of traditional Chinese painting art and show the features of modern fine arts.

Because Lin's paintings are created on PVC boards, they can be preserved for a long time without suffering any insect damage. They also enjoy waterproof and anti-mildew qualities, and are hard to copy.

At first, Lin carved pictures on wood. After his works were destroyed in an accident, Lin started looking for a new material with which he could better preserve his paintings.

Lin had tried nearly 30 materials before finding the PVC material. He carved several works on PVC boards and found that that material was something he was looking for.

Photo shows a painting by Lin Lie. (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

It takes Lin a long time to create a piece of banke xianhua, as there are many complex procedures involved, including designing, drawing an outline, carving and coloring. Carving the pictures onto the PVC boards is also hard work, and over 20 types of carving knives are used to make artworks.

Lin once spent two and a half years working on a piece of work entitled "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival." His other works took even longer to finish, including one on which he spent five years.

Photo shows a work by Lin entitled "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival." (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

"Chang'e Flying to the Moon" is a series of art works that Lin created to celebrate China's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1's successful completion of its journey to the moon in October 2007.

"He almost worked day and night to create the works, eventually making five artworks under the theme in five years," said Lin's wife.

In recent years, Lin has created over 500 paintings on PVC boards. His works have been exhibited in South Korea and Singapore, and have been included in dozens of books and periodicals.

Photo shows a work by Lin entitled "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival." (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

Photo shows a painting by Lin Lie. (Chinanews.com/Rong Rui)

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


Related Stories