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Traditional Chinese Painting

The art of traditional Chinese painting dates back about six thousand years to the Neolithic Period. Colored pottery painted with animals, fish, deer, and frogs excavated in the 1920s indicate that during this time, the Chinese had already started to use brushes to paint.

Traditional Chinese painting is highly regarded throughout the world for its theory, expression, and techniques. According to the means of expression, Chinese painting can be divided into two categories: xieyi and gongbi. The xieyi style is characterized by exaggerated forms and freehand brushwork. The gongbi school is characterized by close attention to detail and fine brushwork. Traditional Chinese painting combines, in a single picture, elements of poetry, calligraphy, painting, and seal engraving.

Since the turn of the century, China has experienced many political, economic, and cultural changes, and the art of painting is no exception. While traditional Chinese painting still occupies an important place in the life of the modern Chinese, many painters now desire to express their experience and views of these new times. By combining new modes of expression with traditional Chinese painting techniques, they are opening up a vast, new world of artistic expression.