Stroke of luck

Updated: 2011-07-01 10:33

By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza (China Daily European Weekly)

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Stroke of luck
Croatian artist Mia Kirincic, who recently graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, is merging modern design with traditional Chinese painting. Alexandra Leyton Espinoza / For China Daily 

One of the First European GRADUATEs FROM china's top traditional art school

Budding artist Mia Kirincic draws her inspiration from the modern designs associated with the feminine form. She cites the glamor of Hollywood's leading ladies as a good example of this fashion statement. And now she has a plan.

"I want to be able to combine Chinese traditional painting with these other factors and make Chinese painting something even more unique," the young Croatian says.

In a unique circumstance, Kirincic recently graduated from Central Academy of Fine Arts, one of Asia's most prestigious art schools.

Although the school hosts many foreign exchange students and allows Europeans to take on post graduates courses, Kirincic was the only foreigner in her year to complete a bachelor's degree in traditional Chinese painting at the academy.

Armed with her newfound knowledge of traditional painting and inspired by her passion for modern design, she wants to create something new.

And Beijing, a hotbed of energy and activity, is the kind of city that encourages dreamers like Kirincic.

The 24-year-old is very familar with the capital and has been a Beijing resident for more than a decade. She is the daughter of a Croatian diplomat, and moved to the city in 1999, after spending four years in Indonesia.

After four years in China, the family moved back to Croatia where Kirincic finished high school. It was a hard transition and soon she was eager to return to China.

"My classmates thought I was a freak and I felt like an alien in my own country," she says. "Sagreed, which is Croatia's biggest city with 1 million citizens, felt too small because I was just too used to the environment in Beijing. So I decided to move back as soon as I finished high school."

From a very young age, Kirincic has been interested in art so after high school, she wanted to pursue this line of study.

At the same time, she felt a special connection to China, and wanted to better its culture even though fashion design was her first choice.

"But it would have been crazy to study fashion design in Beijing. You do that in New York, Milano or Paris," she says.

"I had been exposed to Chinese traditional painting before, and I really loved the technique, so once I decided what to study, I moved back to China."

Kirincic says traditional painting is refined and delicate. It involves the same techniques as calligraphy and is executed with a very fine brush dipped in black or colored ink.

"It's very different from oil painting, where you can get your clothes messed up," she says. "Traditional painting has a relaxing and meditational feel to it."

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